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Bitmain's Upcoming Monero ASIC Miner Sparks Anxious Buzz Within XMR Community

In an announcement on Sunday, cryptocurrency mining rig manufacturer Bitmain revealed its intention to sell a machine designed for mining the digital currency monero (XMR). The machine boasts a hashrate of 212 kilohash per second (KH/s), and the firm asserts that it is the first “professional XMR miner” available.

‘Hard Fork Go Brrrrrrrr’ — Monero Mining Machine Launch by Bitmain Creates a Stir

Bitmain is preparing for the unveiling of its latest XMR mining rig, the Antminer X5. Sales are scheduled to commence on September 4, according to the Sunday announcement. While the machine’s price remains undisclosed for now, the manufacturer has engaged its social media followers by inviting them to speculate on the price of the new X5 rig. Individuals whose price estimates fall within 5% of the actual value will have the chance to receive a $1,000 Bitmain coupon, while those within 10% will be rewarded with a $500 coupon.

Bitmain's Upcoming Monero ASIC Miner Sparks Anxious Buzz Within XMR Community

Although the announcement does not specify the value of the Randomx mining rig, it does provide insight into the machine’s specifications. For instance, the Antminer X5 produces 212 KH/s and consumes 1,350 watts from the power source. The X5 boasts an efficiency rating of 6.37 joules per kilohash. The X5 is slated for sale on September 4, with shipping planned for September 10. Presently, statistics show Monero’s total network hashrate hovers around 2.06 gigahash per second (GH/s), equivalent to 2.06 million KH/s.

Unsurprisingly, the introduction of the new miner has sparked conversations within the XMR community. Renowned for its focus on privacy, the cryptocurrency has consistently pursued resistance against application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), leading to multiple instances of forking to counter ASIC development. The Rabid Mining Youtube channel featured a video discussing the impending arrival of XMR ASICs. On the Reddit forum r/monero, the Rabid Mining video and ensuing discussions on the topic occupy the top post on the subreddit as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday.

Certain members of the Reddit community suspect that these machines have potentially existed since December 2021. One individual playfully referenced “hard fork go brrrrrrrr,” alluding to a fork as a solution. Another criticized ASIC manufacturers for pursuing these types of machines, given that the “XMR community can break all their work with a few commits.” While many express optimism about the community’s potential to diverge from ASIC development through forking, others remain uncertain. One skeptic remarked:

Mining algorithms are not that easy to design, take a look at the docs for Randomx, this will take some time to develop a new algorithm.

The implementation of Randomx within Monero was a result of a hard fork in December 2019. The consensus algorithm aimed to resist ASICs and enhance accessibility to the mining process. It’s worth noting that achieving complete ASIC resistance presents challenges, as ASIC manufacturers relentlessly continue to develop new models. Additionally, achieving ASIC resistance has proven arduous for various cryptocurrency projects over the years. While some opt for hard forks to diverge from ASIC development, some projects have ultimately accepted the presence of ASICs within their networks.

What do you think about Bitmain’s new machine that can mine monero and the Randomx algorithm? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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