Bitmain and Siacoin
In January 2018, Bitmain stirred more controversy than usual, by announcing plans to start making available ASIC mining hardware capable of mining Siacoin.
A cryptocurrency which is also a cloud storage service similar to Dropbox, transparency, and decentralization is vital to Siacoin. This is why Siacoin uses a hashing algorithm called BLAKE(2b); this algorithm which up until recently, resulted in it only being possible to mine Siacoin on regular consumer GPU’s.
Sadly (for Siacoin) Bitmain recently announced support of BLAKE(2b) mining using the Bitmain Antminer A3. As a result, those with Antminer A3 devices can now dominate the Siacoin blockchain and in doing so, erode trust in the idea of true Siacoin decentralization.
Bitmain and Monero
With the recently announced Antminer X3, which was supposed to mine Monero, all eyes are on the Monero development team. Riccardo Spagni, one of the most notable Monero devs has publically said on Twitter Monero will perform a hardfork to make it ASIC resistant, meaning the X3’s will be useless.
EDIT: Monero has now successfully hard-forked to prevent Bitmain’s ASIC’s from mining the cryptocurrency. Although Monero curbed Bitmain, it still has a huge monopoly over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Bitmain and Ethereum
Bitmain is now also targeting Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. With their new F3 miner capable of mining Ethereum a lot more efficient than GPU’s, effectively killing the profitability of GPU mining. A lot of people have spoken against this stating Bitmain has been mining Ethereum for months before ‘dumping’ them now on the retail market as word came out there might be a so-called hardfork to make Ethereum ASIC resistant.
The hardfork debate has been the most important topic of discussion within the Ethereum community, arguments ranging from the F3 going against decentralization to allowing Bitmain to get an even tighter monopoly. A Hard Fok should not take place though.