Just when a handful of Chinese companies seemed to monopolize Bitcoin ASIC mining, a Japanese company stepped in to offer what seems to be the next-gen ASIC miner for sha-256.
Meet the GMO B3 Miner – a very compact ASIC that is expected to output 24-33 TH/s per unit. This is possible thanks to the implementation of 7nm chip technology – something that haven’t been seen in ASIC scene before. For example, the Antminer S9 that is considered one of the most efficient/popular sha-256 miner to the date uses the 16nm technology.
Besides the innovative chip technology, the GMO B3 miner also comes with smart power and clock regulator. It automatically analyzes the mining difficulty, power consumption and electricity price, and adjusts the clocks to keep mining efficiency optimal.
Priced at $1999 USD (PSU included), the miner can be preordered from the official website. The estimated shipment date is November 2018. While the price/hashrate ratio is not completely out of this world, the GMO miner does look like a decent competitor to the Antminer S9 and others.
Does This Sound Too Good to Be True?
GMO offers a 33 TH/s ASIC with automatic clock control and a PSU, all of this for only $1999 USD. Does this sound like some sort of sorcery?
Probably not. The power consumption of this miner varies from 1950 W to 3417 W. Obviously, the higher power usage is what the miner consumes when mining at 33 TH/s.
Most of us pay around 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. This translates into an electricity bill of anywhere from $118 to $295 USD per month!
Here is where the automatic power draw control comes into play. For instance, if you pay 12 cents per KW/h, you will profit the most by mining 24TH/s and a power draw of 1,950W. This will result in a $150 USD (current btc price $6,352.10) profit per year. Manually cranking the sliders up and achieving 33 TH/s with a power consumption of 3,417W will result in a loss of -$570 USD/year.
Those numbers were quite different about a month ago when Bitcoin price was higher. In fact, two weeks ago the miner offered $1100 USD/year profit. As usual, when it comes to ASICs it’s all about mining during the lows and dumping during the highs.
By ordering the GMO B3, you also get a 4KW PSU. The list price for such a huge PSU is around $3200 USD on Amazon (~$1600 USD used). Having both the miner and a 4KW PSU for only $1999 USD is quite a nice deal if you ask me.
Who Are the People Behind the GMO B3 Miner?
GMO is a large Japanese company that develops internet infrastructure, online advertising & media, internet finance, and now is also focusing on cryptocurrency businesses. No wonder they had the finances and the infrastructure to develop a new miner based on cutting-edge technologies.
GMO B3 versus Antminer S9i
The Antminer S9i is the closest competitor to the GMO B3, in my opinion. I am not comparing the B3 to the Antminer S9 because the latter can no longer be bought on the manufacturer’s official website.
Despite benefiting from the 7nm technology, we can see that the GMO B3 is not as profitable as the S9i. The S9i pays itself off about 80% faster than the GMO B3. This is considering the electricity price is 12 cents per KW/h. Cheaper electricity favors the GMO B3 a bit more than the S9i, though not a lot. Even with free electricity, the S9i is still slightly better ROI than the GMO B3.
Another thing to consider is that the next batch for the Antminer S9i will be shipped this month, while the GMO B3 is expected to be shipped in November. Knowing how small the lifespan of an ASIC is, this alone might be a dealbreaker, depending on your goals and preferences.
Should You Buy the GMO B3 ASIC Miner?
Now that we have compared the B3 to Antminers, we can see that the Japanese ASIC is not a step forward by any means. It has been advertised by big cryptocurrency news websites that 7nm chips will “revolutionize mining”, though as we can see now, we are still getting pretty much the same (if not worse) $/THs ratio here. In fact, some Bitmain sha-256 ASICs are even better workers than the GMO B3.
I guess, there are two groups of people who might decide to jump into the GMO bandwagon:
- The first group is those people who have cheap or free electricity. The main downside of the GMO B3 is the extremely high power consumption, so having that solved increases the performance of the miner greatly. Even then though, the Antminer A9i offers slightly better performance than the GMO B3.
- The second group of people who might want to try the GMO B3 are those who do not trust Bitmain and believe that a Japanese corporation is capable of offering higher product quality and better customer service. Everyone’s experience with Bitmain is different – some claim that they have been scammed by the company, while others are loyal customers with zero complains.
Most of us were thrilled to see the new 7nm ASICs in action, though as for now, those don’t really stand against their 16nm competitors. The only selling point of the GMO B3 is probably the fact that the units are being developed and marketed by a Japanese company.
That being said, it is very probable that GMO have just scratched the surface of what 7nm chips can do. It often takes time for cutting-edge technologies to mature and fully unfold their potential. If that is the case then we might expect a wave of truly groundbreaking ASICs being relased in the near future by GMO and probably other companies too.
This leads me to the question: for how long current generation ASICs (including the GMO B3) will remain profitable? GMO proved to us that it is now possible to mass-product 7nm chips. Is it now a matter of time to optimize those chips and achieve breathtaking power efficiency?
Personally, while I am tempted to jump into the GMO bandwagon, I also have my concerns about the future of their B3 ASIC. Especially with Bitmain and others constantly releasing new batches of their ASICs to the market.
ASIC mining is now more intricate than ever. I have made an analysis of the latest ASICs and how truly profitable those are. Some results are quite shocking. I invite you to check it out, especially if you are about to make a purchase ASIC vs. GPU mining & Profitability in Bear Markets
Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.
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