This Bitcoin Developer Is About to Take on the Mining Hardware Industry

BtcDrak, the most active pseudonymous Bitcoin Core contributor to date, is making a move into the mining hardware industry. The developer, who besides having contributed to the Bitcoin Core repository also maintains bitcoincore.org and the Bitcoin Core Community Slack, told Bitcoin Magazine he helped set up ASIC chip manufacturing company Halong Mining over the past year, and produced an initial batch of mining hardware, with plans to ship to consumers in early 2018.

“We started a mining project with the aim to bring much needed competition to the market,” BtcDrak said. “We want to ‘make SHA256 great again.’”

The Miners

As listed on the company website, Halong Mining is launching a product line that consists of one machine for now: the DragonMint 16T. The miner — its name references the Dragons’ Den, an (in)famous private chat channel on the Bitcoin Core Community Slack — is said to be equipped with newly designed chips and can produce a total of 16 terahashes per second. Importantly, BtcDrak claims that the machines are about 30 percent more energy efficient than the most efficient ASIC miner on the market right now, Bitmain’s AntMiner S9.

“The DragonMint will be the most advanced miner to date,” he said.

The main bottleneck to entering the ASIC market is typically capital: developing specialized chips from scratch is expensive. While BtcDrak preferred not to disclose much information about Halong Mining for now, he did note that the machines have been produced by a team with “serious expertise.” […]

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