New Bitcoin Miner DragonMint aims to Disrupt ASIC Mining
Just like in a fantasy novel, there is a new Dragon on the horizon to challenge its foes. Halong Mining, a tech-startup from China, recently announced its DragonMint 16T Bitcoin miner, which they claim is the most efficient miner yet.
Initially, some in the mining community were skeptical of the announcement. They believed that the new photo of the DragonMint 16T looked photoshopped or fake. Given the number of fake mining products and other scams, the mining community is justified in their initial reaction.
The skepticism eventually ended when Halong shared a video demonstrating the DragonMint on social media.
Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, originally designed it to run as a peer-to-peer network, through a process called mining. Through this model, users on the network receive Bitcoin as compensation for donating their computing power to process transactions on the blockchain.
Fuelled by the potential of making money from Bitcoin mining, developers starting building application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners in 2013. Due to the circuit being application-specific, they are much faster and more efficient at mining than traditional CPUs.
The speed of an ASIC is measured by its computational power, called hash-power. The network adjusts the difficulty of the problem depending on the amount of hash-power directed at the network.
The other vital statistic of an ASIC miner is the J/GH, which is the power consumption used per giga-watt of hash-power. J/GH essentially determines a miners profitability, after electricity costs are subtracted from the money earned by mining Bitcoin.
In December 2016, Halong began researching new ways to improve ASIC mining.
Halong cites their desire to facilitate greater decentralization in the mining community as motivation for the project. Much of the centralization of mining comes from their competitor Bitmain, who are one of the largest bitcoin miners and producers of mining hardware.
The company leveraged more than 100 researchers from across the globe. Each worked together in order to discover ways to improve ASIC, hardware and software design.
This research culminated in the DragonMint 16T, which runs at 85GH per chip with a power efficiency of around 0.075 J/GH. This new computing power is far more efficient than some competitors on the market. For example, the DragonMint’s closest competitor is the Antminer S9 by Bitmain. The Antminer 29 runs at 0.098 J/GHs, making the DragonMint 6T around 30% more efficient.
Halong mining has just completed beta testing and prototyping stage with DragonMint. They’ve also produced a small batch of miners for demonstration purposes. The company expects full-scale production of the miners to take four months. Based on this timeline, they claim the first units will ship in March 2018.
It will be interesting to see how the new miners impact the industry and how its competitors will adapt to meet the new higher efficiency standards.
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