Cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain has reportedly launched another application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining chip that targets privacy coin Zcash.
The Chinese based leading crypto mining firm has claimed that the new miner is three times powerful than its predecessor.
In an announcement published on Tuesday, March 19, the company said that its Antminer Z11 targets miners of cryptocurrencies that run the Equihash algorithm like Zcash (ZEC), ZClassic (ZCL), Bitcoin Private (BTCP) and Komodo (KMD).
According to Bitmain, the new miner offers a hash rate of 135K sol/s, thrice as powerful as the Antminer Z9 that precedes it. The Z9 was launched in May 2018 but has a lower sol/s- which correlates to a lower hashing power.
In contrast, the Antminer Z11 offers a higher hashing computation that would make mining cryptocurrencies on the Equihash algorithm computationally profitable.
In cryptocurrency mining, solutions per second (sol/s) are an equivalent of hashes per second (h/s), which refers to the number of hashes created when mining.
The Antminer Z11 uses a 12-nanometer chip which, according to Bitmain, is more energy efficient compared to the Z9. As such, the new product will likely save up to 60 percent of energy consumption and significantly reduce electricity costs.
At the time Bitmain launched its Antminer Z9, the Zcash community was divided on whether or not to they should alter the coin’s network protocol to enable it to become ASIC resistant.
An ASIC resistant network would prevent the use of ASICs when mining ZEC and allow miners to continue using the Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). Application specific integrated circuits like the Z9 or Z11 are more powerful than GPUs meaning that miners who possess the new mining chips would have an upper hand.
However, during the first Zcash conference (Zcon0) held in June last year, the Zcash community voted against prioritizing research that would have led to changes being made on the Zcash network and thus render it ASIC resistant.
Despite stiff competition from other cryptocurrency mining companies and hardware manufacturers including Bitfury and Canaan Creative, Bitmain continues to dominate the bitcoin mining space with a host of new mining chips.
In 2018 Bitmain released several Antminer devices for both bitcoin and ethereum. In February this year, the company launched its latest mining processor- a 7-nanometer mining chip dubbed BM1397.
The 7nm chip was an improvement on the company’s previously released BM 1391 chip. The new processor has an efficiency output of 26.8 percent greater than the BM 1391.
Both chips are designed to help in the mining of proof- of- work (PoW) coins that utilize the SHA256 algorithm, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.