Among miners, you can regularly see the abbreviation ASIC. We at BeMine just sell them for cloud mining, so we will be happy to tell you a little more about these guys.
Long story short
In a nutshell: ASIC is a computer that can calculate according to the encryption algorithm of a particular cryptocurrency – Bitcoin miners run on the SHA-256 algorithm, Ethereum Classic miners run on Ethash, and so on. The abbreviation stands for “Application-Specific Integrated Circuit”.
Ok, it’s not quite clear enough, but it’s short. If it’s even shorter – ASIC is a shining metal box full of chips, wires and cooler fans that can mining cryptocurrencies though the internet. ASIC miners are specially designed for mining cryptocurrencies, unlike GPUs and ordinary personal computers we used to have, so it does it much more efficiently. That’s why they’re so valuable.
A bit of history
During the early days of bitcoin, mining was an enthusiastic hobby. Initially, the creators of bitcoin thought that the emission would occur by network participants just using their personal computers. Computers provide transactions by combining them into blocks and validating their authenticity, and get a transaction fees and new bitcoins as a rewards.
As the value of bitcoin grows, enterprising enthusiasts began to create the first mining farms in order to mine more bitcoins, using GPUs as the most suitable part of computers for similar calculations. The difficulty of the network began to grow too and it became unprofitable to mine on ordinary computers – they became to consume more power than the cost of mined bitcoins.
Therefore, the just formed industry required new solutions. And the best of them was to create an especial device for mining, designed for a specific cryptocurrency, and providing it with cooling from overheating. This made it possible to increase power efficiency and simplify the design: GPUs and CPUs of ordinary personal computers are multitasking and can work in millions of different algorithms. ASICs always exclusively work in only one and are designed specifically for this purposes.
So the bitcoin industry has its own sub-industry: whole companies have founded that compete each other in performance, design and power efficiency, and the difficulty of the network began to grow. This is how Bitmain, Innosilicon, Whatsminer and many others were created.
Miners have a bunch of main specifications that affect their profitability primarily:
Hashrate - computing power according to the cryptocurrency algorithm, measured in hashes – decrypted symbols. Given the performance of miners, hashes are usually prefixed with mega, giga, and tera (TH/S).
One of the industry flagships, the Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro+ Hydro has 255 TH/S of computing power. So, one such miner decrypts 255 trillion symbols in one second.
Power consumption - the number of watts consumed by the miner in one hour of work. Miners consume really a lot of energy. A few thousand watts per hour, usually.
Therefore, they need to be kept where electricity costs as little as possible so that the miner does not eat more than he produces.
Efficiency is power consumption divided by hashrate. That's how easy it is to find the ratio of energy to terahash. The lower an efficiency value, the better a miner will show itself in work. This parameter is usually measured in joules per terahash (J/TH).
For example, the efficiency of the Antminer S19 Pro is 32.3 J/TH (3550W / 110 TH/S), while the efficiency of its predecessor Antminer S9i is 93.6 J/TH (1310W / 14 TH/S). The difference in their effectiveness is almost three times if favor of S19 Pro.
A miner is a quite heavy and noisy thing that requires a special approach to work: uninterrupted Internet, a suitable climate and a clean place with good aeration (no, this is not an on-duty recommendation of the manufacturer, but a necessary condition).
Also sometimes they may suddenly turn off during operation, so miners require round-the-clock monitoring and maintenance. Machines are also quite expensive, so leaving them somewhere unattended is barely good idea even in the most law-abiding countries.
Our mining hotels have staff who are on duty around the clock and make sure that the miners are mining smoothly. It looks like a library, where miners in a pile of wires make noise on the shelves instead of books and produce precious bitcoin.
Cloud ASIC is the future now
Why it’s better to get ASIC instead of the usual cloud contract that services offer? The answer is even shorter, than the intro of this article – cloud contracts have duration limits.
Contracts are the same miners, but converted by their hashrate and power consumption. How could we not to assume that any company interested in their own profit will not offer unfavorable conditions for themselves, so they can take part of the miners’ hashpower for themselves?
By purchasing a miner, our users receive both genuine characteristics and unlimited contact, as well as a real machine in a mining hotel. The benefit of the service is already included in the maintenance fee, so this cloud mining model is more transparent than a regular contract.
Instead of dead digits and specifications, the owner of the miner gets real ASIC equipment and it will mine in his favor as long as it is mining, in accordance with the share of ownership.
Also, the owner of the whole machine always has the opportunity to take a miner from the hotel to his home with delivery in order to touch mining not only metaphorically.
So which mining is real? I bet that we have the answer.