Bitcoin’s mining power worldwide has been affected by manufacturing delays caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, effectively reducing growth in the cryptocurrency’s computing power. Nevertheless, some Bitcoin miners based in the Asian nation have seen an increase in their market share while others struggle to keep up.
Bitmain has held its position as the dominant cryptocurrency mining hardware maker since 2017, but the market may slowly be shifting over to Shenzhen-based MicroBT. The mining company sold about 600,000 units of its WhatsMiner M20 in 2019. Each unit generates about 60 terahashes per second on average, according to MicroBT sales head Vincent Zhang.
What makes MicroBT a likely challenger for the behemoth Bitmain? According to a report from CoinDesk, coupled with Bitcoin's price jump last year, MicroBT’s hardware was directly responsible for nearly half of all Bitcoin's computing power growth in 2019. This equates to about 30 percent of all Bitcoin mining power worldwide.
Bitmain slowly losing ground to competitors
Bitmain has seen its share of setbacks this past year, with plans to cut 50 percent of its workforce and the firing of co-founder and chief shareholder Micree Ketuan Zhan in October. MicroBT's WhatsMiner M20 hardware has proven itself to be an effective challenger to Bitmain’s AntMiner S17. However, Bitmain still holds approximately 65 percent of the market as of Dec. 12, according to an estimate by the digital asset management firm Coinshares.
In the meantime, both companies are developing more powerful technology to compete in 2020: Bitmain with the AntMiner S19 and MicroBT with the WhatsMiner M30. MicroBT was able to outpace Bitmain in manufacturing and shipping last year, and delays caused by the coronavirus outbreak may adversely affect one company more than the other in the coming months.