China-based mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain, has announced via their official Twitter account that they have begun taking pre-orders for Antminer E3 – what the firm calls the “world’s most powerful and efficient EtHash ASIC miner.”
The Antminer E3 will retail for $800 each, with Bitmain only accepting payments of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and USD for their first batch of units. Pre-orders for the E3 Antminer are live on their website, with shipping dates ranging from July 16 through 31.
On the Antminer E3's product page, Bitmain notes that requests for refunds will not be accepted, so customers should be certain of their purchase before completing their order. Confusingly, Bitmain’s tweet says it is also setting an order limit of one Antminer E3 unit per customer, however on the product page on their website, it says the order limit is five units per customer. We have reached out to Bitmain for clarification.
The Antminer E3 will also not be available in China.
Bitmain’s new hardware uses EtHash Proof-of-Word hashing algorithm to mine for Ethereum, making it the first EtHash miner capable of utilizing Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips, which are considered to be more efficient than the GPUs currently being used to mine for Ethereum and other EtHash altcoins.
This news is likely to stir up the Ethereum community, which is currently hotly debating a move to hard fork Ethereum to invalidate ASIC mining.