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Introduction

Quite possibly an industry on its own, the cryptocurrency mining industry has transformed how people view incentives. Slowly, but steadily, it has developed into a sector of immense competition, cut-throat cost structure, and most importantly, a lot of innovation in chipset design. Despite the concentration of hashing power, the increasing difficulty and diminishing returns, in some cases it can still be profitable to mint coins as an amateur miner, probably the most honest way to earn some digital cash.

With the bitcoin blockchain’s total hash rate on its way to reaching a quadrillion hashes (10^15) or 100,000 Tera hashes soon, it is obvious that the difficulty of mining a block will rise along with it. To cope up with the ever-increasing demand for efficiency and speed, the innovators need to find new and better means of calculating before their current machines become obsolete in the new paradigm.

The more powerful the hardware, the more the electricity you consume. Before purchasing any mining hardware, you should consider the electricity consumption rating in watts, which will enable you to work out the costs of energy consumed by the unit and will help you determine the viability of bitcoin mining using the said hardware. To help our readers in understanding the manufacturers of the mining rigs and choosing the best rig out there, we have complained a list below, that takes all the characters into account and gives the best-informed opinion, based in relevant facts. 

The Big Players

  1. Bitmain

About Bitmain

Bitmain is the biggest name in cryptocurrency mining industry. Bitmain, a China-based mining rig manufacturer founded in 2013 broke all conceivable record by surpassing Nvidia and AMD to become the second-largest chip manufacturer in the world. It also clocked in a revenue of $10Bn, beating Nvidia by almost 40%. In just 5 years, Bitmain jumped from being a Nerd money rig manufacturer to one of the biggest hardware manufacturers in the world. Tending to an incredibly small segment of the market – bitcoin miners, somehow Bitmain managed to amass huge revenue. Artificial Intelligence and server farming to rent computing power are where a huge portion of Bitmain’s R&D budget is being funnelled. 

The company recently announced the release of two new editions to the already existing S17 series of bitcoin miners. The S17 class was released in March this year as an update to the S15 series, to cope up with the increasing hash rate and difficulty of the Bitcoin blockchain. 

Recently, Bitmain has officially increased its production capacity up by 50%. This will up the dominance of Bitman in the mining market and cement its status as the biggest player in bitcoin’s rewarding mechanism.

Rigs to Lookout

The new miners, S17e and T17e boast a newly improved hash rate of 64 TH/s and 53 TH/s respectively, with much greater power efficiency than its predecessors. This will help miners pool together and make more calculations per second than their competitors, thereby increasing the chance of finding a block. The Antminer S17 comes in two different models each having two mining modes — low-power mode and normal mode. However, the PRO version of the S17 features three mining modes — low power, normal, and turbo mode. The Antminer T17 is a stripped-down version of the S17 with less hash rate, but also less power consumption.

There is no single mining rig out there that can compete with Bitmain in terms of efficiency and cost-to-hash output. In simple words, you get more rewards out of your investment by opting for Bitmain produced mining rigs. 

The only drawback with Bitmain’s flagship products is their tendency to produce huge noises in the vicinity. For that reason, running a pool of Bitmain mining rigs is usually discouraged by people living nearby the pools. Bitmain mining pools are generally constructed in remote areas, with abundant electricity and little or none civilian population nearby. 

Price $1622
Hashrate 64 TH/s
Electricity Usage 2520 W
Efficiency ~95%
Price $1735
Hashrate 60 TH/s
Electricity Usage 2920 W
Efficiency ~95%

2. Cannan

About Cannan

Positioning itself as the biggest competitor to Bitmain, Cannan is one of the leading manufacturers of Cryptocurrency Mining Equipments. Along with building Bitcoin-based ASIC miners, Cannan also provides mining machines for other consensus protocols such as Equihash for Ethereum based tokens, X11 for Dash and so on. Canaan Creative, known simply as Canaan, is a China-based computer hardware manufacturer. The company was first established in 2013 by Bitcoin whale N.G. Zhang. Initially, the company was the largest provider of FPGA based graphic cards and machines, and slowly shifted their focus to better ASIC machines as the difficulty of the Bitcoin Blockchain increased. 

