Bitmain: Our Transparency Policy for Shipping and Mining Practices

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via bitmain blog

As many of you have no doubt noticed, Bitmain has started to explore policies and behaviors that aim to increase transparency and foster greater dialogue between us and the cryptocurrency communities at large.

To put it plainly, we believe that communities served by Bitmain and its products should be supported and served as transparently as possible. Recent measures have included restricting order quantities, ensuring a first-paid-first-ship order of fulfillment, blocking IPs that we suspect to be hoarding, and publishing detailed shipping updates openly.

Based on the encouraging results from these early efforts, as well as our continued dialogue with the broader cryptocurrency community, Bitmain is redoubling its commitment to business transparency. Here’s how you can expect this effort to continue:

Disclosure policy on self-mining

Every 30 days we will publish data to advise community members which algorithms Bitmain is currently mining for itself and the total hashrate of Bitmain-owned hardware on each of these algorithms. The report will be available by this link: https://blog.bitmain.com/en/hashrate-disclosure/

Zero tolerance policy against ‘secret mining’

‘Secret mining’ is a practice whereby an ASIC manufacturer may mine with newly developed equipment prior to selling or distributing such equipment to customers. This has been criticized as conferring an unfair market advantage to ASIC manufacturers over individual community member miners. Bitmain itself has been unfairly accused of this practice. In the end, Bitmain values transparency and fair competition. We therefore remain opposed to this practice and maintain our long-held zero-tolerance policy regarding same.

We will never seek to mine ‘empty blocks’

While often described as the result of sinister intent, empty blocks often occur because of issues in block propagation at the protocol level rather than active decision-making by mining pool operators. We are actively working towards mitigating these issues. However, should there occur any unusual or excessive rate of empty block mining by a mining pool owned by Bitmain, we will seek out the cause and disclose the reasons why.

We will provide shipping and volume information of new miners to the public

We will publish the shipping and volume information for the first model of all new miners, tweeting the quantity and payment timestamps via the official Antminer Twitter account. We will do this for all rounds of shipments within the first batches of those models, because 1) these have the maximum impact on the network difficulty of a blockchain, and 2) these are the first miners that use our latest ASIC designs.

We present these efforts as our contribution to assuring both new and veteran participants of our commitment to a fair and transparent cryptocurrency ecosystem. Our intent is to both reflect and reinforce the philosophies that brought all of us here in the first place. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.