A new chip is in the offing for specialized mining of digital currency. A China-based Bitmain disclosed this recently with a focus towards Ethereum, a virtual currency asset. This could be bad news for American firms like Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia, which are in the semiconductor industry, as the demand for graphic cards could weaken. However, the company indicated that a user could order only one miner citing the limited stock. The miner would not be made available in its own domestic market.

Powerful and Efficient Miner

According to a report in cnbc.com, Bitmain would start shipping the miner for ethereum during the middle or later July. The company disclosed that Antminer E3 is termed as the most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner. The cost of each miner would be approximately $800. In the last 12-month period, ethereum has jumped over 800 percent despite the virtual currency recording a significant drop in the last over a three-month period.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Bitmain stated, “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.” Currently, miners of digital currencies have been using AMD’s and Nvidia’s graphic cards to mine fresh coins. This could be sold or held for a potential future appreciation.

Significantly, Bitmain has been a dominant force in the bitcoin industry due to its specialized ASIC chips. One of the reasons for it was that its chips were more efficient for mining compared to the graphic chips manufactured by the American chip firms, AMD and Nvidia. One of the analysts has already indicated that the Chinese firm would have already made a profit like Nvidia in 2017.

The latest developments would undoubtedly put a shadow on the performance of the American firms. The Street is naturally worried about the dominance of a Chinese firm in the virtual currency mining market. As AMD and Nvidia are expected to announce their quarterly results later this month or next month, analysts have already reduced their price targets on the two companies. It was mainly because of Bitmain’s focus on mining of ethereum.

The shift from Gold to Crypto Mining

It is quite clear that everyone wants to stay ahead of the competition in the cryptocurrency mining market. This was also evident when a number of mineral or gold miners have started shifting towards digital currencies mining to take advantage of the current market conditions. These companies are reaping rich gains that could not be achieved from their existing mineral deposit area.

For instance, Israel-based Natural Resources Holdings Ltd. witnessed a big jump in investor confidence in December last year following its announcement of 75 percent acquisition in Backbone Hosting Solutions. That was simply because the Canadian firm conducts mining operations for virtual currencies under “Bitfarms” name. In terms of capacity, the unit is the biggest one in mining operations in North America with four farms under its fold. Two more plants are underway. The shift in focus is also threatening the mineral mining industry in Canada.

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