It has been around 8 years since the first ASIC hit the market and there continues to be more growth within the industry. New miner manufacturers are coming out every other year and continue to push the limits of efficiency.
- S9s were one of the largest produced ASICs that held majority hashrate
- S9s and S7s are still coming online even though S7s may not be profitable
- New miners bring new competition, but S9s are still holding ground
Bitmain was a leader in producing the most ASICs for years and now they are starting to see some stiff competition as far as efficiency and production goes. In 2019 according to the Token Insights Annual Report, they produced almost 58% of all ASICs and were predicted to produce 63% in 2020.
Currently the MicroBT M30S is the most Profitable Miner out there with The Antminer S19 Pro in a close second. Antminer S9s were the majority of the hashrate for a few years, becoming the most dominant ASIC in history. They were produced in bulk and stayed profitable for a long time. In June 2016 when the S9 was released it was almost 3x more efficient than its predecessor, the S7. Not only were they extremely efficient, but they could withstand extreme weather conditions along with being relatively easy and cheap to fix.
Below is the dominance of the S9 coupled with how profitable it was at that point in time. When looking at this chart it’s important to note that the s9s are not shutting off, but rather more ASIC machines are being produced that aren't S9s. This chart was presented in a recent Compass livestream with the Coin Metrics team.
Around 2019 is when S9s start losing dominance to larger, more powerful machines. This would have been a combination of Bitmain switching production to larger more efficient machines and other newer ASIC manufacturers producing more ASICs.
Looking at the chart below, you can see there are a few blips of S7s going online. This may be because there are small periods of profitability along with miner facilities having paid for electricity up front for the entire month. If this is the case they would just be putting up as much hashrate as possible since the electricity was pre-paid.
Currently the Antminer S9s are still profitable and holding on from their long reign as king. But now, less than 25% of the hashrate is Antminer S9s and it is dwindling. As new ASICs come out and the hashrate climbs, S9s will slowly become less market dominant. But this looks to be a few years away, and as Bitcoin price keeps rising, it could mean a prolonged lifetime for the ASIC king.