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Bitmain has announced the release of the Antminer Z9 mini, a new mining hardware product dedicated to the Equihash algorithm, used by the cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC/USD).

Why it is important

  1. Cryptocurrency extraction with video cards and processors has become less attractive with the release of the ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) miner.
  2. Bitmain’s progression into the mining device market market threatens AMD and NVIDIA - the two main beneficiaries of the 2017 crypto boom - and raises issues regarding the centralization of mining into a few large operations.

Bitmain’s tweet reads: “Pleased to announce the Antminer Z9 mini, an ASIC miner to mine Equihash-based cryptocurrencies. To prevent hoarding and to let more individuals worldwide get one, we've set a limit of one miner per user”.

The first owners are expected to receive the Antminer Z9 in June.

Zcash is the most famous cryptocurrency on the Equihash algorithm, also used by ZenCash, ZClassic, Hush, Komodo and MinexCoin.

A month ago, Bitmain announced the first ASIC miner capable of mining Ethereum (ETH/USD) and other currencies using the Ethash algorithm.

Shortly before this, Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir asked Twitter users if they would back a hard fork that would render Ethereum ASIC miners obsolete.

Commenting on the latest news, Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox wrote:

“I’m really chagrined that I let it sound like we were committing to a social contract of ongoing ASIC-resistance. That is absolutely never what I had intended to commit to.”

By Ekaterina Ulyanova

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