Bitmain a Day Away from Opening Antminer S15 Sales
Bitmain is rolling out two new machines, S15 and T17, just days ahead of an upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
Bitmain is preparing to bring to market two powerful ASIC models, Antminer S15 and T17, with sales slated to open on November 8.
The launch of the new ASIC, which use the 7nm technology, comes a shortly before an upcoming contentious hard fork for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In theory, the new machines could help support any Bitcoin Cash network(s) emerging after the fork. Bitmain has been known for its support of the initial version of Bitcoin Cash network. However, selling the new machines on the open market means any pools or mining operators could use them.
The 7nm technology for chips is brand-new, with working solutions in other technology devices unrolling in the summer of 2018. The production of a 7nm chip for ASIC has been achieved after two years of development and is seen as an important milestone, making crypto-related devices potentially relevant for longer. On the other hand, some see the 7nm technology as overhyped and not essentially different from the 10nm technology. With so few producers launching products with the new generation of chips, Bitmain has achieved a notable milestone.
The mining rigs, designed to support the SHA-256 algorithm used by many leading coins, will arrive at a time when the Bitcoin hashrate has reached near-record levels on continued growth. Bitcoin’s network sees up to 60 EH/s in total mining power, far outpacing smaller networks like Bitcoin Cash.
The launch of the new machines caused additional skepticism about the operations of Bitmain, with suggestions they may have been used in secret to mine for months before being shipped to retail customers.
Rumors of the launch of the 7nm machines were circulating as early as mid-October. Bitmain is yet to reveal its sales and financial results for the third quarter ahead of its initial public offering on Asian exchanges. There is speculation the results are dismal since the initial strong sales accounted for in the first quarter have been dented by the bear market and lower demand for ASIC.
For some analysts, the launch of the new machines may have helped boost BCH market prices since the network will also benefit from additional hashing power.