Bitmain continues to build an army of alt-coin miners, this time announcing an ASIC designed to mine the Equihash algorithm. Equihash has a number of alt-coins that use this algorithm, but most miners choose to mine Zcash(ZEC).
The Antminer Z9 mini will produce 10K Sol/s of hashing power with a while drawing only 300w. For comparison most ZEC miners use GPU rigs that create about 250-400 Sol/s while burning around 150w. This new ASIC will likely move ZEC mining away from the GPU farms and into large-scale industrial farms. ZEC’s difficulty level is down from it’s 9-10 million mark in February but will certainly increase sharply once these new machines ship.
A number of manufacturers, including the likes of Innosilicon and Halong, have released ASIC devices for popular alt-coins. As these devices begin shipping in quantity it’s as safe bet that GPU farms will be forced to upgrade in order to be profitable. Although some alt-coin developers actively work to invalidate ASIC mining, many of the popular coins have taken a wait-and-see approach.
The Antminer Z9 mini is available for purchase now, and ships in June of 2018.