As difficulty continues to rise with the halving getting closer, Bitcoin miners have started to phase out older ASIC machines that are no longer profitable or highly inefficient. Although Bitmain has long been recognized as the number one hardware supplier within the crypto mining industry, recently, MicroBT’s Whatsminer series has risen in popularity for ASIC miners due to its performance, power efficiency, and price.
Whatsminer has generated 6.7 billion yuan in revenue this year from sales of its ASIC miners. In a head to head comparison, the Whatsminer series is a more economical investment than its predecessor. Based on the recent BTC price at $7,438 and electricity price at 0.36 yuan ($0.05), Whatsminer’s M20S model generates $6.16/day, by comparison, Bitmain’s S17e has a daily profit of $5.86.
The halving is expected to drive increases in mining difficulty, making older lower hash rate ASIC miner less profitable. Miners will have to cope with lower profits margins if they do not upgrade their machines to meet the changing demands. That is because mining rewards will be reduced by half, so miners relying on older rigs will struggle to make a profit in the wake of increasing competition.
Chinese miners have already begun upgrading their fleets to next-generation ASIC miners at the end of the rainy season. According to a report on Chinese news site 8BTC, 70% of ASIC machines in China’s mining farms are new, among which Whatsminer accounts for approximately 50%, Antminer takes up about 16.7%, and the leftover 33.3% split by Innosilicon, Avalon and Ebit miners. Previously, Bitmain dominated the industry with a 70% market share thanks to its flagship S9 models.
The rush to upgrade ASIC miners is also creating a growing resale market for the older models, which can now be purchased at a steep discount. That same report on 8BTC said Bitmain had decommissioned 10,000 14.5T S9j from one of its crypto mining centers in Inner Mongolia. The units sold on second-hand markets for 700 yuan per miner or around $100 USD.
MicroBT continues pushing the boundaries of performance with more high-end ASIC miners scheduled to launch in the next few months. MicroBT shareholder Wu Gang revealed on Chinese social media that the firm is releasing an M30S model. Wu wrote the new miner would “deliver 81 TH/s” with a “power consumption at 38 watts per tera-hash.”
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