On 24th February, 2Miner the popular Altcoin mining pool announced that Ethereum Classic mining had a sudden drop of hashrate with Antminer E3 [ETC mining hardware] for which complaints from multiple people were registered.
Antminer E3 was released in the summer of 2018 and the product is by Bitmain, the mining giant. It’s the world’s first Ethash ASIC miner and the profitability of an Antminer E3 is higher than the profitability of an ordinary GPU mining rig. Some details of the product are as follows:
Announced hashrate: 180 MH/s
Actual hashrate: 200 MH/s
Power consumption: 800 W
Retail price: $1,800 ($800 for the very first batch)
From 21st February, 2Miner has been receiving complaints. Miners reported that hashrate had dropped significantly. The miners said that the Antminer E3 was mining Ethereum Classic [ETC] at 30 MHZ from the past 3 hours while the factory declared hashrate of Antminer E3 is 180 MH/s and the reported hashrate is even more.
In the official statement, they mentioned receiving “a lot of requests last week on Telegram Support Chat and 2Miners Helpdesk” about the inconvenience, everyone was experiencing to mine ETC. “We have investigated this issue and the conclusions are disappointing.” said the team.
To mine an Ethash algorithm every GPU needs to download a heavy file called DAG [Directed Acyclic Graph] at the beginning of the mining process. The DAG [Every 30 000 blocks, a new piece of data (a DAG) is used for mining new blocks] grows more in every round of Epoch.[ Each new group of 30 000 blocks is known as an epoch]. Which is the major reason why memory matters a lot in Ethereum mining? Ethereum Classic has 328 mining epoch while Ethereum has 318. With investigation, 2Miner found out that the DAG file increment was the reason Antminer E3s had such a drop in its hashrate for ETC.
2Miner reported this issue and informed Bitmain, to which it responded saying:
“Thanks for your consultation!
Sorry for your inconvenience we got the confirm from technical department
E3 miner is a 4G video card. E3 is related to eth algorithm, and DDR capacity is up to the upper limit, so E3 will not be able to continue mining.
the meaning is E3 only can mine to January 2020, then will not mine again
Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns.”
As per Etherscan.io the avg. ETC block time is about 13 seconds. Each epoch is 30,000 blocks. Making it approx. 45 days for ETC to reach 328 epoch. Indicating that Antminer E3 would stop mining Ethereum Classic by 8th April 2020.