Tech 6 November 2018Erik Gibbs
Bitmain announces new mining chip, shies away from details
Chinese cryptocurrency mining manufacturing giant Bitmain has introduced two new mining options to its Antminer line. They’re both reportedly 7 nanometer (nm) miners, which is about all the company offered in the way of details.
In a Twitter post yesterday, Bitmain announced the launch of the miners, stating, “We are officially announcing the release of our new 7nm miners which possess industry-leading hash rates designed to mine with the SHA256 algorithm. Two models will be offered, the Antminer S15 and T15. Available for purchase on 11/8 [Nov. 8].”
“Industry-leading hash rates” don’t really indicate anything. Looking at the company’s website, there didn’t appear to be any new information, either, and the picture provided to represent the equipment is nothing more than a silhouette of what looks to be part of a normal mining rig.
It seems a little odd that the company would be pushing out new miners without offering any specifications. Squire released full details on a mining option that isn’t even ready to be distributed yet.
This would seem to be more of a ploy to generate interest in the company’s impending, and delayed, initial public offering (IPO), than an announcement of a spectacular advance in the world of cryptocurrency mining. With a large chunk of its assets tied up in product that it hasn’t been able to move due to a decline in mining interest globally, offering new mining options seems to be counterproductive to increasing the company’s profit margin.
Only two days ago, reports surfaced that Bitmain could be close to losing several agreements with suppliers of chips for its mining equipment. It reportedly owed the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company $1 billion, of which it was able to (finally) repay $700,000. It still has to pay the $300,000 balance. Accumulating debt of $1 billion doesn’t seem to be a solid financial decision.
The growing amount of debt, the number of false representations the company has made and a loss of control of market share are taking a serious toll on the company. Its planned IPO, and an application filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the IPO, have been called into question and are seriously questioning the legitimacy and financial integrity of the company.
It might be time to put the clamps down on the company and allow regulators to take an in-depth look at how viable the company is before allowing it to move forward.
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