Bitcoin mining is overheating in more ways bitcoin mining difficulty 2013 spike one, turning ASIC makers into victims of their own success. How Can I Buy Bitcoin?
How Does Bitcoin Mining Work? How Do Bitcoin Transactions Work? How Can I Sell Bitcoin? How Does Blockchain Technology Work? What Can a Blockchain Do? What is a Distributed Ledger?
How Do I Use Ethereum? What is a Decentralized Application? How Do Smart Contracts Work? The bitcoin mining industry has witnessed massive change over the past two years.
Cold War arms race, additional investments may prove unsustainable in the long run due to ROI constraints. Currently, miners are hitting the wall. Technology is the first problem. 16nm FinFET ASICs are expected next year. Yet progress is slowing down due to a number technical limitations plaguing all chipmakers. The second problem involves economics.
It is more down to earth, but it is closely related to chip design and manufacturing. Bigger chips manufactured on relatively immature processes tend to be costlier to produce and develop. They usually face yield and leakage issues as well. The first technical challenge can be described as the thermal barrier. Simply adding more transistors and building massive chips with billions of transistors delivers more performance, but cooling these chips becomes troublesome and impractical. At the same time efficiency becomes an even bigger problem. As an emerging field of IC design, bitcoin mining ASICs have experienced rapid evolution over the past two years.
However, they cannot keep evolving and developing at the current rate. A number of technical limitations and Moore’s Law simply cannot be overcome even by the world’s foremost chip designers and foundries. Performance scales accordingly, but this does not mean that performance increases at a linear rate, as chip designers can optimise microarchitectures without piling on more transistors, hence yielding more performance from a the same number of transistors and chip area. ASICs differ from general purpose processors and a lot less money goes into its development and optimisation. As it matures, optimisation gets more difficult. This means ASIC design will inevitably slow down.