Mining Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and other coins has become increasingly more difficult as their quantity reduces, rendering most of the earlier developed miners useless. Most tech companies have been busy trying out new ideas to develop new and more powerful machines that will match or surpass the mining difficulty of these coins.
Bitmain Releases Ethash ASIC Miner
China’s tech giant, Bitmain, has announced that it will be releasing world’s most powerful Ethash miner that will be able to efficiently mine all coins, including ETH using the Proof-of-Work (PoW) hashing algorithm. Bitmain confirmed the release via a tweet:
We are pleased to announce the Antiminer E3, world’s most powerful and efficient Ethash ASIC miner.
This announcement confirmed the much-awaited speculation that the company was developing strong ASIC miners.
China Miners Locked Out
Bitmain said that this miner will retail at $800 for one machine and will be limited to one machine per person. However, they are not available for individuals in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau. The company will be accepting payments in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and US dollars only.
What’s Next for Ethereum?
Most developers have been working hard to prevent centralization of mining by a few companies or individuals. The goal has been to keep the cryptocurrency industry as decentralized as possible, enabling everyone with a general-purpose computer to play a role in the mining process.
This development does not seem to have startled ETH developer Vitalik Buterin or the Ethereum community. Buterin not long ago asserted that it would be difficult for algorithms that limit mining rewards to stay immune to the ASIC miners.
The Way Forward
Following this development, some peers in the Ethereum community have suggested a change in the code to offset the miners’ ability, but the lead developer, Buterin, is yet to comment on the next step to take after the miners’ launch. He seems confident that the miners’ achievement will be short lived. He has before been quoted saying:
I’m not convinced it’s worth expending resources caring too much, except to push faster on Casper.
Furthermore, Ethereum engineers have been working in the background to prevent such an occurrence. If Bitmain has been using these miners privately, it may force Ethereum to execute a hard fork to render those miners unusable. This, however, is just speculation as Ethereum has been working towards leaving the PoW algorithm altogether. It remains to be seen what will happen in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Quartz Media
Do you think the Antiminer E3 miners will force Ethereum to execute a hard fork? Does Ethereum have a counter measure to Bitmain Ethash miners? Let us know what you think.