Japanese Conglomerate GMO Releases Bitcoin Miner to Compete Against Bitmain
GMO, which has allocated around ten percent of the company’s capital and resources in developing cryptocurrency mining equipment and bitcoin mining facilities, released its highly anticipated bitcoin miner on June 5, directly competing against the dominant cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain.
GMO’s Bitcoin Miner Specs
The release event in Japan at GMO’s headquarters revealed the new bitcoin miner would cost $1,999 versus $837 for Bitmain’s S9 – long held up as the industry standard. But the GMO miner B2 would come with greater hashpower, estimated at 24 TH/s compared to 14TH/s for the S9 according to Yuji Nakamura, a Tokyo-based technology journalist who attended GMO’s press conference. The GMO miner B2 will be shipped by October 2018.
In October 2017, the multi-billion dollar Japanese IT giant first announced that it had initiated the design and development of its 7 nanometer (nm) chips to produce higher performance mining equipment. At the time, the GMO development team emphasized that its mining equipment will focus on reducing power consumption to ensure both individuals and organizations can mine cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum’s ether with increased efficiency.
“We will use cutting-edge 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process and are currently working on its research and development with our alliance partner having semiconductor design technology to realize high-performance computer for mining. It will be possible to reduce power consumption compared to the existing mining machines with the same performance, and achieve a computational performance of 10TH/s per chip,” the GMO team said.
GMO CEO Masatoshi Kumagai told local reporters that he has respect for Bitmain, a company has managed to be the dominant force in the global cryptocurrency mining industry since its debut, but he has confidence that GMO will surpass Bitmain in the cryptocurrency mining sector in the near future.
GMO Versus Bitmain
GMO has been one of the most influential technology conglomerates in Japan for more than two decades. Since 2017, GMO has extensively targeted the cryptocurrency industry, establishing a cryptocurrency mining center, producing a unique line of cryptocurrency mining equipment, and settling employee payments with bitcoin.
The market valuation of GMO stands at around $2.95 billion, which is substantially lower than the market cap of Bitmain. In 2017, Bitmain founder and CEO Jihan Wu stated that the company is valued at around $3-4 billion. Over the past 12 months, Bitmain has formed a cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused investment arm, leading a $110 million funding round for Circle and investing in upcoming initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The rapid growth rate of Bitmain and its recent investments in the cryptocurrency sector are expected to have increased the market valuation of the company by a few billion dollars, easily surpassing the valuation of GMO.
But, Bitmain has recently experienced controversy around its S9 miners, as mining companies filed a formal complaint against Bitmain for receiving mining equipment caked with dust, as Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox revealed.
The Bitmain team clarified that it has worked with its internal department and reimbursed all of the affected customers but the recent controversy around Bitmain led miners to be skeptical towards the quality of Bitmain’s mining equipment.
The entrance of a conglomerate like GMO into the non-competitive cryptocurrency mining industry will lead Bitmain to face its real competition for the first time in the company’s history.