Its finally happened, earlier Monero (Cryptonight) and now it’s Ethereum (Ethash). Ethash algorithm is memory intensive and it is proven to be ASIC resistant. For a long time there were only CPU and GPU miners, but not anymore. Now GPU miners has got a new competitor.
In the name of F3 there were several rumors, leaks and discussions went on through forums regarding this Ethereum ASIC miners and Ethash ASIC machines. It’s not F3 but E3. Well the Chinese mining company Bitmain has officially announced Antminer E3 on Tuesday, April 3rd 2018. World’s most powerful and efficient Ethereum ASIC miner to mine Ethash coins.
Bitmain Antminer E3 – Ethereum ASIC miner
Bitmain is a Chinese mining company that is known to develop and sell Bitcoin and Litecoin miners. Recently they announced a new ASIC machine (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) Antminer E3 to mine Ethereum which was formerly ASIC resistant until this release. Some may be excited about the news but most miners are concerned that this machine may make GPU mining obsolete. Is it going to destroy Ethereum GPU mining scene and will it lead to centralization of miners? Let’s see.
Here is their official announcement on Twitter about Antminer E3
We are pleased to announce the Antminer E3, world’s most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner.
Ordering limit of one miner per user and not available in China.
Limited stock, order here now: https://t.co/Zfw3afjJHs#antminerE3 pic.twitter.com/SjHu2eUThp
— BITMAIN (@BITMAINtech) April 3, 2018
Bitmain’s Antiminer E3 is the very first ASIC machine that is capable of mining Ethereum. Not just ETH but any coins that uses Ethash / Dagger-Hashimoto Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm. These machines have not reached the market yet. However it looks like Bitmain has been using them privately and according the company these are the specifications of the miner.
Antminer E3 Specifications
Hashing algorithm: Ethash
Hashrate: 180 MH/S
Power Consumption: 800 Watts
Weight: 13 KG
Price: 800 USD
Warranty: 180 Days
Antminer E3, Batch 1 is scheduled to ship between July 16th to July 31st. The payment method will be Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or USD wire transfer and they’ve now limited the quantity to 5 miners per user.
Is Antminer E3 worth it?
Looking at the hashrate and power consumption if you compare it with GPU its more or less 6 GPU regular mining rig for Ethereum. If you do a math 180 MH/S is just 6 x NVIDIA GTX 1070 or 6 x AMD RX 580s or 480s. The price of 6 GPUs along with MOBO, PSU and other components may seem more than this machine however there are many drawbacks with ASICs. Also there is huge risk factor in buying this machine considering that you won’t have it hand until July.
We don’t like the whole concept of ASIC machines (just our opinion) and so we never brought one. Also we’ve seen and heard so many people getting wrecked. These companies are known to SCAM people so be careful. If you are the one who is looking to invest in Antminer E3 then here are few points that you must note.
- There is only 180 days warranty period for this Machine
- If you order Today you won’t get it for next 100 days, Just imagine what will happen if ETH hard forks.
- You are clearly not getting a new machine. In the name of testing; companies like this will use the their machines to mine for extended period of time. These used machines is what sold to their customers.
- Only the Antminer E3 cost is 800 USD. However there are other charges which you must consider such as Shipping cost, custom charges, tax etc.
- Basically ASIC machines are known to produce more heat and sound
After hearing this announcement many miners in the community has already proposed to hard fork ETH protocol to invalidate ASICs (Source: https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/958). So soon we may hear a fork or spec changes similar to what Monero (XMR) and Electroneum (algo change to CryptoNightv7) did to combat Cryptonight ASIC machines. Also for years Ethereum is planning to switch its consensus to Proof-of-Stake. If that happens you can use your GPUs for other purpose but this Antminer E3 will just become another paper weight. Or at least you can use it mine other Ethash coins like Pirl which said they are not going to fork.
Do you think Ethereum will fork or change its consensus? Will this new Ethereum ASIC machine reduce the demand for Graphic Cards? Feel free to share your opinion in comments section.