Bitmain has picked the largest digital asset mining operation in North America as its cooperative repair center in the region to service and repair Bitmain’s machines using original parts which will seek to reduce the downtime typically involved with sending machines to China for repair.
The deal struck with Core Scientific is to ensure a dedicated repair center within close proximity to North American miners which will allow them to remain hashrate-competitive and profitable. This is aside from its helping to eliminate the economic and opportunity costs associated with sending equipment back to Asia to be fixed and providing original replacement components in line with warranty agreement.
Core Scientific was involved in the purchase of nearly 18,000 units of Bitmain bitcoin miners and had earlier this year launched the first Ant Training Academy outside of China which allows more North America-based participants to access Bitmain’s digital miner maintenance training and accreditation service.
The move could be a plus for the top cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer which launched out in 2013 especially if the U.S. continues to see a spike in its Bitcoin hash rate production which increased by 78% between September 2019 and April 2020 according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.
Following internal wrangling and the changing mining industry landscape, Bitmain has been faced with stiff competition in recent years both from existing and new Bitcoin miner makers like Whatsminer whose next-generation main product M50S is set for a trial release by the end of the year.
Based on the increasing adoption of cryptocurrency mining services such as cloud mining services and remote hosting services in developed regions as well as the increasing technological advancement in GPUs and ASICs, the global cryptocurrency mining equipment market size is projected to reach US$ 1234.6 million by 2026, from USD 1107.7 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 10.6% during 2021-2026.
The service repair announcement comes as the U.S. presents a very comprehensive strategy to build its industrial capacity and challenge China over a decade including in the semiconductor industry. The US move, which seeks to help retain its edge, includes a legislation focusing on bolstering American research and development in science and technology with $300 bln spread over four years and another roughly $16 bln invested in the U.S. semiconductor industry, according to the New York Times. It would also require the use of the Defense Production Act to increase domestic production capabilities for semiconductor devices and domestic sourcing for those products.
China has been developing its home-grown semiconductor industry too, by investing in local companies, a move which some experts say could see China outspend the U.S. and give it an advantage even as it seeks to reduce its reliance on foreign suppliers for advanced semiconductors.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining continues to represent a growing opportunity for semiconductor manufacturers, and more big players are expected to enter the space to manufacture mining processors that are faster and use less electricity as predicted by the co-founder and CTO of Casa, Jameson Lopp, while making his case recently that the high concentration of Bitcoin mining hashpower within China should not be a cause for concern about a nation state attack against the network.