The fruits of ASIC evolution: on manufacturers, miners for SHA-256 and the oddities of astronomical hashrate

This week came the next “X” day (halving) for Ltc, when the reward for lightcoin miners was halved. The disaster did not happen, but it became harder for small miners to recoup costs. Bitcoin, in turn, is also gradually approaching the halving of 2020. In Russia, initiatives to ban cryptocurrencies and their emissions are regularly voiced. Despite this abundant informational and eventful negativity, the fierce cryptozyme was replaced, if not by a cryptolet, then very warm crypto. In the long run, analysts expect a steady increase in the rate of major cryptocurrencies. And in this regard, many seek to “jump into the last cars of the departing train”, having squeezed out the maximum possible profit from mining.

The very expediency of investing in mining is often questioned. Especially a lot of copies break when discussing the profitability of mining Bitcoin, whose network complexity is growing faster than others. Meanwhile, a number of technology companies continue to believe in bitcoin and are producing ever more efficient devices for its mining. Under the cut - an overview of the most successful ASIC manufacturers and the most efficient devices working with the SHA-256 algorithm, as well as expert comments on their future.

Major manufacturers

When choosing a device for mining, it is important to understand who its manufacturer is. Today, there are many fraudulent companies selling pseudo-miners (devices that mimic ASIC miners) on the network.

Therefore, I offer a small overview of existing manufacturers of ASIC miners. The first company to be mentioned is Bitmain. According to CNBC , Bitmain's share of the global ASIC market exceeds 70%. Today they are known as the most successful manufacturer of ASIC equipment. The company was opened in 2013 and in a short time turned into a global giant.

The main brainchild of the company is the world's most popular series of ASIC miners Antminer and the two largest mining pools on the planet Antpool and In addition to popularity, Bitmain is regularly criticized for trying to monopolize Bitcoin mining, open support for Bitcoin Cash, and for actions aimed at eliminating competitors (Antbleed vulnerability and AsicBoost scandal).

Another impressive player was Canaan Creative, which started as an FPGA manufacturer. It is known that the devices of this Canaan Creative account for 20% of the world's bitcoin mining. The manufacturer plans an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company's stock assets are estimated at $ 1 billion.
Bitfury Bitfury is ranked among market veterans. The company appeared back in 2011. Like Bitmain, it itself is engaged in mining and provides up to 5% of hashes in the bitcoin network. The company is known for devices with various computing capacities. The corporation's mining data centers are located in Iceland, Georgia, Canada and Norway.

In addition to pioneering manufacturers, young companies such as Halong Mining are also found on the ASIC market. At the beginning of 2018, a little-known company released DragonMint, one of the most powerful ASIC miners for mining Bitcoin. The company is closely associated with the South Korean corporation Samsung (the latter produces chips used in the miner) and Halong Prolific (developer of Bitcoin Core BtcDrak).

Somewhat more famous are Innosilicon Technology Innosilicon, which develops equipment in the USA and China. They have recently been actively catching up with market leaders. A feature of Innosilicon equipment is its relatively low cost, with high performance. The company is known among miners thanks to a series of ASIC Terminator.

Among the young companies that announced the development of high-performance mining devices, Microbt also stands out. They released devices comparable in performance to market leaders.

In the vastness of our vast, they rarely mention GMO Internet, a Japanese Internet corporation that decided to try its hand at manufacturing mining devices. Despite a relatively modest market share, their devices receive flattering ratings in the community of miners. The last of them was released in October 2018.

Little-known, but promising manufacturers also include the scientific and production telecommunications company Ebang, which creates devices under the Ebit brand. experts believe that the latter will claim the role of Bitmain killers.

Current Bitcoin Mining Devices

Bitmain Antminer S17
One of the most powerful ASIC miners currently existing, created by Bitmain. The peak hash of a device modification called Bitmain Antminer S17 (56Th) reaches 56Th / s with a consumption of 2.52 kW. It is effectively cooled by two coolers. Cases of failure, industrial defects are not widespread, which indicates the relative reliability of the devices.

Terminator t3
Innosilicon's Terminator T3 is considered the main competitor to the Antminer S17 and produces 43 Th / s with a power consumption of 2.1 kW. Today, the device is recognized as one of the most powerful existing ASIC miners. The latest modification of the Innosilicon T3 50T, which appeared in July 2019, claims a huge hash of 50Th / s with an energy consumption of 3100 watts.

