Bitmain, the world’s leading manufacturer of bitcoin (BTC) miners, will start selling a new Ethereum rig model on its website on Wednesday, even as the second-biggest cryptocurrency network moves away from proof-of-work (PoW) technology.
- The Chinese rig maker announced the news on Twitter Tuesday, saying “The Time Has Come.”
- Unlike bitcoin mining, which is mostly accomplished with application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) – meaning chips that are tailor-made for the job – ether mining generally uses graphics processing units (GPU), which are also utilized in other types of computing. The increasing popularity of ether mining was a key factor in driving up the prices of GPUs in 2021, so much so that technology company Nvidia (NVDA) launched mining-specific GPUs.
- But as Ethereum moves toward proof-of-stake (PoS) mining, GPU prices have significantly decreased. The changover, known as the Merge, has been consistently delayed in the past few months.
- The new Antminer E9, as the rig is called, was revealed more than a year ago.
- The model that goes on sale Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET (13:00 UTC) is slightly more energy efficient than was detailed last year, consuming 8 joules/terahash (J/TH) instead of 8.5 J/TH. The model is equivalent to 25 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards, Bitmain said, as opposed to 32 RTX 3080, which is what it promised last year.
- Bitmain had released another Ethereum mining rig, the Antminer E3, in 2018, but is no longer selling it on its website.
Read more: GPUs Get Cheaper as Ethereum’s Switch to Proof-of-Stake Gets Closer
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