For several days till now there was a rumor that Bitmain was engaged on ASIC miners for Ethereum, and that it was being prepared for launch. However it was a rumour until yesterday that we got the confirmation.
The mining equipment known as Antminer E3 is ready to be despatched in July according to Bitmain’s official website, and will be priced at $ 800, and only one could be bought per individual and they wont be delivering to China and Taiwan.
The information was also confirmed in Bitmain’s official Twitter account:
We are pleased to announce the Antminer E3, world’s most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner.
Ordering limit of one miner per user and not available in China.
Limited stock, order here now: https://t.co/Zfw3afjJHs#antminerE3 pic.twitter.com/SjHu2eUThp
— BITMAIN (@BITMAINtech) 3 April 2018
The first rumors that something like this may very well be developed by Bitmain appeared in February, when a local Chinese media company referred to as Technews.cn published the details of this hardware.
Subsequently, at the end of March , a Susquehanna analyst named Christopher Rolland was quoted by CNBC. In a letter sent to clients, he mentioned that soon we might see an ASIC specially designed for Ethereum that would over take mining with graphics cards. He said:
“During our travels through Asia last weeks, we confirmed that Bitmain has already developed an ASIC for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in 2Q 2018.”
This isn’t the good news for the Ethereum community, as they’ve the great fear that mining might be centralized in massive market players that can acquire this equipment, it is also for NVIDIA and AMD graphics card producers, which They had obtained nice advantages in recent times due to the gross sales of their products to be used in mining.
Now it remains to see what the Ethereum community will do, which is torn between making a hard fork that leaves this hardware unused or finally implement the Participation Test that would leave this and the next ones completely obsolete.