DragonMint T1
Halong Mining's DragonMint T1 is considered a device that can perfectly balance performance and power consumption. DragonMint T1 manufacturer claims that with a hashrate of 18 TH / s, power consumption is about 1,500. estimates that one such miner will be highly efficient when using Canadian electricity tariffs. The device is relatively old, and in composite comparative profitability ratings, as a rule, it occupies the twentieth lines.

MicroBT Whatsminer M21S
MicroBT Whatsminer M21S is a device that is able to fight for leadership among those that work with the SHA-256 algorithm. This miner provides a 56Th / s hashrate with an energy consumption of 3360 watts. The miner uses quite quiet cooling, the noise level does not exceed 75 dB.

Bitfury tardis
In the performance ratings from last year, there is a Bitfury Tardis device, which appeared in November 2018. The manufacturer claims 80Th / s, with a colossal hashrate combined with no less monstrous power consumption of 6300 watts. A significant disadvantage of the device is also considered air cooling noise of 80 dB. Which is unlikely to be a problem for industrial mining, but it will definitely add difficulties for those who mine under the bed.

The mysterious “leader” without office and production

Popular comparative profitability ratings, such as , give ASICminer 8 Nano Pro the first place in terms of performance and profitability. The claimed performance is 76Th / s with a power consumption of 4000 W and a noise of 48 dB (the device uses liquid cooling). The manufacturer publishes photographs from production on the site, where the skillful hands of Chinese workers assemble super-powerful devices.

But there is one problem. All attempts to physically discover the company and their production have not yet been crowned with success. So Pandaway representatives tried to find the company’s office at the addresses indicated on the website in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and they were not found. What the corresponding video was recorded about.

Representatives of the company say over the phone that they do not work directly with Russia, China and any other country. At the same time, they offer to order miners on the site. On YouTube, reviews are posted, which states that the devices from ASICminer do not work.

Experts on mining and ASIC miners in 2019

According to Wolfie Zhao, an expert at , demand for miners exceeded supply in June. The growth in total computing power this year was 80%. The expert is confident that this will lead to a significant increase in the complexity of the network in October and will naturally affect the profitability of mining.
Older models of miners will become low-profitable or unprofitable.

BitCluster co-founder Sergei Arestov, in turn, notes that: “the projected increase in complexity and the forthcoming BTC halving in 2020 were expected. It is in connection with this that the development of more productive equipment was intensified. The situation will be fundamentally changed by the 5-nm chips that are currently being developed by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). ”The expert noted that miners should take care of increasing capacity to reduce remuneration.

CNBC broadcaster Joe Kernen is convinced that the Bitcoin halving expected in 285 days will increase its value by 500%. Kernen calls the driving growth factor a mechanism for changing the dynamics of supply and demand, directly related to the blockchain of the first cryptocurrency. In accordance with this forecast, mining will bring indirect profit at the expense of the course, in the long term.

Jordan Tuwiner of buybitcoinworldwide believes that among existing companies, Halong Mining has the greatest chance of ending Bitmain's almost monopolistic dominance. The expert highly appreciates the potential of the company, noting the progress in the cost-effectiveness and performance of their devices. The emergence of two industry leaders, in accordance with this forecast, will inevitably lead to accelerated progress and a constant race of productivity.


I hope that the presented review of devices and manufacturers will be useful. I understand that many people consider mining a risky and unprofitable occupation, which, in many ways, is true. At the same time, it is absurd to deny that for many this risk is justified by probable superprofits. I recommend with great caution to any device from manufacturers without a history. While interest in cryptocurrencies is high, there is a high probability of banal fraud.

Perhaps I forgot to mention any devices on the market that can be effectively used for mining bitcoin in the near future and will remain relevant for a year. Write about them in the comments. I will also be grateful for your opinion on the future of mining in general and the issue of bitcoins in particular.

Crypto assets, including Bitcoin, are extremely volatile (their exchange rate changes frequently and dramatically), exchange speculation is strongly influenced by their exchange rate. Therefore, any investment in cryptocurrency is a serious risk . I would strongly recommend investing in cryptocurrency and maning exclusively to those people who are provided so that in case of loss of investment they do not feel the social consequences. Never invest the last money, targeted significant savings, limited family assets at all costs, including cryptocurrencies.


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