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‘Bad batch’ or flawed design? Compass Mining flags problems with new ASIC miners

The Bitcoin mining company is stumped as to why Bitmain changed the design of the S19 Antminers.

Bitcoin mining company Compass Mining claims to have found “three issues” in the ASIC design of the two new Antminer S19 miners, units that are primarily used to mine Bitcoin (BTC).

These issues could result in the machines overheating and in some cases, completely breaking down.

The firm’s mining operations team warned in its Mar. 6 post that “Miners need to be ready,” particularly those who purchased the S19 90T and S19 XP Antminers manufactured from 2022 onwards.

While the firm stated that “other versions could be affected as well,” the three flaws the firm identified stemmed from a lack of a peripheral interface controller (PIC) on units, the implementation of aluminum plating instead of laminate material, and the bunching up components onto just one side of the board.

According to Compass Mining, peripheral interface controllers, or PICs, are used to control and monitor a range of devices and systems across all sorts of electronics. In ASICs, they’re used to interface with hashboards individually, rather than addressing them as one unit.

This, however, has been removed in the most recent design, said the firm.

“In ASICs, a PIC sits at the top of a hashboard and allows each hashboard to be spoken to individually. Without it, you have to address the unit as one unit, instead of three hashboards.”

Compass Mining explained that this lack of PIC means that should one hashboard fail, the entire unit “fails completely.”

“Instead, a miner fails completely. We’ve found this to be the case with our S19 XP 141 TH units, which have failed completely when only one board is having issues.”
The red dot in the center represents the PIC, which was present on older models S19 Antminers. Source: Compass Mining.

The mining company also said that by implementing aluminum plating on the hashboard, it may overheat and therefore lead to a higher “failure rate” than those built on printed circuit boards (PCBs) — which is what the old S19s were built on.

This would lead to “higher servicing needs,” the company said.

Meanwhile, the company has also raised concerns about the mining unit’s transition to aluminum, referring to it as “net negative.”

“We view the design decision to swap to aluminum-plating on hashboards as a net negative–one that will increase ASIC failure and underhashing while increasing service and maintenance costs,” it wrote.

The firm also explained that the presence of the aluminum would make it more difficult to replace malfunctioning chips:

“The lack of a PIC is compounded by the abrupt change to aluminum-plates on all hashboards. If a board overheats because of the aluminum's heat dispersion properties, then the entire unit will go down instead of just one board.”

Compass Mining said they first realized the drop in performance when they deployed the S19 XP at its Texas partner facility — which could have been impacted by humidity and heat.

As for the third issue, the firm noted that by implementing the aluminium plating without changing the chassis — the base frame of the ASIC — would also contribute to the higher failure rates.

Because aluminium is very heat emissive, the metal will cause “convective heating” inside the chassis, the firm explained, before proposing some solutions:

“A solution to this in an air-cooled environment would be to increase the mass air flow sufficiently to dissipate the heat stored within the miner – a different design or stronger fans.”

Related: Bitcoin ASIC miner prices hovering at lows not seen in years

Other possible solutions proposed by the firm include finding third-party firmware that allows the frequency and voltage of the machine to maintain reasonable temperature and humidity levels in order to get more longevity out of the mining machines.

Some of the latest S19s do not have a PIC on each hashboard of the ASIC. Source: Compass Mining.

The firm did however acknowledge that they may have just gotten a “bad batch” from Bitmain, noting it is “common knowledge” in Bitcoin mining not to buy the first batch of Bitcoin ASICs.

“Unknown errors are often only revealed over time, so it's best to have others find them out first,” it said.

Cointelegraph reached out to Bitmain for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Bitmain Antminers have been used to mine proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as BTC, Dogecoin (DOGE) and Litecoin (LTC).

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Compass Mining Alerts Bitcoin Miners of Changes in Bitmain’s ASIC Design

Compass Mining Alerts Bitcoin Miners of Changes in Bitmain’s ASIC DesignCompass Mining, a bitcoin mining firm, published a blog post stating that Bitmain, the company behind the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining rig, has made changes to its design. The post advised miners to be aware of the changes as Compass Mining identified “three issues” with two different Antminer S19 series mining devices. Bitcoin Miner […]

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

CleanSpark boosts computing power by 37% with thousands of new Bitmain rigs

The Bitcoin miner announced the purchase of 20,000 new Antminer S19j Pro+ at a 25% discount, approximately $13.25 per terahash.

