The date is November 26th, 2013 and KnCMiner, the Swedish ASIC Mining company has announced their newest line of 20nm ASIC miners for pre-order. Currently, only previous customers can pre-order these new miners and they won’t be available to the public for another three weeks.
KnCMiner’s marketing model is conservative. It publishes nominal specifications for its devices ahead of time, with the caveat that these will probably be at the low end, and that real-world performance will be higher. It promised 400GH/sec for its 28nm Jupiter device, which eventually delivered 550-576GH/sec.
This means that it is not unreasonable to expect >2TH/s from these Neptunes when they finally get delivered in spring of 2014.
HashFast’s last update (at the time of writing) showed it had received silicon wafers with its circuitry (specced at under 0.65 watts per GH/sec) etched on them, and yet it originally promised shipments by late last month.
Cointerra said it had taped out its chips earlier in the month. HashFast is promising 1.2TH/sec per box for $6,300, while Cointerra is promising 2TH/sec for $5,999 (formerly $13,999).
KnCMiner’s competition in the next few months seems to be cut out for them; however, both HashFast and Cointerra have yet to deliver what they have promised. Coindesk didn’t even take the time to mention Butterfly Lab’s “next-gen” ASIC Miner the Butterfly Monarch which is 28nm and a measly 0.6 TH/s with a very fuzzy timeline for delivery. I think most Bitcoiners would take a bet that KnCMiner will deliver their 20nm before BFL delivers their 28nm.
The Bitcoin network is now secured by only ASIC miners, and there are several ASIC manufacturers around the world competing to develop the most energy efficient and cost effective ways to mine Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is an increasingly difficult field for a newcomer to enter into, and hence the Bitcoin network is becoming more, not less, centralized. This same phenomenon will happen to Scrypt altcoins now that Scrypt mining ASICs are being developed as well.
Currently, the regulatory environment for digital currencies is favorable and it is unlikely that any government would try to nationalize an ASIC mining manufacturer to attempt a 51% attack. Should that change, only altcoins un-mine-able by ASICs will be safe from attack.
Better buy some more primecoins!