“From the very first SHA-256 based upon FPGA technology to the Avalon Blockchain ASIC, Canaan continues to innovate by producing custom designed ASIC microprocessors” proclaims the official Company Website. 

In 2018, Cannan pushed boundaries even further when they became the biggest mass producers of the world’s first independently innovated 7nm chip, which made the efficiency of Bitcoin miners close to a 100%, effectively increasing demand for their products. Other manufacturers immediately followed suited by adopting the same technique. Besides being more compact, allowing to fit more transistors in one chip, this new technology offers a wide array of other benefits that translate into better power efficiency and increased performance, among others.

Rigs to Lookout

The recently announced 11 series of Cannan’s flagship Avalon miners have become a sort of industry standard. The new Avalon 1146 and Avalon 1166 are the top-of-the-range when it comes to Bitcoin mining equipment. All of the new Avalon rigs come equipped with the company’s latest innovation – 7nm chips. 

The new advanced – the Avalon Miner A1166 – will reach 70 TH/s with the same consumption, reaching an efficiency of 47 Watts per TH, practically close to that offered by the current solutions of the manufacturer Bitmain, until now considered the most efficient ASICs for bitcoin mining. The Avalon 1146 series especially gives a tough competition to Bitmain’s S17 series as the 1146 is cheaper and more efficient than the latter. Although it consumes more energy than its Bitmain counterpart, it makes it up with the decreased cost. 

Price $1978 per rig
Hashrate 68 TH/s
Electricity Usage 3196 W
Efficiency ~ 97%
Price $1204
Hashrate 56 TH/s
Electricity Usage 3192 W
Efficiency ~ 94%

3. Innosilicon

About Innosilicon

INNOSILICON miners are designed to be long-lasting, with many improvement over its predecessors for longevity. It adopts state-of-the-art innovative dynamic frequency scaling technology and an extra cooling system for added efficiency and reliability. But it might not prove to be as beneficial as the difficulty increase will keep pushing the bar for calculations per second.

“Innosilicon’s main advantages are in providing: low cost, high-performance, cross-foundry, fully customizable solutions combined with our award winning customer design support.”

Apart from being an industry leaders in Bitcoin specific Mining Rigs, Innosilicon also specializes in other variants such as Ethash, Equihash, Scrypt, Cuckatoo, X11, CryptoNight and Blake256 Concensus variants.

Rigs to Lookout

Although not high in compute speed, the Innosilicon T3 is one of the most durable mining rigs out there. With enough compute power to compete the likes of Whatsminer M21S in both price and efficiency, the T3 variant is definitely one to look out for. Innosilicon miners are generally known for their long lasting capability, breaking down rarely, if at all.

The T3T variant is a low cost alternative to the major players. Its cheap price and low consumption powers allows it to be easily accessible to retail and individual buyers who would like to take a piece of the cake with the extra cash they can spare.

  • Innosilicon T3+
Price $2310
Hashrate 57 Th/s
Electricity Usage 3300 W
Efficiency ~ 93%
  • Innosilicon T2T – 30 TH/s
Price $1035
Hashrate 30 TH/s
Electricity Usage 2200 W
Efficiency ~96%

4. Whatsminer 

About Whatsminer

Shenzhen-based crypto mining chip manufacturer MicroBT is emerging as a strong player in the industry. To counter Bitmain’s Antminer, MicroBT has unveiled the Whatsminer which the company calls as a major “game-changer”. Kristy-Leigh Minehan, chief technology officer at Core Scientific, noted that besides performance and power efficiency, price is another factor Bitmain needs to work on with the growing competition as the Whatsminer M20S gives the industry leader some tough competition when it comes to ROI on the newest miners. 

