Bitmain, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency company, isn’t ready to relinquish its position as the dominant manufacturer of bitcoin mining chips — at least not yet.
The China-based firm on Friday announced that it had developed a new 7nm application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining chip for the SHA256 algorithm used by bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and many other cryptocurrencies.
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu announced the new chip — the BM1391 — at the World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia, adding that it will be deployed in the firm’s next generation of mining rigs, the follow-up to the Antminer S9.
GMO Internet, a Japanese tech company based out of Tokyo, unveiled a 7nm chip in June. According to Wu, the BM1391 has an energy consumption ratio of 42W/TH, while GMO’s B2/B3 miners consume 81W/TH at peak.
Notably, Bitmain’s announcement came just two days after competitor Bitfury unveiled a new SHA256 ASIC chip. The “Bitfury Clarke,” while much larger than the BM1391 at 14nm, offers “unparalleled efficiency,” according to the company. Per the company, each chip can achieve a hashrate of 120GH/s with a power efficiency of 55mW/GH. Bitfury, incidentally, operates a mining farm in Georgia, where Wu announced Bitmain’s new chip.
“Bitfury is looking at all factors, including silicon packaging, chip efficiency, optimal power distribution, cooling designs and speed of development when designing our mining hardware,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury. “We think that this will lead to solutions that deliver the best ROI to our customers?—?regardless of ASIC size.”
The announcement also comes ahead of Bitmain’s rumored initial public offering (IPO), which will reportedly take place “very soon.”
Seemingly responding to rumors among analysts that Bitmain was at risk of losing its dominant industry position ahead of its IPO due to lagging technological development, the company said in a statement that this new chip reflects the “strength” of Bitmain’s research and development department and “further consolidates” the firm’s 70 percent market share.