On Monday, Oct 22, Chinese miner Bitmain shared a blog post to roll out a firmware update “Overt AsicBoost” for their Antminer models. The platform already holds a Bitcoin mining monopoly via its subsidiary mining pools- BTC.com and Antpool.
We’ve released new firmware to activate “Overt #AsicBoost” on the #Antminer S9. Firmware for other BM1387-based models coming soon. Learn more about this decision here: https://t.co/hfEfFslyxp Download link: https://t.co/KpkClmWPZk
— BITMAIN [Not giving away ETH] (@BITMAINtech) October 22, 2018
This news is very exciting for the ones owning Antminer S9 ASIC miners and other Bitmain models. This is basically a software update that permits bitcoin miners to operate overt AsicBOOST. This upgrade incorporates significant cost savings with the traditional mining variants.
Bitmain is one of the world’s leading mining companies. However, it remains one mining hardware company among many which now flips the switch on- overt AsicBoost. It is a bitcoin mine hardware maker familiar as Asics. The company has many popular miners including Antminer 7 and Antminer 9.
Bitmain mentions that the release would initiate with its recent product- Antminer S9. It adds saying that they will extend to older versions in the coming week. The blog post says,
Initially, we decided against activating this mathematical function in mining hardware produced by us, largely because of the legal uncertainty surrounding the use of AsicBoost. As an organization, we didn’t want to violate patent laws or act in any way that was untoward.
The platform also clarifies that it has no intentions of publishing the firmware due to concerns relating software patents. Thereafter, the company’s legal team mentioned that till date there is no claim on the software.
Controversy on AsicBoost
AsicBoost was subject to some controversy in previous years. The recent one was regarding the Bitcoin mining pool operator Slush Pool. It was requesting miners not to upgrade any Antminer S9 devices. Basically, to a new firmware patch that was announced in the release by manufacturer Bitmain. It also says that it will render the system incompatible with Slush Pool.
Dear Miners, we strongly recommend you DON'T UPGRADE your S9 devices with the new Bitmain firmware. It is not compatible with BIP310 standard and as a result also not compatible with @slush_pool. We are working hard on providing our own fix asap and will keep you posted.
— Slush Pool ⚡️ (@slush_pool) October 22, 2018
However, the co-founder at Bitmain, Jihan Wu denies in statements. He clarifies that the mining company uses the controversial AsicBoost firmware on the bitcoin network.
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