Obelisk Threaten Soft Fork in Reaction to Bitmain Antminer A3 Launch

Chinese mining giants Bitmain caught the mining community off guard on Wednesday with the surprise launch of a new cryptocurrency miner.

The infamous Chinese company has had a chequered past among the cryptocurrency community, being embroiled in the scaling debate in 2017 which saw Bitmain lean towards support of Bitcoin Cash.

It now sees as though Bitmain are looking to squeeze the life out of another virtual currency – Siacoin.

The new Antminer A3 model will be able to mine cryptocurrencies using the Blake(2b) hashing algorithm – which currently powers Siacoin.

The model is on sale in intermittent batches for around $2,375 in an attempt to stop vendors placing large orders of the unit. This has been a particular problem in recent months, as buyers flocked to get their hands on Bitmain’s Bitcoin S9 miners, as well as their Dash D3 and Litecoin L3+ miners.

Obelisk threaten soft fork

The announcement of the Antminer A3 launch came out of the blue and has already caused a stir in the mining community due to its focus on the Blake(2b) hashing algorithm.

As it stands, Blockchain cloud storage service Sia uses Siacoin as it’s cryptocurrency, which is mined using the Blake(2b) algorithm.

Nebulous Labs, the studio behind Sia, launched its own ASIC cryptocurrency miners Obelisk which has been in presale since 2017. Two miners are available, the Decredcryptocurrency miner DC1 and the Siacoin miner SC1. The first batch has already sold out and is expected to ship in June this year.

Bitmain’s surprise announcement effectively muscles in on the market before Obelisk has shipped its new SC1 miners. The Chinese mining company has promised delivery within 10 days after full payment has been made.

This has not gone unnoticed, and Obelisk founder David Vorick posted a stern warning to Bitmain on the Obelisk Reddit forum, hinting at a soft fork that would disable the Bitmain A3 units from being able to mine the coin.

“Bitmain has a long history of being abusive towards coin communities, their customers and towards coin developers.We prepared for something like this by adding an extra feature to the SC1. We can do a soft-fork that slightly changes the PoW algorithm which would invalidate the Bitmain ASICs, but allow the SC1 units to continue working. In the event of an attack from Bitmain, we can activate this soft fork.”

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