The Chinese mining giant Bitmain has introduced a new firmware for Antminer s9, which activates the AsicBoost cryptocurrency mining optimization algorithm. In addition, a week later the company will make the same update to other models based on the BM1387 chips: Antminer R4, S9i, S9j, T9 and T9 +. Reportedly, this step “will increase the effectiveness of several Antminer models and will create a context for the development of a serious network with long-term plans.”
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
Bitmain explained that they didn’t want to activate this function earlier because of legal uncertainty around AsicBoost and unwillingness to violate the patent protection of the solution, however, legal advisers of the company came to the conclusion that nobody has an exclusive patent on it and miners can decide to use this technology or not.
In March 2018, we noticed new manufacturers of hardware advertising the use of “AsicBoost” and soon after that we noticed blocks being mined on the blockchain using AsicBoost. To give users of our mining pools the option to mine using AsicBoost we added support for it on both BTC.COM and Antpool.
Bitmain also claims that using AsicBoost will increase the efficiency of mining, reduce its cost and increase the network hashrate.
Recall that one of the leading mining pools of Bitcoin AntPool, which is under the direct control of Bitmain, activated the AsicBoost algorithm, it became known in early September. Previously, the company had already been accused several times of using AsicBoost as a “mathematical trick” to mine bitcoin faster than competitors did, but in response, the company stated that AsicBoost was used only for testing.