Bitmain to Launch A New Ethereum ASIC Miner, Antminer E9, Later This Year

The largest Bitcoin mining rigs manufacturer, Bitmain, announces a new proof-of-work mining rig for Ethereum. This follows accelerated plans by developers to launch Ethereum 2.0, which will use a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.

A YouTube advertisement by Bitmain, the world’s largest mining equipment manufacturer, announced the release of an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner for Ethereum, Antminer E9. According to the video, the new Antminer E9 will provide an equivalent mining power to 32 “3080 graphic unit cards (GPUs)” widely used by gamers and crypto miners to mine some altcoins.

The latest release comes in light of the Ethereum blockchain preparing to switch from the PoW consensus mechanism to PoS once Eth 2.0 launches sometime next year.

The powerful miner bypasses the ASIC resistant protocols on Ethereum, giving miners over 3 giga-hashes in mining power representing over 30 times hashpower that a good GPU offers the miners. The advertisement further states the ASIC miner consumes 0.85 J/M operating at 2556 W.

Over the past few years, GPU card manufacturers have tried to curtail GPUs for crypto mining with little success. Crypto miners have turned these gaming-specific cards to mining, causing a shortage in the market, hence the move by NVidia, a semiconductor company, to limit Ethereum’s mining hashrate to 50% in its 2020 RTX 2060 software drivers.

However, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) confirmed in March that it is not blocking mining operations on its graphics cards.

A proof-of-stake problem

The release of the Antminer E9 comes at a time the Ethereum community and developers are working on switching the consensus algorithm from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake model. However, Ethereum miners do not seem ready to switch to Ethereum 2.0, even when it launches. The switch is set to reduce the high gas and transaction fees on the blockchain with a possible launch date set next year.

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