Bitmain, the world’s leading manufacturer of bitcoin (BTC) miners, will start selling a new Ethereum rig model on its website on Wednesday, even as the second-biggest cryptocurrency network moves away from proof-of-work (PoW) technology.

The Chinese rig maker announced the news on Twitter Tuesday, saying “The Time Has Come.”

Unlike bitcoin mining, which is mostly accomplished with application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) – meaning chips that are tailor-made for the job – ether mining generally uses graphics processing units (GPU), which are also utilized in other types of computing. The increasing popularity of ether mining was a key factor in driving up the prices of GPUs in 2021, so much so that technology company Nvidia (NVDA) launched mining-specific GPUs.

But as Ethereum moves toward proof-of-stake (PoS) mining, GPU prices have significantly decreased. The changover, known as the Merge, has been consistently delayed in the past few months.

The new Antminer E9, as the rig is called, was revealed more than a year ago.

The model that goes on sale Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET (13:00 UTC) is slightly more energy efficient than was detailed last year, consuming 8 joules/terahash (J/TH) instead of 8.5 J/TH. The model is equivalent to 25 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards, Bitmain said, as opposed to 32 RTX 3080, which is what it promised last year.

Bitmain had released another Ethereum mining rig, the Antminer E3, in 2018, but is no longer selling it on its website.


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