Bitmain still has 'slight edge' over rival MicroBT, says BitMEX

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin miner manufacturer Bitmain still has “slight edge” over rival MicroBT, according to BitMEX.
  • The exchange tested products of the two companies and concluded that, while Bitmain has supply chain issues, its products are more energy-efficient.

Crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX's research team recently tested bitcoin miners from giants Bitmain and MicroBT and concluded that the former still has the "slight edge" over the latter.

BitMEX tested Bitmain's Antminer S19 Pro and MicroBT's Whatsminer M30S+ for three days, on various metrics, including hashrate, energy efficiency, temperature, sound and supply chain. It found out that the Antminer product is simply more energy-efficient, achieving 29.7 J/TH (joules per terahash), compared with the Whatsminer's 34.4 J/TH.

While MicroBT's new product Whatsminer M30S++'s reported efficiency is 31.0 J/TH, it is "still inferior to Bitmain," said BitMEX. 

Overall, Bitmain's product is superior, said BitMEX, but it faces the key challenge of availability. "MicroBT products are far cheaper and crucially, available now, while Bitmain's products are sold out according to the Bitmain website."

BitMEX itself faced delays getting Antminer S19 Pro. "MicroBT was able to deliver the product in a few days, while Bitmain took almost five weeks, often blaming warehouse problems," said the exchange. The delays could be due to the ongoing power struggle at Bitmain and TSMC 7nm chips' supply issues, said BitMEX.

Both Bitmain and MicroBT will be in neck and neck competition "over the next few years," according to BitMEX, but, "Bitmain still has a miniscule lead" because of its relative strength and order outlook.

BitMEX went on to say that it has spoken to several mining farm operators, and while they are typically "highly frustrated" by Bitmain's supply chain issues, "many of them are keen to stick to Bitmain without even considering MicroBT."

"It is also very difficult to get a mining farm operator to switch, as sticking to one manufacturer improves operating efficiency and reduces maintenance costs," said BitMEX.

In June, BitMEX analysed the bitcoin miner manufacturing industry in detail and concluded that only two to three players might survive into the longer term.

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