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Author Topic: ASICMiner chips out of fab next week  (Read 6275 times)
meowmeowbrowncow
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December 12, 2012, 04:56:35 PM
 #1

 Grin


https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.msg1394701#msg1394701


While we may not have completed boards up and hashing it looks like ASICMiner will be first with chips - and in 2012!

lol



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gmaxwell
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December 12, 2012, 07:31:43 PM
 #2

I wonder if the exchange rate is going to tank once people find out a single party has captured a substantial hunk of the hashrate?
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December 12, 2012, 07:51:15 PM
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I wonder if the exchange rate is going to tank once people find out a single party has captured a substantial hunk of the hashrate?
Unlikely. Mining pools are single entities as well and they are of no concern to the speculations. The only difference is that with a pool - there is still a limited sense of decentralization, because the people could walk away from a pool if it turns bad.

Also the situation won't last forever - a month maybe.

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bitboyben
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December 12, 2012, 07:54:39 PM
 #4

= centralization of mining
= So very very bad for BTC.

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December 12, 2012, 10:09:46 PM
 #5

= centralization of mining
= So very very bad for BTC.

So true..

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DutchBrat
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December 14, 2012, 12:22:24 PM
 #6

= centralization of mining
= So very very bad for BTC.

So true..

Oh Please !

6TH at the moment is 1/5th of the total network speed. If BFL fucks up big time and never delivers a working ASIC then ASICMINER will probably have to change their business model because if they eventually scale up to 50TH than they would become too big. As long as they remain below the 'magic' 50% threshold and perhaps spread out their hashing power over all the pools so everyone can see they are not out to take over the blockchain.... then what is wrong with that Huh?

It will suck for everyone else that hoped to be the first to mine with an ASIC, that's all !
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December 14, 2012, 12:43:10 PM
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As long as they remain below the 'magic' 50% threshold and perhaps spread out their hashing power over all the pools so everyone can see they are not out to take over the blockchain.... then what is wrong with that Huh?

There is nothing magic about 50%, see the bitcoin paper for  the odds for successful reversals for various wait times and attacker powers... Though my understanding is that the asicminer first run was going to be 12TH/s, not 6TH/s.

In any case, I consider it concerning and the success in raising funds for such a large centralized mining farm certainly reduced _my_ confidence in Bitcoin (and did so completely independently of BFL). But opinions may vary.  The big centralized pools are concerning too, but at least there was always the argument that they depended on the goodwill of the people actually controlling the miners who could very easily "vote with their feet". This doesn't apply when you end up with similar consolidation of the actual hardware.
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December 14, 2012, 01:20:09 PM
 #8

the success in raising funds for such a large centralized mining farm certainly reduced _my_ confidence in Bitcoin (and did so completely independently of BFL)

The only better alternative was succeeding in raising funds for more such companies.

I don't think ASICMINER is a greater threat than BFL. Both, if left without a competitor, have the ability to produce great quantities of chips discretely and overpower the rest of the network, even while shipping products to end users. So, it being planned as a mining farm, or raising funds through shares instead of pre-orders, ideally, does not matter.

It is actually going much, much better than I expected. We have many competing ASIC producers with competing designs, which I would call unlikely if you asked me a year ago. I don't know what you had in your mind, but I think having ASICMINER is way better than not having it. What if all others fail and BFL is left as a monopoly? If we are to trust a single company, why not another?

In my opinion, what makes ASICMINER a bigger threat is the possibility of consolidation of hardware in few physical locations, and under one "corporate" roof. This was discussed initially, should never happen, and very easy to avoid. It's also better for ASICMINER and its shareholders because it provides faster inflow of money, reduces risk and is better for Bitcoin's security.
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December 14, 2012, 01:52:53 PM
 #9

The only better alternative was succeeding in raising funds for more such companies.

