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ASIC Mining Hardware : The Cryptomining Evolution

BTC-ASIC miner

ASIC Mining Hardware: The Cryptomining Evolution

Cryptocurrency mining has come a long way from the days when an individual could successfully mine hundreds of Bitcoin from their home PC.  The mining sector has seen huge developments over the last nine years as cryptocurrencies have continued to become more popular.  As the value of cryptocurrencies skyrocketed, so did the number of miners in the marketplace.  Today, mining has become a very centralized activity with multimillion-dollar mining facilities springing up monthly.

These facilities have forever altered the mining sector; as it is no longer profitable to mine cryptocurrencies from your home PC without making some significant upgrades to handle the tasks or utilizing a third party service such as Minergate.  All of this hype surrounding mining activities in the crypto space has led to the development of new and more powerful mining hardware.  ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit)  chips are now the new industry standard.

ASIC chips are designed to handle only one particular task, rather than being a general upgrade to your PC.  These application-specific chips are commonly used in industries which require heavy processing power including audio recording, video editing, and graphic design.  These all-inclusive chips make it possible for professionals to handle large tasks without bogging down their PC’s internal processor.

Why an ASIC Miner is Better

Mining is a process that requires a computer (node) to discover a number by figuring out a mathematical equation that includes components from the previous and current blocks.  In the BTC network, this is known as the proof-of-work.  Once a miner correctly answers the equation, they are allowed to add the next block to the blockchain and are awarded a prize.  In the case of the BTC blockchain network, the prize is 12.5 BTC.

BW-ASIC mining chips

BW ASIC Mining Chips

An ASIC miner is able to calculate these proof-of-work equations much more efficiently than a regular CPU.  This is because ASIC Mining hardware is specifically designed to utilize a certain hash algorithm based on the crypto you are attempting to mine.  For example, when mining BTC, the SHA-256 hash algorithm is used and when mining Litecoin, it is Scrypt that is employed.

An ASIC miner will allow you to mine any cryptocurrency that utilizes the same hash script as it is programmed to mine.  This means ASIC mining hardware that is configured for BTC, can also mine numerous other cryptos including Bytecoin, PetroDollar, and Devcoin – just to name a few.

The 5 Best ASIC Miners of 2018

Mining is an integral part of the crypto space and the technology behind this critical task has increased greatly.  The mining sector is seeing growing competition from all angles and manufacturers are going all-in on producing the most powerful miners to date.  There has also been an influx of mining rig manufacturers entering the crypto space which has helped to further crypto adoption.

Among these manufacturers, Bitmain is estimated to have produced around 53% of all of the mining equipment to date and therefore, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them dominating the market.  Even with this huge advantage, there is serious competition amongst the best.  Below are the top 5 ASIC mining rigs of 2018.

Dragonmint 16T 16.0 TH/s

What can $30 million in research get you?  If you are the developers from Halong Mining, which spent this enormous sum on research and development, it can get you one the most powerful ASIC mining rigs of all time.  The Dragonmint utilizes an ASICBOOST protocol that improves the efficiency of the mining process by 20%.  This impressive rig is able to mine at 16TH/s using only 0.075J/GH; which is less than its closest competitor the Antminer S9.

Antminer S9 14.0 TH/s

The Antminer S9 is one of the most popular ASIC mining hardware rigs in the market.  This unit is one of the most efficient miners on the planet and unlike the Dragonmint; this unit includes a power supply with purchase.  A built-in web management portal gives you added control over your mining activities.  This is a stand-alone miner that does not require any additional host computer to operate.

Antminer R4 8.6 TH/s

The Antminer R8 gives miners a more affordable high powered mining solution than the S9.  This unit has the same power efficiency as the S9 and utilizes the TSMC’ 16NM FinFET protocol which was at one time the most effective mining protocol in the world.  This unit incorporates 126 BM1387 ASIC chips to get results.  This unit has become widely popular due to a combination of factors including a more affordable price point combined with an intuitive control interface.

Antminer S7 4.73 TH/s

The Antminer S7 is one of the most affordable options available to anyone looking to enter the crypto-mining space in a serious fashion.  This unit is currently in its 19th production batch and has dominated the market since its initial release in mid-2015.  This unit features 135 28nm BM1385 ASIC chips that are kept running cool by dual fans.

Avalon 6 3.50 TH/s

The Avalon 6 is another reliable mining rig that has seen considerable adoption over the last year.  While this unit is below the S7 in terms of efficiency, it would be difficult to find another ASIC mining rig that is comparable at the same price point.  This miner utilizes eighty A321B ASIC chips to accomplish all of your mining needs.  This rig is a popular selection among miners due to its decent hash rate and low cost.

ASIC Mining Hardware – Gentlemen Start Your Engines

It is hard to say where mining technology will go next.  Manufacturers are putting forth considerable effort to create more efficient and powerful mining rigs and you can expect to see this trend increase as the cryptomarket continues to expand.  The high cost of these mining rigs has deterred many would be miners from entering the space it and has also led to the development of new technologies such as mining pools and proof-of-stake algorithms.

Hopefully, in the future, you will see a return to the old days of mining; where any individual could join the blockchain and have a decent chance of earning some free Satoshis using nothing more than a home PC.

What do you think guys?  Are you ready to enter the world of ASIC mining?  Let us know on Twitter and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of all the latest crypto developments as they take place.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Getting Started Gold Bars.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Hamilton aka DavidtheWriter has published thousands of cryptocurrency related articles. Currently, he resides in the epicenter of the cryptomarket – Puerto Rico. David is a strong advocate for blockchain technologies and financial sovereignty.