Bitmain is the world’s leading manufacturer of mining machines, most famous for the ASICs with which it mines Bitcoin, but now it has decided to expand to Filecoin as well.
Despite the fact that nowadays most cryptocurrencies are not minable, there are still several that remain so.
Bitcoin is by far the main minable cryptocurrency, but in addition to BTC there still remain for example Dogecoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero and so on.
In total, out of about 10,000 tokens and cryptocurrencies still circulating, there are only a little over 300 minable ones nowadays, including precisely Filecoin.
Bitmain and the mining of Filecoin
Filecoin is a project that has been present in crypto markets since 2017.
It began as a decentralized storage system with the goal of storing humankind’s most important information.
It was launched with an ICO that raised $205 million. Its FIL token has been in existence since that ICO, that is, since 2017, but the mainnet was not launched until 2020.
FIL’s initial price was about $18, but it debuted in crypto markets in the midst of the late 2017 bubble. Indeed in the following years it fell all the way below $3, with a low peak at $1.8 in August 2019.
However, thanks to the last big bull run, the one in 2021, the price then sprang to over $237 in April 2021, but only to fall back below $3 in late 2022. So the one in 2021 was a bubble that completely deflated in 2022.
The current price of about $4.5 is significantly higher than at the beginning of the year, but 98% lower than the 2021 highs. It is also still far below the initial price in 2017.
This highlights how the project has not been successful so far, despite the 2021 bubble.
The Bitmain company
Bitmain is a Chinese company that specializes in manufacturing ASICs.
ASICs are computers designed to perform a single task in order to be extremely fast and powerful in accomplishing it.
Bitmain’s ASICs are to date the most widely used machines for Bitcoin mining, and are generally used for that purpose only.
Which is to say, an ASIC designed for Bitcoin mining cannot also be used to mine any other minable cryptocurrency, and even if it could, it may not necessarily be able to do so efficiently.
One should not forget that these are machines that consume a lot of electricity, so if they are not very efficient they produce more costs than revenues.
Mining is a competition, in which those with a lot of computing power are rewarded most of all. The reason ASICs are used is precisely that they are machines with enormous computing power allocated all on one task.
Bitmain’s new machines for Filecoin mining
This is why ASICs for Bitcoin mining are not commonly used to mine other cryptocurrencies.
It should also be mentioned that the reward that miners who mine BTC take home every 10 minutes or so is enormously higher than that of any other cryptocurrency, thus making altcoin mining not a particularly profitable business unless there is little competition.
Bitmain’s new machine for mining Filecoin has a cost of $38,888, and a hashrate of 4,300T.
This is the first machine from this well-known manufacturer for mining this cryptocurrency.
The manufacturer also recommends not using these machines alone, but within the Antpool mining pool, which in turn is associated with Bitmain itself.
It is worth noting that Antpool is the second largest Bitcoin mining pool in the world, so much so that it manages to mine nearly 20% of all new blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain right now.
Filecoin actually offers a combination of mining and staking to support its decentralized storage network, in which storage providers contribute their resources by earning mining rewards based on their storage capacity. Added to this is the fact that FIL token holders can put them into staking to support consensus and network governance.
Therefore, Bitmain will also provide a delegated staking service for FIL at a monthly rate of 0.5%.