What Is ASIC Mining?


ARTICLE ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MUD BY JIE YEE ONG – Source: Makeuseof.com Technology Explained


You cannot mine Bitcoin with your CPU. For that, you’ll need an ASIC miner. Here’s why.

Bitcoin does not appear out of thin air. Cryptocurrency may be a digital entity made out of zeros and ones, but a lot of behind-the-scenes hardware work actually takes place when it comes to producing them.

To obtain a single Bitcoin, you have to mine for them using specialized hardware, known as an ASIC miner.

ASIC Mining and Blockchain

Before you get into ASIC mining, you first need to understand blockchain technology. In very simple terms, blockchain is a technology that generates a hash that is not repeatable or replaceable.

These hashes are then cryptographically linked and “stacked” on one another (hence “block”) to ensure that nothing is repeated, creating a chain (hence “chain”) of codes that guarantee uniqueness and security. Our article on how blockchain technology works explains the entire process in more detail.

All cryptocurrencies, including NFTs and Bitcoins, are built on blockchain technology. So, “mining” for cryptos actually refers to creating blocks and blocks of codes. Therefore, creating blockchains means mining for cryptos, and for that, you need ASIC miners.

Where and When Did ASIC Mining Originate?

ASIC stands for “Application-Specific Integrated Circuit miner.” It is basically a very powerful, high-performance hardware that is designed to mine for cryptocurrency.

The practice of ASIC mining began in 2013, when Chinese hardware company, Canaan Creative, manufactured the first ASIC miner of its kind.

It takes a lot of computational power to mine Bitcoin, so much that traditional CPUs and GPUs were no longer able to do so competitively, hence the need for a new type of hardware that could handle the demands of crypto mining.

Soon after Canaan Creative, companies such as Bitman, Bitwats, and MicroBT started manufacturing ASIC miners.

An ASIC miner typically comprises a few important components: an ASIC chip that runs calculations for codes, a cooling fan, and a backup generator to protect against power disruptions during the mining process.

Technically, anyone can be involved in ASIC mining. If you are an individual looking to mine in exchange for money from the comfort of your own home, you will need to purchase an ASIC miner.

However, this equipment is not cheap. ASIC miners can range anywhere from $200 to over $15,000. Because of this, miners collaborate in “mining pools,” where a group of miners works together to mine for cryptocurrency, pooling the resources of their ASIC miners.

Profits from the activity are then split amongst the group, usually divided by work and energy.


Advantages and Disadvantages of ASIC Mining

The most obvious advantage of ASIC miners is the machine’s efficiency.

ASIC miners are much faster at solving the series of mathematical puzzles required for Bitcoin mining in ten minutes or less (the average time between blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain) when compared to a CPU.

When a puzzle is solved, the programmer behind the screen earns a block reward, which currently stands at 6.25 BTC. Therefore, this high efficiency translates to better money-making potential.

However, the high computational power of ASIC miners also means environmental destruction due to colossal energy consumption. Official estimates vary, but the Bitcoin mining network uses over 120 Terawatt-hours of energy per year, consuming around 0.6 percent of the global energy supply, or the equivalent to the entire energy consumption of Argentina or Norway.

Some people turn to the smaller, less energy-hungry Raspberry Pi to mine for cryptocurrencies in response to this. If the cost of electricity is so high, is it really worth it to mine for cryptos?

It all depends on the kind of crypto you mine for—if it is a mainstream cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, you may be in for bigger rewards, but it is harder to get your hands on the rewards in the first place.

If it is niche crypto, it may take longer to turn a profit. Energy consumption caused by ASIC mining varies according to location, but regardless, its environmental impact cannot be ignored.

The Biggest ASIC Mining Companies

The biggest publicly traded cryptocurrency mining companies are based in the US and Europe. They include Riot Blockchain, Hive Blockchain, and Northern Data AG. The former two are listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, whereas Northern Data AG is listed on Xetra, a German stock exchange market.

Besides these companies, several locations across the globe are known as “bitcoin farms.”

These are places where huge warehouses are built, and large numbers of ASIC miners are hauled inside to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies 24/7.