Bitcoin miner CleanSpark is growing its mining capacity in the United States with the purchase of 20,000 new Antminer S19j Pro+ units for $43.6 million. The acquisition is expected to boost the company’s computing power by 37% and brings the total number of miners purchased during the bear market to 46,500 units.

According to a statement on Feb. 16, CleanSpark will pay $32.3 million for the machines after applying coupons at a 25% discount or a total price per terahash (TH) of approximately $13.25. The Pro+ rigs are 22% more productive than their previous models and are planned to be delivered in batches between March and May.

The company is leveraging the market’s lower rig prices to boost its mining capacity, while Bitcoin’s (BTC) price rebounds. According to data from Hashrate Index, the current price per TH of ASICs of the same Bitcoin mining efficiency are currently at $15.09, well below the $90.72 seen 12 months ago. CleanSpark said the Antminer S19j Pro+ model offers a better return on investment compared to the same ASIC-generation machines.

“After they are fully operational, they are expected to add 2.44 EH/s to CleanSpark’s existing 6.6 EH/s of bitcoin mining computing power (for a total of 9 EH/s), constituting a 37% increase,” noted the company. 

Bitcoin ASIC price index. Source: Hashrate Index

CleanSpark claims that the acquired models continue to be more attractive to its operations in the current market conditions. “The S19j Pro+ delivers 122 terahash per machine and saves an average of 2 joules of energy per terahash compared to the S19j Pro model of the same generation.”

A total of 15,000 of the new machines will be delivered to the company’s locations in the city of Washington, Georgia. CleanSpark disclosed in January a $16-million expansion in the site, which is forecasted to increase its hash rate by 2.2 exahashes per second (EH/s), with its total hash rate reaching as high as 8.7 EH/s. The facility was acquired by the company in August last year before taking over Mawson Infrastructure Group’s facility in Sandersville.

After a tough year in 2022 with declining Bitcoin prices and high electricity costs, publicly listed mining companies saw a rise in mining production and hash rates in January, according to an analysis from Hashrate Index. CleanSpark boosted its Bitcoin mining production by 50% during the month, reaching a record monthly production of 697 BTC. Its hash rate rose to 6.6 EH/s from 6.2 EH/s in December.

Other public mining companies, such as Core Scientific, Riot, Marathon and Cipher have seen significant increases in Bitcoin production in the past month, helped by stable electricity prices and better weather conditions in the United States.

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Cleanspark Boosts Bitcoin Mining Capacity With Acquisition of 20,000 Bitmain Rigs

Cleanspark Boosts Bitcoin Mining Capacity With Acquisition of 20,000 Bitmain RigsBitcoin mining operation Cleanspark has acquired 20,000 brand-new Bitmain mining rigs for $43.6 million, the company reported. Once installed, Cleanspark expects to increase its capacity by 37% by adding roughly 2.44 exahash per second (EH/s) to the firm’s fleet. Cleanspark CEO Says Proprietary Mining Model Gives Company Greater Control and Efficiency Cleanspark, the publicly listed […]

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Celsius bankruptcy judge authorizes the sale of $7.4M worth of Bitmain coupons

The judge’s ruling does not require Celsius debtors to sell the Bitmain coupons, but they would need the consent of the committee of unsecured creditors.

Debtors for crypto lender Celsius Network have the authority to sell coupons for mining firm Bitmain coupons worth roughly $7.4 million following a ruling from a bankruptcy judge.

In a Feb. 16 court filing, United States Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn said it was in the “best interests of the Debtors’ estates, their creditors, and other parties” to allow Celsius debtors to sell their Bitmain coupons. The judge’s ruling does not require the debtors to liquidate the holdings in question, but they would need the consent of the committee of unsecured creditors.

Christopher Ferraro, interim chief executive officer of Celsius, claimed in a Feb. 9 declaration that the debtors expected to sell the Bitmain coupons for roughly $7.4 million. According to the interim CEO, the coupons allowed interested parties to buy Bitmain mining rigs with a 10% to 30% discount on future purchases.

“While $7.4 million is a significant discount from the Bitmain Coupons’ nearly $37 million face-value, the Debtors believe that such a price is commensurate with the market and preferable to the Bitmain Coupons expiring worthless in the Debtors’ possession," said Ferraro at the time. "Based on the Debtors’ marketing efforts for the sale of similar assets, the Debtors anticipate that selling the Bitmain Coupons at a significant discount to their face-value is required.”

Celsius debtors’ holdings of Bitmain coupons as of Feb. 9. Source.

Judge Glenn’s ruling followed debtors for the crypto lending firm presenting a restructuring plan on Feb. 15, in which Celsius chose NovaWulf Digital Management as a sponsor. The proposed plan had NovaWulf offering a direct cash contribution of between $45 million and 55 million to the new restructured company.

