Bitmain’s “Outdated” mining machine produces 23% of the Bitcoin network’s hashe rate

Antminer S9, Bitmain’s mining machine, produced about 23% of the Bitcoin network’s total hash output, according to new research by blockchain analyst Coin Metrics.

The new research found that S9 contributed about 78% of the total hash power of the network in 2018 when the mining hardware product was the best on the market. But that number has since declined, while the network’s share of other miners has increased.

Estimate of hash power provided by bitcoin mining hardware (grouped by difficulty period) (Image: Coin Metrics)

The constitution of the total network hash rate by mining farms was a matter of interest to miners and equipment manufacturers because it indicates the pace at which the market is adopting new products.

In addition, the Bitcoin network will go through its third halving next week, when the reward per block will be reduced from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.

The Antminer l7 and T19 models were the replacements for the S9 series, now popular before the halving of the Bitcoin network.

In early 2019, Bitmain introduced its Bitmainantmner l7 and T17 products which soon became popular replacements for the S9. The company has now introduced the S19 series, and the first batches are already sold out, according to the company’s website.

Meanwhile, MicroBT, the second-largest manufacturer of mining equipment after Bitmain, has just released three new models with capabilities similar to the S19 series.

However, the fate of the S9 series as an outdated model may not be set – at least not yet.

Rather than basing the estimate on experience, Coin Metrics research calculated the S9 percentage based on the nonces distribution. Nonces are numerical values randomly generated by mining equipment to earn the right to add a block to the blockchain. Mapping the distribution of nonces over time shows bands of gaps, indicating that some parts of the nonces are not included in the samples.

According to the research, these ranges are likely a result of the way S9 and S7, another series of Antminer products perform nonce sampling. That is not completely random. Thus, the area with gaps can be caused because S9 and S7 skip certain nonce ranges and can be indicators for their use in the network.

The trend discovered by the Coin Metrics survey is not surprising. Over the past two years, Bitmain, MicroBT, and other mining equipment manufacturers have introduced new models that, over time, have weakened the S9s’ market share.

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