- Bitmain on Tuesday announced a new cryptocurrency mining rig known as the Antminer E3, the first ASIC machine for Ethereum.
- The new machine could lessen demand for Nvidia’s GPU chips, RBC said in a note to clients.
- You can track the price of Ethereum in real-time here.
Bitmain’s newest cryptocurrency mining machine, an ASIC rig called the Antminer E3 announced by the Chinese manufacturer on Tuesday, could make a hefty dent in demand for Nvidia’s GPUs, RBC Capital Markets has warned clients.
“This will materially impact the crypto currency market in our view (AMD/Nvidia serve this segment) as the product is notably more powerful than current GPUs,” analyst Mitch Steves said in a note late Tuesday.
“Specifically, at $US800 per card, the E3 is roughly 2.5x more powerful than building a GPU based mining rig with GPU products. We view this as a negative for the crypto currency market as it relates to GPU sales.”
ASIC rigs, like the new E3, are ready-built machines that are specifically designed to mine cryptocurrencies straight out of the box, after being connected to a wallet. GPU’s, like the ones built by Nvidia, require more work to set up in a mining rig, are more expensive, and are less powerful. The E3 is the first ASIC capable of mining Ethereum.
“Currently, purchasing five GPUs would cost approximately $US1,600 and would result in ~140-180 MH/s,” Steves said. “With the E3 we’re looking a $US800 price point and a similar hash power of 180 MH/s. This results in a minimum performance increase of 2x and when adjusted for power consumption (800 Watts) we think it is fair to assume the total product will be 2.5x more efficient.”
Mining rigs and GPU’s alike have a history of selling out both online and in stores amid the cryptocurrency craze. The new E3 does not appear to be sold out yet. However, Bitmain’s website says orders are limited to one per user, are unavailable in China, and aren’t expected to ship until at least July.
That could leave just months before Ethereum’s highly anticipated switch to proof-of-stake mining instead of the energy- and hardware-intensive proof-of-work method currently used by the cryptocurrency, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Until then, RBC says mining will remain profitable so long as ethereum prices remain above $US185.
“It is still profitable to mine the currencies (in the money in terms of economic return already) which means they are still generating economic return as long as Ethereum is above $US185/ether,” said Steves.