If you’ve been following the cryptocurrency scene for any amount of time, you’ve seen that the biggest trend in cryptocurrency has been dynamic growth.
New cryptocurrencies rocket onto the scene, the financial growth of Bitcoin continues to remain strong, and new technology is always being employed to increase the efficiency of mining. However, some people are talking about ASIC miners plateauing.
Let’s take a closer look at the efficiency of ASIC miners and what the future has in store for this technology.
Bitcoin Developed Quickly
The early history of Bitcoin was one of lightning-fast development. You can probably remember the early days when mining on your own computer was enough to keep up. CPUs quickly gave way to cryptocurrency mining using GPUs and even that fell to the wayside with the rise of FPGAs.
It’s this rapid evolution that’s come to be synonymous with cryptocurrencies themselves. This is leading many people to assume that ASIC mining is already on the way out. This might not be looking at the whole picture of semiconductors.
An important thing to consider is that, in many respects, cryptocurrency mining has been playing catch-up to hardware.
The Game of Crypto Catch-up
For a long time, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have relied on pre-existing technologies. Previously, we mined cryptocurrency using processors and GPUs, but now we use ASIC technology. These are computers specially designed to perform calculations and therefore mine cryptocurrencies.
In these early days of cryptocurrency mining, we all want to catch up with existing technology. However, now the latest ASICs use the same technologies as your latest high-priced cell phone. This means more competition for the latest chips for greater efficiency, but also higher acquisition costs for less and less efficiency gains compared to previous gains obtained in mining during the catch-up phase.
The Latest and Greatest in Mining Technology
The latest ASIC mining technology blows everything out of the water. The Antminer S19 XP can make 140TH per second using just 2950 watts. It is estimated to generate around $50 of mining per day at the time of writing and with a price tag of around $10,000, it is designed to be the most competitive mining technology on the market.
The S19 XP is 27% more efficient than its predecessor the S19 Pro. This “27%” may not sound like the skyrocketing growth we experienced in the early days of Bitcoin, but it’s still an important number to consider.
Have ASIC Miners Plateaued?
The Long Lifespan of ASIC
ASICs are a special type of computer. They are specially designed for one job. In this case, they are computers specially designed to generate new bitcoins.
One of the most important aspects of this development is that it means that ASIC mining technology will have a very long lifespan. Because they are specially designed to mine Bitcoin, it reduces competitive margins and focuses new developments on refining advancements and producing more efficient technology.
This changes the development cycle from a cycle focused on new technology and raw power to one focused on sustainability and stability. This means starting to think long-term rather than hoping that new technology is going to disrupt the mining scene in a year or two.
Sustainability Challenges for ASIC Mining Tech
This is where the next big battle is going to be for the makers of cryptocurrency mining technology. Raw power is yesterday’s game, today it’s all about efficiency and sustainability.
The technology must be affordable for miners, work with today’s complex supply chain, and have a keen eye on energy efficiency. The ASIC mining technology of tomorrow will be more efficient in the production of cryptocurrency by requiring less energy and using more efficient components.
Part of the change in direction comes as manufacturers recognize the problems with cheap production lines and focus on making new units that are efficient but also stable.
Supply Chains and Production Shortages
The latest ASIC mining computers use 7-nanometer and 5-nanometer chips. These machines use cutting-edge technology in order to mine Bitcoin more efficiently. This means they run into issues with supply chains and production.
We are still in the grip of a serious shortage of computer chips. The growing popularity of Bitcoin is just one of the many players in this global phenomenon. Companies are responding to this changing landscape by focusing on sustainable production models that can produce ASIC mining hardware more effectively.
The supply chain has also been hit hard by recent events. This means that access to this cutting-edge technology has only become more difficult. This is another sustainability and supply shift challenge facing the next wave of Bitcoin mining hardware.
Dynamic Growth Finds Stability
Bitcoin has finally become an important financial tool. It signifies a great moment of change that begins with how we view Bitcoin mining. Gone are the days of powerful graphics cards dedicated to Bitcoin mining. The next wave of mining will be defined by energy-efficient and sustainable ASICs that generate more hashes than ever before. Bitcoin mining gear is going to get better in a number of much-needed ways. The way it evolves is changing as technology and Bitcoin change as well.