The Telegram group, started by Arseniy Grusha on May 1, co-founder of United States-based cryptocurrency consulting and mining firm Wattum, contains several complaints about Bitmain products, primarily the Antminer S17+. “I have never seen such defective production before,” Grusha wrote on his LinkedIn page on May 4. “In case you have a similar problem, I have created a telegram group where you can share your experience with the latest deliveries of these miners.”

30% failure rate reported

In an interview with Cointelegraph, the mining entrepreneur explained that his company received 420 Antminer S17+ devices in March after a month-long delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, around 30% of the machines started glitching after only one month of use. Normally, defective miners account for just 5-7% of the whole order, Grusha noted.

Among the units, 32 stopped working due to ‘ERROR_SOC_INIT’ error, while 99 now only work using just one or two hashboards out of three, with 80% of the latter group ostensibly having this problem straight out of the box, according to Grusha.

“Part of the miners just stopped working,” he said, clarifying that all of the purchased miners have been using the latest official software from Bitmain. “The other part have bad hashboards and their power is lower by 30 and 60%.”

The Wattum exec has already contacted Bitmain, who apparently appointed him a specialist and new firmware. “Will have results in couple days,” Grusha told Cointelegraph, adding:

“But we still have 32% of bad units. They should be sent to China, and as a result, we lost money on mining before [the] halving and will [have to] wait two months for repair, which of course does no good for us.”

When asked whether he was considering going to court, Grusha replied:

“I sent a request for compensation, and asked to send new miners instead of the bad miners. Let's see what they answer first.”

Others in the group, which boasts almost 140 members after being created on May 1, reported somewhat similar failure rates. Mike Hamilton, chief technology officer at New York-based energy startup Griid, shared his experience after receiving a large batch of Antminer S17 50T units:

“We've got about 700/1800 machines with at least 1 hashboard down after 3 months. About 300/1800 with at least 2 hashboards down, and probably 150/1800 with all 3 hashboards and/or PSU failures.”

Matt D’Souza, CEO at Blockware Mining, recalled having a 19% defective rate after deploying a thousand Antminer S17+ units in a hosting facility based on freight containers. He got a much lower defective rate of 2% after launching another 1250 of the same model miners at a different facility.

Previous complaints

Earlier in April, Samson Mow, Chief Strategy Officer of blockchain infrastructure firm Blockstream tweeted that Bitmain customers have a 20-30% failure rate with Antminer S17/T17 units. Mow also speculated that Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu blames ousted co-founder Jihan Wu for the problems and “is begging customers to give the S19 a chance.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Antminer S19 were designed to produce increased mining output after the Bitcoin halving, which will make it more difficult to mine new coins. Bitmain sold out its first round of domestic Antminer S19 sales within 24 hours, while the units would not be shipped until May 11 at the earliest, which is roughly the same day the halving occurs.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Bitmain for a comment, but has yet to hear back from the company. This story will be updated should we receive a response.