Cryptonight ASIC: How Do These Cryptocurrency Miners Work?
When it comes to cryptocurrency-mining, new resolutions are coming up. It started with CPUs, advanced to GPUS and FPGAs. Today, ASIC miners are the best crypto mining tools, and soon the AMD Vega cards will be phased out—or they will be used less often.
The latest invention in the area of crypto mining is Cryptonight ASIC, which this article is all about.
The New Threat In Crypto Mining Sector
Miners utilizing both CPU and GPU mining technologies are already worried about the Cryptonight ASIC technology, which comes with a faster hash rate and competitive prices.
Besides, mining using small scale CPU or GPUs requires much hashing power from the hardware, yet the profitability is lower based on price of the mined coins. This is a major concern, especially for those who are mining altcoins such as Monero, Electronium, or other coins that utilize the Cryptonight algorithm. Recently, Baikal and Bitmain announced that they would soon introduce ASIC miners for the CryptoNight algorithm.
What Is CryptoNight ASIC?
Well, with the introduction of CryptoNight ASICs, the Vega GPUs that command 2 KH/s might be obsolete. This is because the new set of miners will embrace CryptoNight algorithm and already it looks like they will achieve their goals.
Both Baikal and Bitmain have launched new mining machines—the Giant-N and Antminer x3 respectively. Both machines will be shipping out soon for the Cryptonight algorithm.
To this end, it’s important to understand what Cryptonight ASIC machines are, what they are capable of doing, and how they will disrupt the GPU miners, CPU miners, and gamers.
What Is ASIC?
ASIC is an acronym for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit. It is a digital currency mining machine, which is capable of mining only one algorithm or two at most. ASIC miners are specifically designed for that purpose, unlike the GPU cards. They work really well when it comes to cryptocurrency mining.
The use of ASIC miners can escalate mining difficulties as they push the algorithms and expose the hardware in the gaming rig. This could be seen with the Bitcoin SHA-256 algorithm and recently with the Dash x11 algorithm. It now seems that the Cryptonight’s team is warming towards ASIC miner.
The Giant N-ASIC Miner
Baikal recently unveiled the Giant-N miner, which utilizes Cryptonight ASIC technology. Operating on Cryptonight and Cryptonight-light miner, this machine is capable of producing hash rates of 20 and 40 KH/z on the two algorithms respectively.
This is nearly ten times more powerful than the best GPU mining machine, which can manage just about 2KH/z. In addition to the higher hash rates, this miner will use low power compared to the GPU versions, which consume much more power during mining. The Giant-N is going to be one of the most efficient miners in the market.
As far as weight goes, the machine is more compact, weighing just 1.8Kg. What’s more, it comes with a warranty of 45 days. Customers can inquire about the price of the miner from Baikal through e-mail.
Based on information gleaned from Cryptocurrency News, one miner sells for $3600. However, Baikal sells the machines in batches of six, which means buyers will have to dispense with $21600 for a batch.
However, if you considered buying one machine at $3600, your return would be as follows:
- Mining Monero yields $16 per day
- Mining Electronium yields $17.42 per day
- Mining Sumocoin yields $15.37 per day
These figures are based on information from whattomine.com, calculating electricity consumption cost at $0.12/Kw/hour. Now, taking $17.40 as the highest return, this can take up to 208 days. The return can also be lower, based on the type of coin. The Giant-N miner will generate good returns in the shortest time.
Bitmain’s Antminer x3
All the same, if you’re looking at power consumption, Bitmain’s new model, the Antminer x3, could be the best solution. Bitmain is a renowned producer of the best ASIC miners in the market. The Antminer x3 will hit the market in May 2018.
It will be one of the crypto mining machines to utilize the Cryptonight algorithm. However, it comes on a different category of its own. The x3 model can produce huge hash rates of up to 220KH/z, which is more than ten times what the Giant-N can do. On matters portability, the machine is relatively heavier, weighing up to 7Kg or nearly 16 pounds. The price is equally unattractive, at $11999. However, it comes with a warranty of 180 days, which starts from the date of shipping.
With the same calculations we used in the Giant-N example, the return for the x3 model can be as follows:
- Mining Monero yields $174.99 per day
- Mining Electronium yields $188.45 per day
- Mining Sumocoin yields $173. 37 per day
Taking $188 as the highest return, the x3 model will deliver the ROI in just more than 64 days. This is amazing for those who can afford the machine. All the same, when calculating profit in the crypto world, keep in mind that prices are highly volatile, and can change by the time you acquire the machine. That could affect your results in a positive or negative manner.
Effect Of ASIC On Mining
When a surge of power gets into the mining network, mining difficulties hit the roof. The increase in difficulty implies that it’s difficult to get the coins you’re mining and in the end, you get fewer.
With fewer coins, you’ll get lower returns. In some instances, the price of the coin might increase to balance the lower coin output, as witnessed with Bitcoin in the past. However, unless there is massive price increase in the coins, the mining activity will eat up nearly all the expected profit.
Therefore, for those who still keep their GPU and CPU miners, things might get a bit tougher with the introduction of Cryptonight ASIC miners.
For those who are familiar with the term ‘ASIC resistance,’ it implies just what it sounds like.
The ASIC algorithm is hard to design and often requires memory or other components, which are too expensive or quite difficult to execute into ASIC miners even though they are available in other consumer machines. As such, there are ASIC-resistant coins that cannot work with the machines.
Another thing about cryptocurrency is that it operates on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, in which no third party controls it. However, with the introduction of the ASIC miners into the network, the machines will be in the hands of those who can actually afford to own the machines. In the end, it could easily shift the goal of cryptocurrency, which is decentralization.
Overall Benefits ASIC Miners
Mining with ASIC comes with both benefits and downsides. It is important to examine both areas so you can know if and when it’s appropriate to use the machines in crypto mining. The following are the notable benefits of ASIC miners.
- Compact form—they are smaller and compact compared to GPU miners. This makes them take up less space.
- Easy to use—with pre-built complete setups, what you need to get started is just a power supply unit.
- High ROI—the latest models of ASIC miners can deliver higher ROI than their GPU counterparts.
- More powerful than GPU miners
Common Downsides Of ASIC Miners
- Poor resale value—they are coin-specific machines. As such, you cannot use them for other computational activities than the ones they are designed for.
- Becomes obsolete with the introduction of a new model
- Limited availability—this makes them difficult to acquire
- Poor warranty—their warranty lasts only up to 180 days depending on the model you choose. GPU miners have a warranty of between 3 and 5 years.
- They are noisy—with very high hash rates, their fans produce a lot of noise during mining, up to 70dB.
Cryptonight ASIC Final Thoughts
If you can access the Cryptonight ASIC miners, it is advisable to get them for your crypto mining activities. This follows the advantages cited in this article. Above all, the machines are ideal if you want to run crypto mining as a business and more professionally. Finally, the crypto market is highly volatile and we advise that you should invest in what you can afford to lose.