Bitcoin Miner Pricing Puzzle – Bitmain’s Antminer S9 Goes Down in Price as Canaan’s Avalon Miners Go Up. What’s Going On?
The Bitcoin miner pricing puzzle is getting harder and harder to solve. Two months ago The Antminer S9 had a “street price” of $5,000 (rated at 14 TH/s) compared to the Avalon 741 (7.1 TH/s) which could be purchased for $799. Dollar for dollar, the Avalon miner was by far the better deal. Fast forward to present day and Bitcoin miner pricing has gone sideways.
Canaan’s ASIC Bitcoin miners were always known to be of high quality with respectable performance at fair prices. The fair prices thing has gone out the window with the Avalon 821 which cannot be purchased for less than $2899 despite a performance increase of roughly 35% So why is the price more than three times higher when the performance increase itself is not hardly in step with the price increase? The Bitcoin miner pricing puzzle thickens.
By comparison, Bitmain’s flagship product can now be purchased after-retail for nearly half of what they were going for back in December. Part of the reason for the radical change in pricing can be learned in this CNBC article on Bitmain operations. It seems Canaan has taken a similar approach to pricing judging from what they said when the 821 and 841 were first announced; they would be pricing their new miners in step with the Bitcoin market.
That makes the Bitcoin miner pricing puzzle more complicated — since Bitcoin is well off it’s December high why are Avalon miners nearly the same price as Bitmain miners today? The Avalon 741 was seen as the next best option — balancing price and performance — compared to the Antminer S9. I talked about this extensively in an earlier article. With the Avalon 821 at about the same price as the Antminer S9 — with lower output — I predict Canaan will lower pricing to be in step with prevailing market conditions.