Failing Mining Machines
According to the CSO of Blockstream, AntminerS17/T17 have an unusually high failure rate of (20%-30%) as reported by users; typically that number lies in the 5% range. The prevalent issue is heat sinks detaching and short circuiting the machines while the fans also cease to function.
With the Bitcoin halving less than 15 days away, the timing could not be worse for miners who are already getting prepared to see their rewards cut in half.
Large mining pools are already in the process of replacing their old mining equipment with new and more efficient ones such as the Antminer S19. This will ramp up the network’s hash rate and increase mining difficulty which is highly unfavourable for smaller mining operations that have not planned to replace equipment as soon as possible.
These issues put together may force them to purchase new equipment and makes the timing of this high failure rate highly peculiar. Additionally, S19s have been sold out and will only be shipped a day before the halving.
This has raised questions as Bitmain operates the world’s 4th largest mining pool. Questions have circulated as to whether the shipping date was purposefully chosen and if their mining pool will gain exclusive access to the equipment at an earlier date which will increase their profitability for a short while.