The company expected revenues upwards of $400 million in Q3 of 2019 alone, as the demand for mining equipment skyrockets. 

Allegation were made by Bitmain, when the founder of MicroBT, the holding company of Whatsminer, was held on Nov. 8, 2019, by Shenzhen Police. He was taken in for questioning with regards to copyright infringement complains by its competitor. Police likely questioned Zuoxing Yang over allegations of intellectual property infringement regarding the technology of Bitmain.

Rigs to Lookout

Price $2700
Hashrate 68 TH/s
Electricity Usage 3300 W
Efficiency ~ 95%
Price $1740
Hashrate 56 TH/s
Electricity Usage 3360 W
Efficiency ~ 90%

The BEST Rigs in the Market

  1. Bitmain S17e

Positioning itself as the company’s flagship product, Bitmain’s latest product, the S17 series is definitely the best mining rig in the market. Its cost, efficiency, cost-per-hash are virtually unbeatable in the market. It will take a major innovation in mining mechanics for any of the other competitors to at least hope to achieve Bitmain’s monopoly in the mining market. Although Cannan’s recent announcement of 7nm chips is considered by many as that major move. 

  1. Cannan Avalon 1146

Since its announcement in late 2019, the community has been eagerly waiting for the release of Avalon 1146 series. Its first shipment is said to be delivered in late January 2020. The Avalon 1146 has become one of the most popular Bitcoin mining hardware because of its lower power consumption factor. The power supply unit recommended for utilization of the 1146 variant is one of the best available in the market, designed specifically for Bitcoin mining. The efficiency of the rig depends on the effectiveness of the ambient temperature and the power supply used.

As the product is yet to be shipped, the true profitability is yet uncertain, but that’s not to say that the new 7nm chips won’t do their magic. 

  • Innosilicon T2T

The Innosilicon variant is the best alternative when it comes to low cost, but effective mining rigs. Time and again, Innosilicon has proven itself to be reliable and trusted in the mining industry, and the T2T will not disappoint with that regard. The T2T is poised for small and medium investors who are looking for an entry into the bitcoin mining market but cannot shell out money as much as the institutional clients. 

Bitcoin Mining is a long game, that needs patience, trust and technical skills. Even though the profitability in some or all of the rigs might not be as much as one was promised, in the long run, possessing bitcoin that was earned through the Bitcoin mining mechanism would prove to be extremely fruitful, as Bitcoin poses itself to read greater heights. 

Note:

  1. Cost – Per unit cost of the mining machine as mentioned on their respective websites
  2. Hashrate – The computation power of each machine. 1 TH/s = 1 Trillion hashes per second (1,000,000,000,000 per second)
  3. Electricity usage – The amount of energy consumed by each machine. The unit is denoted in Watts (W)
  4. Efficiency – The ratio of the amount of energy consumed and the output in TH
  5. Each machine has been carefully analyzed to give the best information available to the reader. The website does not guarantee the legitimacy of the information provided. The information is for educational purposes only. 
  6. All profitability reports are provided by asicminervalue.com
  7. Note that the profitability is based on the price of Bitcoin on 11/11/19. The values may vary hugely with respect to changes in the price

Resources:

Bitmain | Cannan | Whatsminer | Innosilicon


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Sudarshan M

Sudarshan M is a long time crypto-enthusiast. Pulled in by bitcoin early on, it didn’t take long for Sudarshan to divert all of his academic attention from business studies to blockchain by doing his Masters and eventually pursuing his PhD in the subject. He is currently a researcher at the University of Nicosia. He is also the author of two research papers and a book on Blockchain’s future in Education titled: An Academic Overview of Blockchain - Applications in Educational Institutions. Sudarshan is an entrepreneur, blogger, educator, researcher and an avid proponent of Dogecoin. Such coin, Much wow.

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