Shares of AMD (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) are falling after China-based bitcoin mining company Bitmain announced a new specialized mining system for ethereum.
NEW MINING SYSTEM: China-based Bitmain has unveiled a specialized digital currency mining system for ethereum, which analysts have predicted could harm demand for graphics cards, potentially impacting AMD and Nvidia, CNBC reported Tuesday. The company said in a tweet, “We are pleased to announce the Antminer E3, world’s most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner. Ordering limit of one miner per user and not available in China. Limited stock, order here now.” The system will ship in mid-to-late July for $800 each. Cryptocurrency miners have been using graphics cards based on AMD’s and Nvidia’s chips to mine coins; however, Bitmain has dominated the bitcoin (BTC) space as its specialized application-specific integrated circuit chips are more efficient at mining than the graphic chips. Analysts now expect the company will dominate the ethereum mining market.
DEUTSCHE BANK WEIGHS IN: Following the announcement, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Seymore weighed in, saying Bitmain’s new mining rig could potentially negatively impact demand for graphics processing units driven by cryptocurrency mining at AMD and Nvidia. The analyst said the first batch of Bitmain’s ASICs have already sold out and technologically, the company has indicated that the ASIC miner is capable of a 180M hashes per second hashrate at 800 watts of power usage using the Ethash algorithm. Seymore estimated that an NVDA GTX 1070TI is presently capable of a 32 MH/s hash rate at 150W of power usage, meaning that the ASIC has the potential to mine at a lower power profile equal to six Nvidia GTX 1070TIs, which currently sell on some third-party websites for $400-$500 per card. The analyst, who estimated that Bitmain ASICs hold as much as 70%-80% of the bitcoin mining market, said while the exact size of AMD/Nvidia cryptocurrency GPU sales is difficult to measure, he believes they accounted for approximately 9% of sales for Nvidia and 7% of sales for AMD in 2017, with the benefit in fourth quarter 2017 and first quarter 2018 closer to the 10%-12% range. Seymore also noted that ethereum has dropped to approximately $400 from $750 year-to-date.