The largest bitcoin farms include Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Texas, Moscow, and the Liaoning Province in Northeast China (although many Bitcoin mining operations in Northern China are relocating due to environmental rules introduced in 2021).


Is ASIC Mining Worthwhile?

Thanks to surging cryptocurrency investments, ASIC mining is a booming industry, and it seems like the fever is not going away anytime soon. If you’re thinking of investing in an ASIC miner or starting a mining group with your mates, do plenty of research beforehand. After all, like many investments, crypto is still a volatile market.


Visa to Accept Cryptocurrencies for Payment Settlements

Article originally posted on Bitcoinist by San Lee – Source: Bitcoinist.com

According to Reuters, Visa announced today that it will begin accepting cryptocurrency USD Coin (USDC) to settle transactions on its payment network. The move by the fintech giant coincides with the growing institutional acceptance of digital currencies. The company has launched a pilot payment program with Crypto.com, and plans to roll out its services to various partners later this year.

Visa’s recent move is to no surprise, as rival merchants such as MasterCard began to embrace the potential uses of cryptocurrencies earlier this year. Back in mid-February, MasterCard announced its plans to incorporate cryptocurrencies into its digital payment infrastructure, citing that these digital tokens will become an “important part of the payments world.” To capitalize on the growing crypto user base that has largely gone unnoticed over the years, Visa will seek to gain an early foothold in the cryptocurrency payment market.

Visa Follows Tesla in Running Its Own Cryptocurrency Nodes 

Earlier last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that customers could purchase its vehicles using Bitcoin — a breakthrough in cryptocurrency’s usage in commerce. What was so groundbreaking about the announcement, however, was the fact that Tesla would not convert its Bitcoin payments to fiat. Instead, it would be added directly to its growing $1.5 billion Bitcoin reserve on the balance sheet.



Following Tesla, Visa announced that it would also utilise the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain to run its own nodes. This removes the need to convert cryptocurrency payments into fiat currency, which will likely reduce fees for customers and merchants.

The company also stated that it had partnered with digital asset bank Anchorage to run its Ethereum addresses. “We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” said Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa.

How the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hash War Is Affecting Bitcoin (BTC)

The last 24 hours in the crypto-market have stunned many traders and left them speechless. This is due to the fact that Bitcoin (BTC) fell from levels of around $6,300 to a new low of $5,544 in a matter of hours if not minutes. The total crypto market capitalization also fell from levels of $209 Billion to $180 Billion in the same time period.

BTC is currently trading at $5,660 and down 11% in the last 24 hours. The total crypto market capitalization now stands at $186 Billion. All other cryptocurrencies are bleeding heavily also.

The Bitcoin Cash Hash War

One explanation of the current turmoil in the crypto-verse, is the ongoing Hash Wars between the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community as they prepare for the upcoming BCH hard-fork. Both sides of the ‘battle’ – Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV – have vowed to take down the other using all means possible.

The ABC version is supported by the CEO of Bitmain, Jihan Wu and Roger Ver. The SV version is backed by Craig Wright who claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto.

Relocating Hash Power from BTC to BCH ABC

A few days ago, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu was reported to have mobilized 90,000 mining machines to gain an upper hand in the hard-fork that is scheduled for today. Jihan is quoted as stating the following with regards to the ongoing BCH crisis:

I have no intention to start a has war with [Craig Wright], because if I do (by relocating hash power from BTC mining to BCH mining), BTC price will dump below yearly support; it may even breech $5,000. But since [Craig Wright] is relentless, I am all in to fight till death!

Roger Ver’s mining pool of Bitcoin.com also announced that it will be redirected hash power from Bitcoin to Bitcoin cash ABC for one day.

Craig Wright’s Response 

Craig Wright seemed unfazed by the attempts of both Jihan Wu and Roger Ver. Mr. Wright took to Twitter to explain that for a winner to emerge, there has to be continuous mining of Bitcoin Cash. One day will not win the battle. His tweet can be found below.

Dr Craig S Wright


Craig Wright also stated that the fall of BTC does not phase him. He made this statement as he warned BTC miners from switching to Bitcoin Cash. His tweet had this to say:

To all BTC miners…

If you switch to mine BCH, we may need to fund this with BTC, if we do, we sell for USD and, well… we think BTC market has no room… it tanks.

