Beijing-based Bitmain’s decision to use 5nm chips in its new mining rigs met with some backlash from block reward miners and widespread industry skepticism concerning recently returned Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan’s new product.
According to Decrypt, some customers are reportedly unhappy with the power output, efficiency, and a potential delay in delivering Bitmain’s latest mining rigs. A few have claimed that the older second-hand models provide better value in terms of power, efficiency, and output.
There is a potential for severe problems to occur given the chip’s size, alongside little guarantee if the new miners could perform to the current products’ level. Scant few signed up to purchase mining rigs containing the new chip and place them into production per online reports.
Well-known blockchain journalist Colin Wu further substantiated these concerns in a post on Twitter, stating there is a worry that Zhan could even sell problematic chips in some quarters.
Exclusive:Bitmain’s Micree is selling the world’s first 5nm chip mining machine to Chinese miners, which requires advance payment and will be shipped in January next year, but the miners are afraid to buy it. Mircee is suspected of selling some problematic chips. pic.twitter.com/KmF5VdrfbD
— Colin Wu（WuBlockchain） (@WuBlockchain) September 9, 2020
Zhan rival and former co-founding partner Jihan Wu published a blog post stating that “Micree is now close to bankrupt, so he cheated the customers and sold problematic mining machines in order to withdraw funds.”
Thomas Heller, formerly the Global Business Director of mining giant F2Pool, went on record confirming the overwhelming lack of interest in the 5nm powered mining rigs. Heller state that it’s a risky bet to take a massive gamble on the new 5nm machines since other options, and even second-hand alternatives, are still available from ASIC manufacturers, or secondary resell markets.
Whit Gibbs, CEO of Hashr8, noted that Wu and Zhan’s prolonged power struggle has also affected the company’s production efficiency. While the 5nm chips might arouse block reward miners’ interest, he doubts smart block reward miners would allocate considerable capital to this run of unproven chips.
Gibbs further notes it is hard to put faith in Bitmain considering how its internal feud has led to delayed orders. He adds, “I don’t believe many miners would be willing to risk their operations on it.”
Further highlighting Bitmain’s internal dysfunction, in response to Zhan’s announcement, Wu put out a statement on Antminer’s official WeChat account downplaying the pre-sale release of the 5nm powered mining rigs.
“The announcement stated that recently, the Bitmain Group noticed that ZHAN Ketuan released the pre-sale information of the new 5nm products in the name of Beijing Bitmain Technology Co., Ltd. However, 5nm products are still in the research and development, and verification stage and will not be available in the market in the short term. “
Wu’s clarification continues along with taking a few subliminal shots at Zhan, stating:
“In order to prevent customers from being deceived, Bitmain Group hereby made this declaration. 5nm is the latest chip production process, and a large number of new technologies applied need to have a new architecture to match. Mining machine chips developed based on this process require a large number of detailed and complete design and verification work. Therefore, although the research and development cost is relatively high, Bitmain’s first-generation experimental 5nm product BM1360 chip is only used for internal verification to solve performance and reliability problems caused by new processes, technologies, and architectures. There is no plan to release or sell 5nm products to the market for now.”
Until Bitmain gets its house in order, it’s doubtful they find many customers for its new controversial product.
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