Japan’s Tech Giant Set to Launch the First Bitcoin Miner with 7nm Chip
GMO Internet Group plans to launch GMO miner B2 on June 6, 2018, which will be followed by an information session in Tokyo, Japan. During the launch, details on the GMO miner B2’s performance and the price will become available to potential buyers.
Once launched, the GMO miner B2 will become the first bitcoin mining machine in the world to feature a 7 nanometer (7nm) processor. The high-performance computer features a semiconductor chip known as ‘GMO 72b’ and will start shipping by the end of October 2018.
From Wallets to Mining
After announcing interest in creating bitcoin wallets during January 2017, GMO began researching leading mining technology in September 2017.
GMO’s statement regarding mining technology, they made it clear that they thought bitcoin – and perhaps other cryptocurrencies – could create a “borderless economic zone,” as reported by BTCManager in September 2017. The company proceeded to invest close to 10 billion yen ($90 million) in researching on semiconductors and establishing their data centers.
Diego Guiterrez, the chief executive of the mining software company RSK Labs, commented at the time, “The ones at risk are the ones still trying to recover their investment because they will be four times less productive. The other mining chip developers will surely follow and create their own 7 nm chips if they are not already doing it.”
The Journey to GMO’s Miner B2
Miner B2. Source: GMO
By developing a high performing mining computer in less than a year, GMO has demonstrated its commitment to growing its mining business. In December 2017, GMO Internet Group made public its plans to expand its mining business through the establishment of new facilities in North Europe.
In the same month, the company announced that it would be remunerating its employees in bitcoin. This was done to strengthen its approach to the virtual currencies. The announcement said that it is essential to improve their virtual currency literacy by actively using virtual currency.
GMO 72b version chip powers GMO miner B2. According to the company, two versions of the 72b chip are under development. While version one is the first prototype of 7nm mining chip, mass production of version two chips is set to begin in Q4 of 2018.
The company plans to use this version in its mining operations and cloud mining, as well as sell the mining chip to the public.
The Race to 7nm Chips
Considering that cryptocurrency mining activities require high performing machines with the capability to perform highly intensive and sophisticated computations, there are expectations that GMO miner B2 will be low in energy demands yet high in hashing power.
According to the company’s website, the power efficiency of GMO miner B2 will boost profits for miners. GMO Internet Group has had its mining facilities running since December 2017. According to a report available on its website at the beginning of May 2018, the company mined 537 bitcoin cash and 906 bitcoins in April 2018.
Even so, GMO Internet Group is not the only tech company that is carving a niche in the cryptocurrency industry by integrating 7nm chip technology in its miners.
Samsung, TSMC, and Intel are also participating in the 7nm chip race. Driven by economic incentives, these multinational businesses entering a new market brings more competition; in turn, this should lead to greater innovation and efficiency in bitcoin mining, helping to address to often-cited concerns over centralization.