I don't think ASICMINER is a greater threat than BFL. Both, if left without a competitor,
There are two other companies building asic mining devices to sell to the public, with no plans to build majority hashpower farms under private control. BFL itself voluntarily implemented supply caps and shipment staging in order to reduce concerns about hash power consolidation. The people behind asicminer were cautioned in public and private about their plans to create a large amount of additional consoldaton and showed general indifference to the concerns. ::shrugs::

It may not be the end of the world, but don't confuse that with it being a good thing. To anyone who isn't an ASICminer shareholder them not existing would have been greatly preferable to putting ten to tens of TH under the control of a single party.  Though having additional competition for mining devices available to the public without the consolidation would have been even more preferable yet, but that wasn't an option the trustees of asicminer offered the community.

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December 14, 2012, 02:18:02 PM
 #10

two + Avalon = three , no?
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December 14, 2012, 02:20:12 PM
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BFL itself voluntarily implemented supply caps and shipment staging in order to reduce concerns about hash power consolidation. The people behind asicminer were cautioned in public and private about their plans to create a large amount of additional consoldaton and showed general indifference to the concerns. ::shrugs::


I thought BFL could not care less who they are selling to and their shipment staging was only implemented when people started complaining that there should be a time delay between early orders and later orders. The latest from BFL is that they will be able to fulfil all outstanding orders in the first batch, so the staging has effectively been nullified (perhaps a few days difference).

BFL is a for profit that will do anything to optimize those profits. They only care about Bitcoin because of monetary reasons not idealogical ones. So I don't think ASICminer is any more 'evil' than BFL.
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December 14, 2012, 02:46:44 PM
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BFL is a for profit that will do anything to optimize those profits. They only care about Bitcoin because of monetary reasons not idealogical ones. So I don't think ASICminer is any more 'evil' than BFL.

I didn't say anyone was 'evil' ... but there is a little something to that:   I've talked to parties with plans to build enormous private farms in the past and the discussion has gone a little like this  "Look, if there is a major consolidation of hashing power that undermines confidence in Bitcoin— the community _will_ change the POW to block it, making your chips worthless. All parties working on chips have included a vendor specific alternative POW, so parts can be denied on a case by case basis".  After contemplating this everyone else realized that the rewards of having private control of a substantial chunk of the total hashpower weren't worth the risk (or at least they had the good sense to be secretive about it and moderate their hashpower).   Someone gambling with other people's money— however— might be a little more prone to sociopathic behavior since the they don't have the same skin in it.

Some people believe that public investment creates evil. I think thats too simplistic... but gambling with other people's money certainly does encourage short term and excessively selfish thinking.

BFL responded to concerns at least in their own not very adept BFL way, ASICminer hasn't... take that for what you will.

two + Avalon = three , no?
Two other = three.
thebaron
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December 14, 2012, 02:56:19 PM
 #13

I'll believe it when an end user has an order in their hands.
memvola
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December 14, 2012, 03:03:37 PM
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The people behind asicminer were cautioned in public and private about their plans to create a large amount of additional consoldaton and showed general indifference to the concerns. ::shrugs::

The discussions I've read did not show indifference. Their plan so far seems to be producing the chips, begin mining and if possible start selling the devices. I haven't seen any indication that they have a preference for centralization or consolidation. They may not have been as proactive as you wish about creating a plan to avoid centralization, but I think that's the extent of it as it stands. No one expected ASICMINER to be the first ever producer or the possibility of it being the single one.

Though having additional competition for mining devices available to the public without the consolidation would have been even more preferable yet, but that wasn't an option the trustees of asicminer offered the community.

It certainly is an option and is up to to the board members of ASICMINER, which are part of the community. They don't even have to sell to consumers to avoid consolidation under a single roof.

I'm not impartial, since I'm a shareholder, but your concerns seem to require ill will on the ASICMINER side while trusting BFL's internal policies, hence I feel that it is biased. If malice is required, you can expect all producers to be as damaging. If not, then what's left is ASICMINER's strategy, and I don't think there is a concrete one yet.

gambling with other people's money certainly does encourage short term and excessively selfish thinking.

