Mining hardware makers KnCMiner and Bitmain formally announced plans this week to launch new cloud-based Bitcoin mining services. Both announcements were widely anticipated, with both manufacturers lagging a few months behind their competition in offering the contract-based service. Neither service is yet live, with only pre-order subscriptions currently available.
The KnCMiner facility, dubbed Clear Sky Farm, is billed as a 7 PH/s hashing center in northern Sweden. The system is built from “excess” Neptune “Hash While You Wait” units that had been previously put to use to offset customer losses due to shipping delays of their 20nm line.
In an interview about the launch with CoinDesk, KnCMiner’s marketing director Nanok Bie said:
“We’re launching cloud services because of shifts in the market and demand from would-be customers. Home mining is becoming more and more difficult because of energy costs etc. Having your mining in the cloud has obvious advantages – we can source green electricity cheaper for instance, and have other bulk advantages.”
Instead of building up a new hashing center, Bitmain simply decided to buy an existing one. The “Antminer” maker purchased Hashnest.com, and will be independently developing a new cloud-mining platform.
Of particular interest is Bitmain’s annoucement that the new ANTPOOL platform will be fully integrated with 51% attack resistant pool system P2Pool.
We are investing significant resources into the development of p2pool mining protocol. … The development of contributed into p2pool is almost completed, and in the final testing and deploying. …
We have a focused team who are developing the p2pool mining protocol, and the goal is to have 80% of the total network hash rate join p2pool within next 12 months. At that time, the whole Bitcoin community will never be anxious about the potential risks of the decentralization risk associated with the pool mining model now.
Bitmain noted that the first contributor to the ANTPOOL system will be adding around 4 PH/s to the P2Pool network.