More Examples

“It’s probably unprofitable to mine without an ASIC miner these days.”

“Bitcoin mining with ASIC miners is highly competitive.”

“My ASIC miner‘s hash rate will beat your laptop’s hash rate — any day, any time.”

Definition(s) from the Web

  1. An application-specific integrated circuit (abbreviated as ASIC) is an integrated circuit (IC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. In Bitcoin mining hardware, ASICs were the next step of development after CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs. Capable of easily outperforming the aforementioned platforms for Bitcoin mining in both speed and efficiency, all Bitcoin mining hardware that is practical in use will make use of one or more Bitcoin (SHA256d) ASICs. Note that Bitcoin ASIC chips generally can only be used for Bitcoin mining. While there are rare exceptions – for example chips that mine both Bitcoin and scrypt – this is often because the chip package effectively has two ASICs: one for Bitcoin and one for scrypt. The ASIC chip of choice determines, in large part, the cost and efficiency of a given miner, as ASIC development and manufacture are very expensive processes, and the ASIC chips themselves are often the components that require the most power on a Bitcoin miner. While there are many Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturers, some of these should be seen as systems integrators – using the ASIC chips manufactured by other parties, and combining them with other electronic components on a board to form the Bitcoin mining hardware. ASIC Mining hardware comparison. Source
  2. An ASIC Bitcoin miner is designed exclusively for the purpose of mining bitcoin. Though significantly more expensive to purchase, they are far more powerful (higher hash rate) and electricity-efficient than CPUs and GPUs (graphics cards) – used for mining in the early days of bitcoin – and even FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), which were, in 2011, the most efficient option. According to Mike Murray, creator of The Geek Pub, a $2500 ASIC miner is as powerful as 400 GPUs, or 12,000 CPUs, which would cost $18 million. For reference, as of February 2018, the Bitmain Antminer S9 possessed the highest available hashrate at ~14 TH/s, with an efficiency of ~0.1 Joule per GH/s, and cost $3200 on Amazon, not including the power supply. ASIC for bitcoin mining hardware Mining is now so competitive, and the difficulty rate so high, that attempting to do so without an ASIC is unprofitable. Because ASIC mining hardware is so expensive, ASIC for bitcoin mining is done by companies in thermally-regulated data-centers with access to low-cost electricity. Many of these companies lease part of their mining power as a service. Source
  3. Within the Bitcoin community there are groups working together in mining pools. Some miners use application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for PoW. This trend toward mining pools and specialized ASICs has made mining some cryptocurrencies economically infeasible for most players without access to the latest ASICs, nearby sources of inexpensive energy, or other special advantages. Some PoWs claim to be ASIC-resistant, i.e. to limit the efficiency gain that an ASIC can have over commodity hardware, like a GPU, to be well under an order of magnitude. ASIC resistance has the advantage of keeping mining economically feasible on commodity hardware, but also contributes to the corresponding risk that an attacker can briefly rent access to a large amount of unspecialized commodity processing power to launch a 51% attack against a cryptocurrency. Source

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