David Perry (@KJ6CCZ), who recently interviewed Butterfly Lab’s Sonny Vleiside, published a rendering of a circuit board that could be the first ASIC to reach the Bitcoin mining market.
There are now no fewer than five different attempts to perform SHA2 hashing using ASIC technology but if claims by Butterfly Labs (BFL) pan out they will find themselves at the head of the pack.
When payments for pre-sales of BFL’s ASIC product line were first being accepted in June, the shipping date was estimated to be possible in October, however Josh from BFL spoke at the recent Bitcoin 2012 conference in London and referenced a November target, and even the words “before Christmas” were emitted as well.
The author of this blog wishes to shares the opinion that while ASIC technology will radically alter the Bitcoin mining environment, investment in that technology through means of pre-payment or buying shares of mining-related concerns should be deemed as carrying extreme risk.
The risk factors include the unknowns such as the future BTC/USD exchange rate when these ASICs do begin to ship, the amount of hashing capacity that ships and when that capacity comes online. The timing is particularly important as mining revenue is set to drop by half (in terms of BTCs produced per-day) around the end of November.]