The revolution of Bitcoin mining industry
In 2013, bitcoin made its debut in front of the world, with a hundredfold increase over the year and a price of up to 1,000 euros. Early adopters were surprised to find that professional-grade mining machines can generate huge amounts of wealth. The price of Avalon and Friedcat mining machines explode in the market but still in short supply.
Pioneers will never want to return to the past. The balance originally designed by Satoshi Nakamoto, for getting the bitcoin reward to participate in mining using a notebook, was completely broken. China-designed and made-in-China ASIC professional miners have played a calculated arms race in the bitcoin world, lifting the threshold of “mining” 10 million times. Ordinary computers have become history in the field of mining, the professional mining machines were put on the stage.
As more and more miners join in, the difficulty of getting a bitcoin rises. Who can develop a crazy machine will receive a lot of orders. According to Moore’s Law, the chip upgrade research and development capabilities determines the success or failure.
Liao Xiang, CEO of Lightning Intelligence, personally experienced and participated in this year’s arms race. He said that traditional chip makers such as Intel, AMD, NVIDIA did not even look down on this business during the harsh years of the industry, while second and third echelon chip makers did not have time to think about it.
“The traditional chip makers for various reasons did not intervene which gives the others a big opportunity to conquer the new field.”
Wu Jihan, early investor of Friedcat became the biggest winner in this round of arms race. He met Zhan Ketuan who is a chip expert and set up BITMAIN in 2013. Zhan Ketuan developed the ASIC chip in half a year and in November 2013 brought the “Antminer S1” miner to the market.
The success of the BITMAIN is a perfect fusion of two founders, plus some luck. The launch of the Antminer S1 is exactly the time when the bitcoin price surge is the strongest, giving BITMAIN a chance to fund the next generation of chip research and development in 2014 when the price of the currency plunged. If the ASIC chip was developed a month later, the bitcoin price dropped from 1000 to 100 euros, there may not be the success of BITMAIN.
Limited by the power of the chip can carry, many miners who come into production have not been shipped, they are facing the risk of elimination. By the end of 2013, The R&D of Friedcat’s second-generation chipset was hit hard at a crucial moment when the price of bitcoin rose rapidly. In the rapid expansion of computing nodes, Friedcat’s miner from the peak time accounted for more than 20% of the entire network quickly fell to 4%.
Shortcomings of artificial intelligence: computing bottleneck to be broken by the miner manufacturers?
Four years later, the winner of the arms race is BITMAIN who becomes the undisputed king in the bitcoin world. In the global ASIC mining machine market share, the BITMAIN China has an absolute right which is more than 70% of market share.
In the world’s top chip foundry TSMC in 2018 the most advanced 7-nanometer process customer list, the BITMAIN China appears at the same time with Qualcomm, Huida, AMD, Hass, world well-known manufacturers. The new round of financing in 2017, the BITMAIN China attracted Sequoia and IDG admission, who is valued around “billions of dollars.”
In the realization of AI, the algorithm is generally the most valued part, the power of computing has been neglected. Chip makers AMD and NVIDIA pushed the development of the algorithm based on GPU. However, after many years of accumulation and development, the algorithm has been very mature, computing factors become the biggest shortcomings constraining AI. “Why do some artificial intelligence robots can not walk upright? The root cause is still calculating.”