What was once a rumor was confirmed today. The shadowy Bitmain’s Ethash miner that everyone feared has come to be. Today, the Antminer E3 appeared at last on the shop site of the mining hardware giant Bitmain, confirming the assumption that we made on our earlier articles “Is Ethereum Forking Itself Away From Bitmain“, where we examined the possibility of Ethereum forking to avoid centralization, and “Bitmain Ready To Launch Ethereum Miner; Mining Landscape Changing” in which we announced the possible launch.
The miner, called the E3, is presented as the first ASIC hardware to break the Ethash algorithm, known for its resilience. According to the page of the product on Bitmain’s website, the rig has a high hash rate of 180 M/H, while needing a PSU of 800W. The price listed is $800, making this ASIC vastly cheaper than an equivalent GPU rig; and more efficient too. The first batch will be shipped between July 16 and July 31; every unit weights 13 kilograms.
Bitmain will surely disrupt the market with the launch of this miner. Graphics Card vendors like NVIDIA and AMD will surely lose sales due to this new ASIC. Jensen Huang, addressed the subject of the mining market slump earlier this week on an interview and said that cryptocurrency mining was not their core business, like foreshadowing what is happening now on the market. Maybe he already knew about this issue and tried to minimize the importance of it over his company.
Now we will see how the development community of Ethereum will react to this launch. This is no rumor anymore, and the community was divided even after confirming this. Most are in favor of a fork, according to most Reddit threads. But nothing has been announced yet; and it seems that Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder is busy with other matters, such as calling Craig Wright a fraud publicly. BTCNN will keep an eye on the next developments and actions following this launch.