Related: Celsius creditors committee proposes suing Mashinsky, other Celsius execs

Bankruptcy proceedings for major firms affected during the 2022 market crash are underway across courts in the United States. Crypto exchange FTX — facing scrutiny in bankruptcy court as well as being at the center of a criminal case in federal court — recently issued subpoenas to company insiders, including former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Iris Energy to nearly triple hashrate with estimated 44,000 new BTC miners

With the tough conditions that faced Bitcoin miners last year, Iris’ co-founder said the purchase was a “significant milestone” for the company.

Australia-based Bitcoin (BTC) mining company, Iris Energy, revealed it will nearly triple its mining capacity with the addition of thousands of mining rigs.

On Feb. 13 the firm said it purchased an additional 4.4 Exa Hashes per second (EH/s) worth of Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro ASIC miners bringing its self-mining capacity to 5.5 EH/s from 2.0 EH/s.

Based on the S19j Pro’s maximum hashrate of 100 Tera Hashes per second (TH/s), the purchase adds an estimated 44,000 miners to its fleet, according to Cointelegraph’s calculations.

Daniel Roberts, Iris’ co-founder and Co-CEO said the purchase “is a significant milestone” for the company and added its been a “challenging period for both the industry and markets more generally.”

Iris said the new miners will be installed in the company’s centers but did not mention in which locations. The firm operates three facilities in various locations in British Columbia, Canada and one in Texas in the United States.

Iris’ flagship site in Mackenzie, British Columbia. Source: Iris Energy

The company used $67 million of remaining prepayments to ASIC miner manufacturer Bitmain to fund the purchase of the rigs “without any additional cash outlay.”

Iris had a 10 EH/s contract with Bitmain which it says “have been fully resolved, with no remaining commitments.” It stated it remains debt free.

The firm said it’s also considering options to sell surplus miners above its 5.5 EH/s of mining capacity to re-invest.

Related: Core Scientific to hand over 27K rigs to pay $38M debt

In November last year the company was forced to unplug miners used as collateral on a $107.8 million loan as the units were producing “insufficient cash flow to service their respective debt financing obligations.”

Over the past few months cryptocurrency miners have faced a squeeze from multiple directions, having to confront low Bitcoin prices amid high hash rates, high mining difficulty and high energy prices.

The pressure caused publicly listed Bitcoin mining companies to sell off almost all of the BTC mined throughout 2022 with data from blockchain research firm Messari showing Iris sold around 100% of the nearly 2,500 BTC it mined that year.

A Febuary analysis from Hashrate Index shows publicly listed miners increased their production in January with better weather and stable electricity prices helping the production surge. Iris’ January production resulted in 172 BTC compared to 123 BTC in December.

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Iris Energy Boosts Self-Mining Capacity With 4.4 EH/s of New Bitmain Bitcoin Mining Rigs

Iris Energy Boosts Self-Mining Capacity With 4.4 EH/s of New Bitmain Bitcoin Mining RigsBitcoin miner, Iris Energy, announced plans to increase the company’s self-mining capacity, from 2 exahash per second (EH/s) to approximately 5.5 EH/s, after it receives 4.4 EH/s of new Antminer S19j Pro miners from Bitmain. Iris Energy Leverages $67 Million in Bitmain Prepayments for Latest Mining Expansion Bitcoin mining company, Iris Energy, announced plans to […]

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Bankrupt Celsius Aims to Raise $14.4 Million From Bitcoin Mining Rig Credits and Coupons

Bankrupt Celsius Aims to Raise .4 Million From Bitcoin Mining Rig Credits and CouponsDefunct cryptocurrency lender Celsius aims to secure more than $14 million from credits and coupons backed by Bitmain, according to an interim CEO Christopher Ferraro in a bankruptcy court filing dated Feb. 9, 2023. Ferraro stated in the filing that the “coupons currently provide no utility to the debtors’ mining business.” Celsius Interim CEO Outlines […]

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Cloud mining firm BitFuFu postpones merger with SPAC until May

Bitfufu's plans to go public have been delayed for the second time. The company is the cloud mining arm of Chinese mining giant Bitmain.

Cloud mining firm Bitfufu, one of Bitmain's crypto firms, is delaying for the second time its plans to go public via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), according to a statement on Feb. 7. 

