There are lots of things to consider when picking up bitcoin mining hardware. It’s important to judge each unit based on their hashing power, the amount of electricity they consume, their ambient temperature, and their initial cost to purchase. Below is a guide to the top three manufacturers of cryptocurrency miners.
Bitmain Technologies headquartered in Beijing, China, and reportedly valued at $14 billion is world’s dominant producer of ASIC miners. According to a February 2018 report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, Bitmain dominates the cryptocurrency mining sector with over 75 percent of the market share.
The firm was established in 2013 by Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan to develop and sell the world leading bitcoin miners using ASIC chip technology. Bitmain has now expanded their activity, opening offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Fuzhou, U.S, Israel, Netherlands and Switzerland. According to the company’s financial documents, Bitmain generated $2.5 billion in revenue in 2017, while recording a $1.1 billion net profit in the first quarter of 2018 alone.
Prior to founding Bitmain, Jihan Wu was a financial analyst and a private equity fund manager. Last month Fortune placed him third after Coinbase CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong and ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin in the Ledger 40 Under 40- a ranking of fintech's most influential young leaders.
Fortune described Wu as “the undisputed king of cryptocurrency mining hardware and crypto mining pools.” Jihan Wu claims to be the first to have translated Satoshi Nakamoto's bitcoin white paper from English to Chinese. Speaking to Fortune earlier this year Wu revealed his interest in ‘stablecoins’, and shared plans to diversify Bitmain by developing AI chips.
Micree Zhan, before co-founding Bitmain with Wu, ran DivaIP, a startup that allowed users to stream television to a computer screen via a set-top box. The co-founders together own about 60 percent of the business.
Bitmain also parents several brands, including Antminer, Antpool, and Hashnest. The company started by producing Antminer S1, but soon faced a more difficult task as Bitcoin’s difficulty level kept rising. In May 2016 Bitmain released the Antminer S9, the world’s first consumer-grade Bitcoin miner based on a 16nm process ASIC chip.
According to Forbes, Bitmain's latest S9j model with 14.5 telehash can mine 0.00056 Bitcoin per month. Last month that figure was 0.00069. Bitmain also offers Wi-Fi routers which mine cryptocurrency while users browse the web. One of the models is the Antrouter R3-DASH and the other one is the Antrouter R3-SIA.
They are designed to mine Dash and Siacoin (SC), respectively, and have very similar capabilities and are modeled over the Bitmain R3 series of products.
Beyond producing miners, the company also operates the largest cryptocurrency mining pools worldwide including Antpool.com, BTC.com and connectBTC.com—as well as hashnest.com, the leading cloud mining platform.
We are pleased to announce the #antrouter R3-DASH & R3-SIA, new miners from the R3 series that is also dual-function WiFi Router and Crypto Miner that can mine #dashcoin & #siacoin. Order here Dash: (https://t.co/bT7VM9FWUT) & Sia: (https://t.co/4WvlkK62Zc) now while stock lasts! pic.twitter.com/j7WhkShgJi— Antminer_main (@Antminer_main) August 6, 2018
Bitmain recently announced the launch of its new blockchain data center and cryptocurrency mining facility in Rockdale, Texas. According to the company’s announcement, the facility “represents an investment of more than US $500 million by Bitmain over an initial period of seven years into the local, county, and statewide economies.” The facility will be occupying part of the former Alcoa Rockdale operations site, the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum.
Earlier this year, Bitmain led a $110 million financing round for Circle, the crypto startup with the highest valuation in the U.S. Bitmain and Circle also announced partnership to develop a stablecoin - called USD Coin, or Circle USDC - that will be completely backed by dollar reserves.
In a most recent development, Bitmain invested in Lambda blockchain data storage firm.
One of Bitmain’s biggest competitors is Canaan Creative or simply Cannan, headquartered in Beijing. Founded in 2013 by N.G. Zhang, the firm is producing blockchain servers and designing ASIC microprocessor solutions. According to a report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, Canaan has about 15 percent of the global market for Bitcoin mining chips and computer equipment.
The company reported on $203 million in revenue last year. Canaan sold almost 300,000 Avalon mining machines in 2017 with U.S. and Sweden being the biggest overseas markets.
CEO N.G. Zhang invented the first blockchain hardware mining tech by embedding software algorithms into FPGA hardware and branding the products, Icarus and Lancelot. The success of the products inspired him to found the Canaan Creative. N.G. created ASIC blockchain hardware mining product line, the Avalon.
Earlier this month the world’s second largest producer of cryptocurrency mining rigs presented the first Bitcoin mining TV set dubbed AvalonMiner Inside, South China Morning Post reports. The TV set has a processing power of 2.8 trillion hashes per second. Its most powerful mining machine can process 11 trillion hashes per second. Canaan also says that the Avalon mining TV is powered by artificial intelligence, can calculate the profitability of bitcoin mining in real-time, has a voice control feature and a 4K resolution. The company is planning to distribute the mining TV set to businesses that will in turn sell it to customers. A number of blockchain-related home appliances are also expected to be introduced.
In addition to the TV set, the company will launch a 7nm chip-equipped 30T Avalonminer A9, a Litecoin Avalonminer, and a household heater that produce cryptocurrency. While Bitmain is only preparing to launch an IPO, Canaan has already filed for a Hong Kong IPO that could raise about $1 billion.
Ebang (Zhejiang Ebang Communication), is another large Bitcoin mining chipmaker in China seeking to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX). It filed an application last month and expects to raise $1 billion. According to the filing, Ebang had $135 million USD in revenue in 2017, which is a 17x increase from its 2016 revenue. Ebang is the third largest producer of bitcoin mining hardware globally, after Bitmain and Canaan.
The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Hangzhou, China. The company started by manufacturing hardware products for the telecommunication industry. In 2016, the firm moved into the cryptocurrency mining business competing with Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain and Cannan Creative by launching its own Ebit miners. According to Smartkarma, Ebang miners use 10nm ASIC chips and provide better hash power than 16nm chips used by Bitmain and Canaan.
All three companies - Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang - joined the list of "unicorns" – private companies valued at over $1 billion – for the first time. The list is compiled by Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute. Valued at $10.3bn (70bn yuan), Bitmain ranked 13th on the list. Hurun values Canaan and Ebang at around $3 billion and $1.5 billion respectively, placing the firms at 32nd and 53rd on the list.