A surprise was in store for SiaCoin community, as it seems that BitMain already has a working ASIC miner for the Blake (2b) mining algorithm and they have announced their plans to start shipping the Antminer A3.
The first batch is already sold out - in moments after the official announcement from Bitmain - and the first users will start to receive their orders in less than a weeks time.
The Blake 2b crypto algorithm is currently being used by SiaCoin (SC), and last year there was a pre-order for an official SiaCoin ASIC miner the Obelisk SC1. BitMain’s ASIC miner, however, seems to be arriving much earlier with similar specifications and price, so anyone that has pre-ordered an Obelisk SC1 are outraged according to the reactions gathered from social media across the board.
On the other hand, people that are interested in getting into mining SiaCoin and missed their chance with the pre-order might order now from BitMain and get the device shipped in 10 days after payment according to the company.
BitMain Antminer A3 Specifications:
– Product model: A3
– Hash ASIC type: BM1720
– Hashing algorithm: Blake(2b)
– Total quantity of hash chips: 180 chips
– Total quantity of hash boards: 3 boards per miner
– Total hash rate: 815 GHS ±5%
– DC voltage input: 11.60~13.00 V
– DC current input @12V DC: 98.8 A +7%
– DC Power @12V DC input: 1186 W +7%
– 220VAC Power @25℃, 93% conversion efficiency of APW3: 1275 W + 7%
– 220VAC Power efficiency @25℃,93% conversion efficiency of APW3: 1.56 mJ/MH + 7%
– Weight (without package): 4.2 kg
– Operation temperature: 0-40
– Storage temperature: -40-85
– Operation humidity: 5%RH – 95%RH, prevent condensation
– Noise: 76 dB
– Networking connection mode: Ethernet Cable
– Power connection mode: All three PCI-E ports are required to power the board. You can use one PSU to power multiple boards, but do not attempt to power one board with two PSUs. We suggest preventing the control board to be powered up before hash boards be powered up.
– Size (Length*Width*Height, without package): 321mm*125mm*208mm
The Sia developers are not happy at all with the move from Bitmain, quoting from Reddit
We, the dev team, are not happy that Bitmain has made an ASIC for Sia. We are not happy that many Sia supporters are at risk of losing money by buying these miners (from over-saturation), and we are not happy that Bitmain may choose to interfere with our network. This is not a commentary on general ASIC companies, this is a commentary on Bitmain specifically.
They (Developers) also specifically said they have foreseen such an event, and have a failsafe in place.
We did add an extra feature to the SC1 unit that would allow us to invalidate the Bitmain hardware without invalidating the SC1. The community would need to choose to adopt a soft-fork (it's not something we could just magically activate, we have to change the hashing algorithm slightly), and then we could get rid of this cycle of Bitmain hardware. Of course, they could just create another round of hardware (likely taking ~3 months). And, it would hurt Bitmain customers more than it would hurt Bitmain. Bitmain has already sold around $20 million of non-refundable hardware. They have made their profit, and a soft-fork wouldn't change that.
Here is the full announcement of Sia developers in reddit.