Hardware manufacturers reveal new-gen miners ahead of Bitcoin halving

ASIC mining hardware producer Bitmain Technologies Ltd. announced earlier its brand-new product line consisting of two Bitcoin/SHA-256 miners, Antminer S19 and Antminer S19 Pro. Accompanying the release was a messaging touting the new miners as the “safeguards miners for future mining … as the Bitcoin halving approaches with the price of block rewards to be reduced.” 

Also, recently announced was the Avalon 1066 Pro model by Hangzhou-based mining equipment manufacturer Canaan Creative. The miner touts a hash rate of 55 TH/s, while its other alternative has a hash rate of 60 J/TH/s. The mid-tier model sells for $1,100 and is available now for purchase. The price point and specification make it a worthy alternative to Bitmain’s still widely used S9 miner which reports speculate will become unprofitable after the halving.

For Bitmain, the new hardware couldn’t come at a better time as the manufacturing giant struggles to fend off challenges from chief rival MicroBT. Bitmain has been gradually losing market share to the upstart competitor who Whatsminer series matched or exceed Bitmain’s Antminers in performance and popularity throughout 2019. In 2019, the firm sold roughly 600,000 units of its Whatsminer M20 machine. Its M30 miner released in December raised the bar even further and noticeable exceed Bitmain’s flagship S17 model in processing power. 

The Antminer S19 is outfitted with a hash rate of 95 TH/s, while its other alternative has a hash rate of 90 TH/s, almost 50% higher than that of the top predecessors. Both variations of the miner have a power efficiency of 34.5±%5 J/TH. The Pro version takes hash rate and power efficiency even further. The Antminer S19 Pro features a hash rate of 110 TH/s, while its other alternative has an equally impressive hash rate of 105 TH/s. Both Pro variations have a rather impressive power efficiency of 29.5±%5 J/TH.

Bitmain claims the Antminer S19 series is equipped with enhanced circuit architecture and a new generation custom-built chip they designed, making it capable of achieving a power efficiency as low as 23 J/TH. Bitmain advertises that the S19 utilizes the new APW12 high-conversion efficiency power supply and an intelligent control mechanism to ensure the best mining experience. Both series come with a built-in power supply and are rated at 3250 Watts of power usage.

Based on the specifications released, both Antminer models would appear to be superior to the other ASIC miners currently on the market. The prices of the equipment and release date have yet to be disclosed on Bitmain’s official page. Cryptocurrency mining platform Hashnest, rumored to be owned by Bitmain, currently shows the 110TH/s Antminer S19 Pro in stock and initial price listed at $5,000.  

Also, absent from the announcement was mention of the order quantity limitations, which we have witnessed with Bitmain’s recent other hardware releases. With the current situation in China regarding the coronavirus (covid-19), it remains to be seen how Bitmain can process orders.  The outbreak in China has caused manufacturing delays and logistics nightmares for many hardware makers in the country. 

As the block subsidy is set to be halved to 6.25 Bitcoin, it remains to be seen how the mining community will welcome these high performing but more expensive new models. If Bitcoin profit margins decrease many miners will be hard-pressed to make a large scale investment into new equipment that consumes high amounts of power. Due to Bitmain supply chain issues, miners who do purchase new hardware may opt to purchase Whatsminers instead simply do the MicroBT’s superior delivery record in the past year. 

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