The company announced its plans to go public in January 2022 through a merger with the SPAC company Arisz Acquisition Corp, anticipating to be publicly listed in the third quarter of that year and a pro forma enterprise value of nearly $1.5 billion. The new decision will postpone the public listing to May, helping the companies to consummate the business combination.

"The Extension provides Arisz with additional time to complete its proposed business combination with Finfront Holding Company (“BitFuFu”)," said the statement.

The extension is the second of two three-month extensions permitted under Arisz's governing documents. In other words, unless its shareholders approve a revision in its governing documents, the crypto cloud company is unable to delay the merger again. Alongside the new deadline, the move will provide an additional $690,000 to Arisz operations.

Related: How to mine Bitcoin at home

BitFuFu was founded with early investment from crypto hardware firm Bitmain and its core founding team members. In Feb 2022, Bitmain and BitFuFu announced a strategic partnership to offer standardized crypto mining services.

Market conditions and the crypto winter have impacted many crypto firm's public listing plans. On Dec. 5, the company issuer of USD Coin (USDC) Circle disclosed the mutual termination of its merger with the SPAC company Concord Acquisition. Circle was valued at $4.5 billion when the deal was announced in July 2021.

Crypto firm Bullish also announced in December 2022 that a deal to go public had been terminated after reaching an agreement with Far Peak Acquisition. The company cited market conditions and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's work to introduce new frameworks for digital assets as reasons for not moving forward.

The IPOX SPAC index benchmark performance, which tracks aftermarket performance of SPAC companies, fell by 9.04% over the past 12 months.

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011

Rumor has it that Dogecoin could shift to proof-of-stake — What does that mean for miners?

Dogecoin shifting to proof-of-stake would be good for the environment, but what impact would it have on miners and ASIC manufacturers?

There are rumors that Dogecoin could switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake (PoS). 

Do I know if Dogecoin is switching to PoS?


Do I think it’s going to PoS? Probably not.

But I love the “what if” game.

As a person who works in the crypto mining industry, I do my best to gauge where the market and mining industry are going, along with how that could play out. If Dogecoin makes a change to PoS or some other change to how new blocks are created, it would have massive ramifications for the mining industry.

Here’s a look at a few options and their effects.

Scrypt mining could be devastated

I’m not going to debate whether or not Dogecoin will or should switch to PoS. While it’s hard to determine if the recent rumors about the potential for a switch are true or not, they were enough to have Bitmain supposedly pause Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE) miner manufacturing.

The larger question in my mind is, What happens to miners if Dogecoin switches to PoS?

First, Scrypt mining would be devastated. DOGE accounts for over 60% of the revenue with Scrypt mining. Take it away, and every L3+, every LT6 and every Mini Doge Pro, literally almost every non-L7 miner not connected to $0.04-per-kilowatt-hour electricity would need to be unplugged immediately.

Network difficulty would likely bounce all over the place for some time, while miners with older equipment struggle with the decision to keep their ASICSs on or turn them off. The apex Scrypt miner, Bitmain’s Antminer L7, would see its profitability reduced by nearly 75%, reducing profits to a whopping $4.83/day at $0.05/kWh.

What about the miners that don’t have an industrial electric rate? At $0.10/kWh, the L7 9050M, which sold for around $9,000 a few weeks ago, would earn you $0.72/day.


A drastic change like this would result in those who had recently purchased an L7 being very unlikely to ever recover their investment, let alone generate any profits.

ASIC manufacturers would be forced to drop prices, further impacting their bottom line

The vastly reduced profitability would inevitably lead to the price of the L7 dropping quicker than it did during the COVID-19-induced crypto crash. Pricing miners solely by their expected ROI time, at $5 a day profit, miners would be looking at the L7 having a price tag between $1,825 (12-month ROI) and $2,737.50 (18-month ROI). This reflects a minimum price reduction of nearly 70%.

How quickly would Bitmain react? Would they gradually reduce prices week after week similar to what Goldshell has done with many of its miners over the past few months? A strategy that repeatedly left a sour taste in the mouths of customers as they watched the price of the miner they just spent thousands of dollars on being slashed repeatedly.

Or would they come out and continue their recent trend of pricing miners fairly?

ASIC resellers would also bear the brunt of the negative consequences connected to a PoS shift by Dogecoin. Many L7 miners are suppliers, and retailers sitting on that would instantly need to be marked down by a substantial amount. However, based on their recent history of price-gouging customers, like charging $60,000 for a KD6 that is barely worth over $1,000 today, it’s doubtful many tears would be shed for them.

Many home miners would flood eBay and similar platforms with Scrypt miners. It would be a race to the bottom as desperate miners attempt to recoup whatever value is left in the hunk of metal that can now only be used as a doorstop or display piece if one is desperate.

