Recent Rise in Bitcoin (BTC) Price Pushes Secondhand Used Mining Rigs Costs Sky High
The market is moving quickly to take advantage of the increasing price of Bitcoin. April has been great to anyone who is mining Bitcoin, but those who were thinking to get into the game right now are claiming that prices are getting ridiculous.
Second-Hand Miner Prices Have Doubled
Secondhand mining rigs such as the Antminer S9 have become far too expensive compared to just a few weeks ago. Prices were reported to be around $140 for the popular secondhand miner that outputs around 14 terahashes per second (TH/s) in March but have slowly reached $250 in the current market. This represents a price of $17.5 per terahash which is still acceptable for many miners.
However, a slightly more powerful version of the S9, which does 14.5 TH/s has been going for between $280 and $320, which puts the value per terahash at around $22. Very few people or companies are willing to pay more than $23 per terahash, and all signs point to the secondhand market only increasing in price.
There has been a widespread annoyance in the Chinese crypto mining community at the sellers of secondhand goods. Many of them have suddenly gone “out of stock,” and the community believes they are lying about their stock. The vast majority of Chinese crypto mining veterans believe that the suppliers are stockpiling older miners and waiting for prices to increase further.
This would then kick off a bidding war where they would be able to profit handsomely off the sale of used goods. The community knows that it cannot do anything but sit and wait, however, the practices are driving people straight to the arms of manufacturers who have taken advantage of new fabrication processes to increase terahashes per second and power efficiency so that they are worth more than ever.
Bitmain Ready But Competitors Need To Catch Up
Bitmain, the most popular manufacturer of Bitcoin ASIC miners, has recently released a slew of new products. The crowning achievement is the Antminer T17 which was recently released amid much fanfare. Bitmain has once again trumped all it's rivals ahead of what looks like a busy summer for crypto-miners. The T17 is based on 7nm fabrication technology and is the most power efficient ASIC yet. It has enough juice to run 40 TH/s on a 2200W power supply. It costs in the region of $1300 and most importantly it is available just before the big summer rush. Both Avalon and Whatsminer are releasing their own, though Whatsminer will be somewhat late to the party as they are only able to release in August 2019.
What is the big summer rush? China gets very wet during the summer, and this allows hydropower to increase significantly. The prices plummet for the duration of summer, and that is when crypto miners expect the biggest profits. This, combined with the rising price of Bitcoin, has to lead many in the industry to believe that a massive wave of computing power is on its way. Some say that it might even rival the peak computing power that was set in August of 2018.
The hashrate in August of last year reached 60 EH/s (which is roughly equivalent to 60 million terahashes per second), and many in the industry can see this being topped this summer as the prices for electricity plummet. The electricity price combined with the increase in miners being bought, both new and second hand, is definitely pointing to a new peak. Some go so far as to say that we could see 70 EH/s.
If 70 EH/s is reached, then it would require 220 thousand new miners (Antminer T17/S17) or approximately 700 thousand secondhand miners (the Antminer S9 that is proving so popular currently in China). The likely scenario is that a combination f these will see the goal of 70 EH/s met at least by the end of summer. It would all depend on Bitmain being able to meet the demand for its new products. The secondhand retailers would also need to stop stockpiling and eventually sell, which many are expecting some time near the beginning of the wet season when demand for older miners will be at its highest.
All this is because of Bitcoin's April bull rally and who knows how much more it will impact hardware sales if it continues to rise. The new fabrication processes from TSMC and others will definitely see a massive boost to compute power overall and will start slowly to render older chipsets redundant.