Think about it. We will sell A Lot! Consider that…. And, have a nice day (BTC to 1000 does not phase me)

In conclusion, and with the BCH hard-fork only hours away, we might see hash power continue being redirected from BTC towards Bitcoin Cash. What this means is that there will be a possibility of there being less miners available to sustain the Bitcoin network as the hash wars continue.

Secondly – and as stated by Craig Wright – we might see a massive sell-off of BTC by both sides to finance the war.

Both scenarios are on the minds of savvy and keen crypto traders who have probably fled to stablecoins till the hash wars provide a winner and more stability in the crypto markets.

What are your thoughts on the ongoing Bitcoin Cash situation? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Bitmain Announces Next-Generation Antminer Equipped With 7nmChip

Bitmain Announces Next-Generation Antminer Equipped With 7nm Chip


At the World Digital Mining Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia the blockchain firm and mining manufacturer, Bitmain Technologies, announced a new Antminer will be launched soon equipped with 7nm semiconductor technology. The firm’s CEO Jihan Wu reported that Bitmain’s next-generation ASIC BM1391 Finfet chip integrates more than a billion transistors for optimal SHA256 mining performance.

Also Read: Japanese Regulators Urgently Respond to Zaif’s Hack

Bitmain Announces the Production of New Antminers With 7nm Technology

Bitmain Announces Next-Generation Antminer Equipped With 7nm ChipOver the past few months, a slew of new SHA256 mining rigs and new semiconductors have been revealed to the public. New mining rig models with far better performance and efficiency are being manufactured by GMO Group, Canaan, and other companies. Bitmain Technologies has been releasing new miners, but most of them have been for different consensus algorithms and not SHA256. The last Bitcoin (SHA256) miner the company revealed was a new water-cooled Antminer that focuses more on operation longevity. On Friday, the firm’s CEO Jihan Wu made an announcement at the World Digital Mining Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, revealing the next Antminer is coming soon.

On stage, Mr. Wu explains that Bitmain has created a new 7nm semiconductor that integrates more than a billion transistors called the BM1391 chip. According to the company the 7nm Finfet design is built for maximum efficiency. Mr. Wu emphasizes the new model creates a circuit structure that can process a significant hashrate while keeping low energy at the same time. According to BM1391 tests, Bitmain notes the ratio of energy consumption to the mining capacity is as low as 42J/TH.

Bitmain Announces Next-Generation Antminer Equipped With 7nm Chip
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu announces the manufacturing of new Antminers equipped with 7nm chip technology at the World Mining Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Blockchain Innovation Bolstering Hardware and Software Acceleration

Mr. Wu also detailed during his keynote speech at the summit, the firm will begin mass production of the new 7nm equipped Antminers. The Bitmain CEO explains he is a big believer in blockchain technology and as “applications continue to develop, the industry’s market capitalization as a whole will drive growth.” This, in turn, produces better data processing, and hardware and software acceleration tethered to this innovative protocol, Mr. Wu explains at the summit. Mr. Wu notes the competitive process Bitcoin has unleashed on the mining industry in particular.

Mr. Wu declared on stage at the summit:

Even if someone makes a better chip in the future, we will make a better one. Bitmain will continue to develop the best ASICs in the world.

As we mentioned above, there’s been a bunch of new chips and SHA256 mining rigs announced this year, and just recently we also reported on the significant demand for 10nm and 7nm semiconductors. Limited availability has made 10nm and 7nm chips harder to obtain, but it seems Bitmain has been able to gain access to the next generation 7nm tape out process with one of the large foundries. For instance, the recently announced Whatsminer M10 uses older 16nm chips, but still claims the machine can process upwards of 30+TH/s. Just yesterday the blockchain firm and mining company Bitfury detailed the launch of a 14nm chip using older generation semiconductor technology.

Overall the introduction of new chipsets and mining rigs from various manufacturers, and the new Antminers with 7nm technology, the competition should increase the Bitcoin protocol’s SHA256 mining security and decentralization at the same time.

What do you think about the latest announcement from Bitmain Technologies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Bitmain Technologies.

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