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Antminer A3 Review – Bitmain Surprises Everyone with This New Siacoin Miner

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UPDATE: Yesterday I’ve received an email from SIA where they’ve shared some more details on the Obelisk SC1, as well as their thoughts on the Antminer A3.
In brief, they expect the SC1 to be at least twice more power-efficient than the Antminer A3.According to them, both miners output around 800 GH/s, though the SC1 pulls 500W from the wall while the A3 consumes 1183 W

UPDATE February 3 2018

Siacoin Hashrate and Dificulty

Antminer A3 current profitability vs when launched

 

The Obelisk team also believes the SC1 will be even more power efficient than that, though this will be known in March when they will get test chips.

The first batch of SC1 miners should be shipped somewhere in May.

What is good is that SIA team seems quite transparent. For instance, they’ve shared how many Obelisk miners they’ve sold so far:

Batch 1: 2,963 DCR1 and 3,598 SC1 units sold
Batch 2: 1,350 DCR1 and 1,996 SC1 units sold

Some months ago, the devs of the Sia network have announced that their cryptocurrency is getting its own ASIC miner – the Obelisk SC1.

Hundreds of people have preordered their SC1 units and Sia promises that they will be sending the miners in some months. The SC1 is still under development and it still got to see mass production.

Things were going as expected until Bitmain announced that they’ve released their own Blake(2a) ASIC miner past Wednesday. They’ve said that the miner is fully functional and that it already saw mass production, meaning that people will get their miners shipped as soon as they buy it.

As if that was not enough surprise, Bitmain also promised to ship the units in only 10 days. If you ever purchased from Bitmain, you know that orders usually take about 3 months.

The first batch of the Antminer A3 has been sold in a matter of hours. The units retail for $2375 USD each. Here are the basic specs:

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  • Algorithm: Blake(2b)
  • Total quantity of hash chips: 180 chips
  • Total quantity of boards: 3 boards per miner
  • Total hashrate: 815 GH/s +/-5%
  • DC Voltage Input: 11.60~13.00 V
  • DC Power @12V DC Input: 1186 W +7%
  • Noise: 75 dB

We are talking about gigahashes per second here. Considering current network hashrate of 626.74 TH/s, 815 GH/s per ASIC unit is insane, imagine that one 6x GPU mining rig can get somewhere between 6000 Mh/s and 9000 Mh/s. If difficulty adjustment weren’t a thing, the ROI of an Antminer A3 would be 1 week.

Crazy fantasies aside, the miner still looks really profitable after taking the adjustments into account, provided Bitmain won’t sell too many units in a short period of time. According to the bitcointalk thread, between 10k and 15K devices have been sold. In theory, this should raise the network hashrate from ~640 Th/s to about ~8,500 Th/s, resulting in 20x difficulty increase.

Those are mere speculations though and we probably won’t be able to know how many miners have been sold until we see the difficulty rising.

Scam Alert

In their tweet, Bitmain have warned users that there is a scam website that replicates bitmain’s one. Here is what they write:

https://twitter.com/BITMAINtech/status/952238245760319493

If you look at the original tweet with the Facebook ad picture, you can see that the ‘n’ on ‘shop.bitmain.com’ has a tiny dash underneath it. It is not your screen being dirty – I’ve tried to wipe mine too until I’ve realized the ‘n’ is actually a different symbol. This is what Bitmain meant by “If you look closely the “n” in https://shop.bitmain.com/ is not actually the “n” it should be.

A Word of Advice

When purchasing a product, I always try to look at reviews and opinions both from end users and big companies alike. In this case, SIA developers have expressed their opinion on Bitmain’s A3 miner. Make sure you read it here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/siacoin/comments/7r4spy/dev_team_thoughts_on_the_bitmain_a3/

Personally, I am not taking sides in this; I thought you would like to have as much info as possible before doing anything.

Here is yet another piece of information you’d want to be aware of. Eventually, some part of the mining community is not happy with the new Antminer so they’ve requested to Sia to soft fork the coin. According to one of their last tweets, Sia core team is considering this option: https://twitter.com/SiaTechHQ/status/955880534059741185

Make sure you follow their twitter to keep up to date with the latest decisions they make.

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About Sia

Siacoin is an altcoin that is employed in the Sia network as a local currency.

The network allows its users to store their data on the cloud.

What makes it different from Google Drive or Dropbox is the way files are handled. Instead of being stored in private servers, files are encrypted, duplicated, split into fragments and distributed all across a decentralized network. This allows you to store your files without the need to trust a third-party storage company.

Other users just like you store the encrypted fragments of your files and only you have the keys to decrypt and access your stuff.

Here is a detailed review of the company.

In Conclusion

I suppose it is too early to jump into conclusions. Some people are excited about the new A3 miner while others are not.

The only thing I am sure of is that Sia is a solid company that enjoys a steady growth in popularity. They offer a real product and I believe that their coin has good prospects. It might not be skyrocketing in price like, say, Ethereum but it is definitely a coin that is backed up by a real service which means that it might be a great idea to mine it by using the ASIC miner you can get.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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