Cryptocurrency miners relying on the Bitmain S17 and T17 Antminer have said that the rigs have failure rates between 20-30% where they would normally be roughly 5%.

According to an April 26 tweet from Samson Mow, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of blockchain infrastructure firm Blockstream, Bitcoin (BTC) miners using rigs from the world’s largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment have been reporting technical issues. 

Heat sinks on the Antminer S17 and T17 rigs have been falling off, causing the machines to short out. In addition, users have reported problems with the power supply fans on the S17. 

Both pieces of equipment are designed to regulate the heat generated by the mining gear. As a result, nearly a third have been shorted out by the reported problems.

As Mow points out, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jihan Wu is blaming fellow Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan for the failures. Wu ousted Zhan from the company in October 2019 “to save this ship [from sinking].”

Mining competition before BTC halving

Mow’s tweet comes a mere 15 days before the expected Bitcoin halving, with both cryptocurrency mining manufacturers MicroBT and Bitmain in stiff competition. However, supply chain disruptions as a result of COVID-19 have left many in the crypto community expecting delays in mining equipment. 

Bitmain successfully sold out their updated S19 Antminer Pro with a hash rate of 110 terahashes per second (TH/s) on March 23, but later announced the units would not be shipped until May 11 at the earliest, just one day before the halving. Many have speculated that Bitmain chose this date so that it could mine using its next-generation ASICs without competition before the next fork occurs.

MicroBT, on the other hand, reported their flagship MS30S++ model from the M30 series of Bitcoin miners would have a hash rate of 112 TH/s. The mining manufacturer has said the hardware would be ready to ship in June.