Network hashrate will continue to grow at a predictable pace over the next 12 months. But we are likely to see more eye-opening stories in the mining world. Such was the message of Guy Corem, CEO of Spondoolies Tech, a mining equipment startup. He presented his predictions in a talk at Inside Bitcoins Tel Aviv, held at the Kfar Maccabiah Convention Center during October 19-20.
On the evolution of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), the current cutting edge 28 nm technology costs $0.40/GHs. Starting in Q1/Q2, the same ASIC will become $0.20/GHs, consuming 0.2 J/GH. Also by Q1, “home mining” will come to an end.
(1 kwh = 3.6 million J; 1 GHs = 1 billion hashes per second)
By Q3/Q4, the cutting edge will be fully custom 16/14 nm ASICs, costing less than $0.10/GHs and consuming less than 0.1 J/GH.
He expects the network hashrate to grow to 400 PHs (1 PHs = 1000 THs = 1 million GHs) by January 1, assuming prices continue to hover around $400/BTC. By July 1st, it will be 1 EHs and by January 1st, 2016, 2 EHs- consistent with Moore’s Law. (1 EHs = 1 PHs).
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The centralization of mining pools will continue to be a challenge, and GHash.io will “unfortunately” become 1st again. During question period, he added that a 51% attack remains unlikely.
BitFury will reveal their pool and remain in 2nd. Over the past few months, BitFury has put together an incredibly large and efficient operation, securing record funding along the way. There is sentiment that they will try to go public during the next year.
Discus Fish will be 3rd or 4th, and P2Pool will grow to 5-10% of the total hashrate.
With the advent of mining contracts, there will be a push toward “proof of hardware” by their providers, analogous the evolution of “proof of solvency” in bitcoin exchanges. At least one big cloud mining provider will be revealed as a Ponzi scheme.
In terms of innovation, we’ll likely see the leveraging of mining ASIC development for technologies even outside the crypto world. We will also see advances in cooling technology and possibly “zero-cost electricity”.