I don't know where others get funding but your statement at least includes BFL and ASICMINER.

BFL responded to concerns at least in their own not very adept BFL way, ASICminer hasn't... take that for what you will.

Yeah, a response will be nice but I doubt that it will be different from "we'll sell the hardware" or "we'll announce limits", and I don't know why such statements are convincing to you.
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December 14, 2012, 03:14:58 PM
 #15

Right now, I think all the vendors need to just produce a working product.  Otherwise they are no different then those guys talking about a cliff and how to not go over.

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gmaxwell
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December 14, 2012, 04:05:39 PM
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I'm not impartial, since I'm a shareholder, but your concerns seem to require ill will on the ASICMINER side while trusting BFL's internal policies, hence I feel that it is biased. If malice is required, you can expect all producers to be as damaging. If not, then what's left is ASICMINER's strategy, and I don't think there is a concrete one yet.
There is no requirement of ill will.  For example, someone compromises their systems or robs them, executes a take over by buying a controlling interest, etc.  Centralization is risky no matter how much you trust the parties.

Bitcoin's express purpose was to remove the trust required by monetary systems, even though that trust can often be well founded. (Though on the forum we've found that trust in Bitcoin organizations is often not well founded no matter how friendly and charismatic the participants are).  Centralization endangers the value Bitcoin provides by making it more like other stuff but without the history, experience, and regulatory framework that makes is so that trust isn't a non-starter.
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December 14, 2012, 04:52:17 PM
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I'm not impartial, since I'm a shareholder, but your concerns seem to require ill will on the ASICMINER side while trusting BFL's internal policies, hence I feel that it is biased. If malice is required, you can expect all producers to be as damaging. If not, then what's left is ASICMINER's strategy, and I don't think there is a concrete one yet.
There is no requirement of ill will.  For example, someone compromises their systems or robs them, executes a take over by buying a controlling interest, etc.  Centralization is risky no matter how much you trust the parties.

Ah, sorry, that's not what I meant. From what I see, they are aware of this potential issue and their development strategy will cover this as well. Even though the strategy is undetermined, I take it as a promise and expect the official plan to reflect it. There are plenty of Bitcoin enthusiasts that invested, so at least in theory we either require the trustees to disregard the board altogether, or extreme naivety on both sides.

What's certain is that there should be a measure in place to split the farm both logically and physically when a predetermined limit (based on network hashrate) is reached, and that this limit should not be very high. I don't see limits on production as a realistic measure, because it will not be exercised by any rational actor as long as there is a potential competition. That's why I (on the company thread) proposed creating and selling farms as a strategy in case other developers fail to deliver and ASICMINER is unable to sell to consumer fast enough. However unlikely this is, it would be nice to have a plan laid out, so I guess an official response would be more fitting than my rant.
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December 15, 2012, 01:19:42 AM
 #18

is it about 4-6 weeks left?

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December 15, 2012, 08:46:26 AM
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is it about 4-6 weeks left?

The nice thing about ASICMINER is, they don't try to keep your hopes up. They don't need to, because they don't need anyone's money. They just transparently communicate what they themselves know, and with no extra toppings. I think that's also why there are no sophisticated strategies about the time when they will be the biggest mining power, etc. because it's not even certain that the chips will work or even be produced in time. I think most critics fail to identify what they know, what they don't know and what's unknowable.
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December 15, 2012, 06:46:48 PM
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is it about 4-6 weeks left?

The nice thing about ASICMINER is, they don't try to keep your hopes up. They don't need to, because they don't need anyone's money. They just transparently communicate what they themselves know, and with no extra toppings. I think that's also why there are no sophisticated strategies about the time when they will be the biggest mining power, etc. because it's not even certain that the chips will work or even be produced in time. I think most critics fail to identify what they know, what they don't know and what's unknowable.


great, how many times have you visited their facilities?

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