Bitcoin mining hardware firm Bitmain unveiled its long-rumored ethereum mining tech on Monday.
The Antminer E3 is set to ship this July, according to Bitmain’s website, at a price of $800 per unit. According to statements, the company is limiting orders to “one unit per user” with restrictions on shipping to China and Taiwan.
As was perhaps expected, the listing quickly drew interest from would-be buyers. As of press time, the website indicates that the first batch has already sold out.
Hints about Bitmain’s ethereum mining product first emerged in February, when China-based news site Technews.cn published details about the expected hardware.
And late last month, CNBC cited Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland, who told the firm’s clients that a forthcoming ethereum-focused application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) would dampen the prospects for graphics card makers AMD and Nvidia, whose products have been in high demand by the world’s cryptocurrency miners.
“During our travels through Asia last week, we confirmed that Bitmain has already developed an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] for mining Ethereum, and is readying the supply chain for shipments in [Q2 2018],” Rolland reportedly wrote.
However, it remains to be seen whether the ethereum ecosystem will take steps to block the use of the forthcoming ASIC through protocol changes. Last week, a developer put forward an ethereum improvement proposal which proposes a network hard fork to prevent the use of ASICs.