Butterfly Labs, makers of specialty Bitcoin-mining machines, just announced the Butterfly Labs Monarch, an insanely powerful new ASIC at CES 2014. This machine can mine at a whopping 600 GH/s while using 350 W of power. Despite it’s hefty $2196 price tag, BFL claims that the Monarch is cheaper and more efficient than its competition.
Gadget blog Gizmodo has some great images of the insides of the Monarch as well as a water cooling system prototype.
While this is all really impressive, Butterfly Labs has come under fire in the past for taking several months to deliver products with very poor customer service. As such, anyone who decides to preorder the Monarch should be cautioned, because there’s really no telling when you’ll actually receive the device, and what the state of Bitcoin will be at that point. Regardless, the Monarch is an impressive piece of machinery, perhaps too impressive. With so much mining power, it would be much easier to orchestrate a 51% attack on the Bitcoin network. The rise of ASICs was what prompted the creation of Scrypt-based coins like Litecoin.
Butterfly Labs stated that they expect to start shipping Monarchs later this month, but given its previous track record, this is a little difficult to believe.