Bitmain to Deploy 90,000 Antminer S9 ASICs Ahead of Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

Francisco Memoria

Cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain is reportedly getting ready to deploy 90,00 Antminer S9 ASICs in the Xinjiang region of China ahead of the November 15 hard fork on the bitcoin cash (BCH) blockchain.

The crypto mining giant’s goal, according to local news outlet DeepChain, is to get ready for a potential hashrate-related war between the two versions of bitcoin cash that come out of the fork, in order to prevent potential attacks. Each Antminer S9 has an estimated mining power of  14 TH/s.

Yu Hao, a mining farm operator in China’s far-western region of Xinjiang, told the news outlet Bitmain has been contacting mining farms in the region since October, and convinced his to deploy some machines. Per Hao, it was asking every farm to “host over 5,000 machines,” an amount only a few can accommodate.

Bitmain is reported to have over 1 million BCH in its wallets, which makes it a major holder with a lot to lose in the upcoming contentious hard fork. An unnamed source at the firm stated:

Half of its marketing staff have gone to Xinjiang to talk with local mining operators about deploying equipment.

In the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang regions cryptocurrency miners are abundant, as coal is sufficient to supply their mining equipment with enough energy to keep on running.

BCH’s Upcoming Hard Fork

While the Bitcoin Cash blockchain has regular maintenance hard forks, the upcoming November 15 one threatens to split the network in two as some of the cryptocurrency’s proponents support Bitcoin ABC, the development team that originally forked the Bitcoin blockchain, while others support Bitcoin SV, the team backed by self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto Craig Wright.

Both teams have different visions of what upgrades should be implemented on the Bitcoin Cash network, but their proposals aren’t compatible. The ABC development team has so far gained support from prominent mining pools, including AntPool, ViaBTC, Bitcoin.com, BTC.top, and others. These account for roughly 40% of BCH’s total hashrate.

The SV version, however, is supported by nChain and CoinGeek, which has the largest BCH mining pool by hashrate. BMG and SBI also support the development team on this side. As CryptoGlobe covered, BCH recently surged after Binance and Coinbase revealed they would support the hard fork and give users access to the airdropped tokens at a 1:1 ratio.

The potential to receive airdropped tokens has seen various users buy BCH. So much so that the cryptocurrency’s price surged from about $425 to nearly $650 in only a few days, before correcting to $595 at press time.

Poloniex, a cryptocurrency exchange owned by Circle, announced trading support ahead of the hard fork, allowing customers to trade Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) tokens, as well as Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV) tokens.