Litecoin mining would survive. Those L7s would stay on because they’d still be somewhat profitable, and there really wouldn’t be another choice. It’s doubtful that the market would see a new Scrypt miner that could challenge the L7 to be developed anytime soon unless there already is a more efficient Scrypt miner in development. There are some rumors that Bitmain is working on a miner that would surpass the L7.

That’s a lot of disruption from the move to PoS, and we’ve only looked at one aspect of the crypto ecosystem. Numerous other questions and scenarios would need to be considered.

What would happen to network security?

Would the yield from staking cause DOGE to eventually be labeled a security?

Would Dogecoin be lauded for the change, or would the masses flee from what is now the second-largest PoW coin by market cap?

Now for my favorite what if. This option is unlikely, maybe even impossible, but there are different ways it could play out.

What if Dogecoin breaks away from merge-mining with LTC and creates its own mining algorithm?

Related: Dogecoin Foundation announces new fund for core developers

Innovation and competition are healthy for every industry

What if there’s a GPU mining renaissance? After the Ethereum Merge event, there’s a ton of really cheap GPUs available on the market. Those would get expensive really quickly. Mining purists would rejoice as they build their own mining rigs while trying to figure out how much DOGE they can stack. It really would be cool to see, but it wouldn’t last. The big three manufacturers — Bitmain, Goldshell and iBelink — would scramble to be the first to market with an ASIC miner.

Eventually, they’d each have at least one ASIC miner on the market, and naturally, they’ll get more powerful and more efficient over time. The jumps and increases in difficulty would be ridiculous, and just like with Bitcoin (BTC), it will eventually no longer be profitable to mine DOGE with GPUs. But it could also open the door to something the ASIC manufacturing market desperately needs: competition.

What if, following the short-lived GPU mining renaissance, a door opens for another manufacturer or manufacturers to enter the market? Currently, Bitmain, Goldshell and iBelink are the “big three,” and it’s really Bitmain that has a total stranglehold on the market. So, while it’s likely Bitmain would come out on top, what if there’s someone out there who can be first to market and maintain that lead and establish itself as a credible and reliable ASIC manufacturer?

What if that company decided to branch out into other miners and offer them fair prices? To be fair, we do have to commend Bitmain again for the pricing on its recent rollout of industry-altering miners. Reseller markups are still an issue, but that’s another topic. Perhaps this “new” competitor would adhere to the mantra that customer service actually matters. If customers could get over the reliability concerns and the company built a good product, that could happen. Admittedly, that’s a lot of what-ifs.

Alternatively, there’s a money-grab scenario for Dogecoin. The project could go directly to Bitmain, Goldshell and iBelink and say, “We’re creating our own mining algorithm, and we’ll give it to you and you alone. How much money will you give us?”

What would Goldshell pay to bring life back to a company that has taken a series of body blows from the recent altcoin miners released by Bitmain? Or would iBelink go all out to win the rights to make the miner? IBelink just released a new BM-K3 Kadena miner that boasts 70 terahashes — a nearly 75% increase over the next closest model — and it can’t celebrate because Bitmain is about to trump that with the new KA3 that brings 166 THs. In the case of a Dogecoin offer to ASIC manufacturers, how much would Bitmain pay to maintain its market dominance?

No change could be a good thing

What if DOGE chooses to simply continue with Scrypt mining?

The status quo is not that exciting, but it seems to be the most likely outcome. Sure, there may be some changes that will pass a vote, but Dogecoin will most likely continue to be merge-mined with LTC on the Scrypt algorithm.

Bitmain is likely to continue pushing out L7 inventory before launching a more efficient Scrypt miner later this year AND Goldshell will launch a Mini Doge Pro 2 for home miners that will essentially be two Mini Doge Pros in one box. The upcoming LTC halving, along with the more efficient miners, will probably push several older models to shut down for good.

Crypto markets will go up, and crypto markets will go down. There will likely be some other crypto scandal that no one sees coming that will look incredibly obvious in hindsight. The sun will come up, and the sun will come down. Of course, most suppliers and especially resellers will continue to markup miners and squeeze everything they can out of regular customers.

It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen with Dogecoin in the future, but crypto is one of the few industries where anything can happen on any given day.

Regardless of whether Dogecoin switches to PoS, the crypto mining landscape has always changed rapidly, and Scrypt mining is no different.

Change is coming.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

Crystal Blockchain Study Reveals $16.7 Billion in Crypto Assets Stolen Since 2011