The bitcoin community buzzing this week after the announcement of a new miner called DragonMint.
That miner was created by long-time Bitcoin Core contributor BtcDrak. BtcDrak announced the miner on November 22. The goal of DragonMint is to compete with Bitmain’s popular series of miners – including the powerful Antminer S9.
As Coingeek explained in their writeup, Dragomint wants to “overthrow mining colossus Bitmain’s reign over the mining hardware industry.”
DragonMint will begin its quest by launching its flagship model, the 16T, described as “the world’s most efficient bitcoin miner.” It purportedly runs faster and cooler “than any competing miners”.
The first DragonMint 16T miners will ship in March 2018.
It’s not totally clear how much of the market Bitmain currently controls – after all, Bitmain doesn’t really have a close competitor, and the market is changing every day. However, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu claims that they supply over 70% of bitcoin mining rigs worldwide, and the company’s Antpool mining pool possesses about 18% of the bitcoin (BTC) hashrate.
If DragonMint succeeds, it would be good news for the bitcoin mining industry. Monopolies are never good for consumers.
Who’s Behind DragonMint?
DragonMint was announced with a tweet on November 22. Developer Halong Mining announced plans to “make SHA256 great again”. The goal is to introduce “much needed competition” to the market.
Obviously, there’s a bit of history behind this upcoming competition: over the past few months, Bitcoin Core developers clashed with Bitmain over bitcoin’s scaling problem. Bitcoin’s legacy chain, BTC, continues to work with SegWit, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has successfully scaled up to a default blocksize of 8MB.
Ultimately, there isn’t much information about “Halong Mining” available online at this time. However, the public face of the DragonMint initiative continues to be BtcDrak, the longest-running developer on the Bitcoin Core team. Some members of the community are still hesitant to give money to Halong Mining. Aside from 5 tweets posted online, the company has provided limited information about itself.
Development of the DragonMint miner reportedly began in December 2016. Over 100 world class experts and leaders in their respective fields contributed to the project. Those experts included chip designers, electronic hardware specialists, and software developers.
The DragonMint 16T Release Date
You can view more information about the miner at HalongMining.com, although limited information is available online. We don’t have a full list of tech specs for the miner. All of this information is scheduled to be released in the near future.
The company’s Twitter account, meanwhile, is occasionally posting photos and videos of what appears to be the miner in action.
The company is accepting preorders at this time. However, producing miners from scratch takes around 4 months, including the manufacturing of the silicon chips. DragonMint’s team claims “complexity and costs” are driving the long production times.
The first batch of DragonMint 16T miners is scheduled for delivery in March 2018.
Blockstream Announces E10 Miner Hours after the DragonMint Announcement
Bitmain attracted two new competitors in a single day. Just hours after the DragonMint announcement, Blockstream CSO Samson Mow announced a miner called the E10 in a tweet.
Mow, in that tweet, described how “The Antminer S9 is now obsolete” and that “miners are very excited” for the launch of the E10. That miner is also designed to tackle the Bitmain monopoly over the industry.
DragonMint 16 Announcement Conclusion
Obviously, a number of major bitcoin mining hardware companies have risen and fallen over the years. Bitmain has remained on top. However, new competition from the DragonMint and E10 miners lets Bitmain know that it’s not alone. We’ll see if these miners are successful – or if they suffer the same fate as other miners released in recent years.