The launch of two new ASIC miners for SiaCoin has recently been announced, which could have a significant impact on the operation of the network and eventually on the price of the cryptocurrency.
The first one is the DragonMint B52 Blake2b, which was announced by Halong Mining without further details, except that with it you could get a 1000W (+/-) 8% mining with 135 ASIC chips.
The second is the miner offered by Bitmain, the Antminer A3 Blake2b, which arrives before the official miner of the SiaCoin that was named Obelisk SC1 and was announced in June 2017. The Antminer A3 has characteristics similar to the Obelisk, an issue that has unsettled many users who had previously ordered it.
Given this, the team of developers of Sia was alarmed and “uncomfortable”, as they recognized that Bitmain could saturate the network of Sia and generate losses for buyers of the Antminer A3 to reduce the reward for the adjustment of difficulty after the massive entry of new processing power to the network. To prevent an attack by Bitmain’s “greed”, Sia’s team added a feature that could exclude Bitmain miners from its network.
We, the development team, are not happy that Bitmain has made an ASIC for Sia. We are not happy that many supporters of Sia run the risk of losing money buying these miners (for excess saturation), and we are not happy that Bitmain has decided to interfere with our network. This is a comment about the ASIC companies in general, this is a comment about Bitmain specifically.
We added an extra feature to the SC1 unit that could allow us to invalidate the Bitmain hardwares without invalidating the SC1. The community would need to choose to adopt a soft fork (it’s not something that we can magically activate, we have to change the hashing algorithm slightly) and then we could get rid of this cycle of Bitmain hardwares. Sure, they could create another round of hardware (it would probably take 3 months) and that would affect more Bitmain customers than Bitmain. Bitmain has already sold around $ 20 million of non-refundable hardware. They already made their profits, and a soft fork will not change that.
The team also accused Bitmain of just worrying about making profits at the expense of the stability of the cryptocurrency and its users: “Bitmain will not end with losses, because they have been paid in advance with non-refundable money.” For this reason, the added feature to block Bitmain equipment would only be activated if they started to damage the network with double-spending attacks or by mining empty blocks, as they have already done in the Bitcoin network.
On the other hand, the Bitmain team developed a way to prevent miners being hoarded by small retailers. In the Twitter account of Bitmain, a user reported that the sale of all the equipment was made in just 10 minutes after it was announced. Bitmain responded to this by noting that an “exhausted” message will be intermittently placed on the purchase platform every so often without the batch actually being depleted.
Indeed, these miners could generate a significant increase in the hashrate of the network. With this, the speed of confirmation of transactions would increase considerably, attracting a large number of people interested in investing in this cryptocurrency, causing the price of the currency to increase. The current price of SiaCoin is located at 0.05 dollars according to CoinMarketCap.
This announcement comes after the most recent hardfork made in the Sia network in December, which sought to correct errors to adapt to the new ASIC miners. SiaCoin hardforks do not lead to any branch of the network, but a generalized update that applies to all nodes. Additionally, a new hardfork has been announced by means of github for when the 139 thousand block has been mined, which will occur approximately on January 21.