Bitmain A3 Miner Is Expected To Boost 900% Difficulty of Siacoin Network

17 January 2018–According to the Bitmain sales account, the Siacoin A3 815G miner was open for order on 17 January 2018. One hour after the news is being released, 6,000 units were sold out quickly. Shipment in 7 days means the delivery is much faster than the SC1 miner developed by Sia Tech, which is expected to deliver before August 31, 2018.

According to whattomine, the machine can mine SC equivalent to 1 BTC in 17.62 days at static difficulty. That’s like a money-printer compared to its price at 20,800 Yuan(~3,200 USD). On the other hand, pre-order price for SC1 at 800G+ hashrate is 1,599 USD.

The Sia Dev team voiced their concern on reddit:

“As a developer, Bitmain moving into the Sia space makes me uneasy. Bitmain has historically been extremely greedy, and very willing to sacrifice the well being of the community, of their customers, and of the ecosystem if it means they can make a couple of extra dollars. The biggest way this has manifested for altcoins is that they will over-sell hardware. When a ton of miners suddenly join the network, the difficulty adjusts. If too many miners join the network, nobody is able to make any money, and everyone eats a loss on their hardware purchase.”

But those who managed to acquire A3 miner doesn’t think so. According to a buyer, Gao did some math on the machine’s potential:

“Rated at 815G, the Bitmain A3 Miner can generate 14.75*815 or 12,021 SC every 24h at current difficulty.”

“With 6,000 units in full swing, the Siacoin network difficulty may increase 900% and the daily output could drop to 1,200 SC. But that’s awesome!”

He is right.  6,000 A3 units is equal to 4,890 th/s, at least 10 times of current 420 th/s hashrate.

He paid scalpers in order to secure several units and he is very excited about the outcome. But he also felt sorry for GPU-miner as their rigs are no rival to the ASIC miners.
It’s obvious that the Bitmain A3 miner would render SC1 miner into worthless piece of steel, meaning early R&D expenditure wasted. But the Sia Dev Team has solution:

“We did add an extra feature to the SC1 unit that would allow us to invalidate the Bitmain hardware without invalidating the SC1.”
“The community would need to choose to adopt a soft-fork (it’s not something we could just magically activate, we have to change the hashing algorithm slightly), and then we could get rid of this cycle of Bitmain hardware.”

SIA has been backed by some crypto celebrity with caliber like Lao Mao, COO of Yunbi. He first introduced SIA project in May 2016.
Siacoin community in China is deeply concerned with the A3 miner. However, independent analyst believes that the ASIC miners are boosting the security level of Siacoin Network.

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