Tom’s Hardware broke the news yesterday that Intel would be showcasing a new ‘Bonanza Mine’ ASIC chip designed for ultra-low-voltage and energy-efficient Bitcoin mining at the upcoming ISSCC conference, but Intel would neither confirm nor deny whether it will upgrade the chip. available to customers. Today, Fox Business reports that crypto mining startup GRIID, which will list an estimated $3.3 billion on the NYSE in the coming days, has signed a long-term contract with Intel for its “BMZ2″ mining ASICs. This means that Intel will effectively compete with its own specialized Bitcoin mining ASICs, opening up a new market that the company has not addressed directly in the past. companies: MicroBT and Bitmain. The specialization and expertise required to build, maintain and repair these machines has created a rather niche market, sometimes resulting in steep price increases for the hardware needed to mine bitcoin and secure the network. As Intel enters the Bitcoin mining space and introduces what it claims to be a revolutionary ASIC chip, this critical market could be permanently transformed. Some in the space are optimistic about a US-based tech company taking the lead, while others are dubious. relationships with Hut 8 Mining, a Toronto-based publicly traded mining company. On February 23, at the ISSCC conference, Intel will showcase its new ASIC mining chip. What was Hut 8’s first reaction when hearing the news? We were not surprised at all and anticipated this. Our CEO, Jaime Leverton, has been in the data infrastructure for over 20 years and has very strong local relationships with companies like Intel, Nvidia, Dell, etc. (for example, we have a limited fleet of GPU miners from Nvidia that have We’ve only been able to acquire three customers worldwide in the spring. We’re excited to see what these ASICS look like. We’re also taking a balance-first approach to everything we do, so we can be opportunistic when things like this happen. Plus, we’re adopting a laddered approach to how we manage our fleet, this means we don’t get stuck with a whole fleet that is outdated technology at the start of a new technology cycle, which we anticipate, we’ll see how it goes next year with big players like Intel coming to the fore, so we’re excited to see Intel come to the market!” through May 2025. This deal is for the second generation of ASICs, which will be discussed at a later date. we also seek Hut 8 a supply agreement with Intel? And will we see more of these mining company purchase deals as other manufacturers move into the space? Obviously I can’t reveal anything that we haven’t announced to the public yet! We are certainly evaluating all options as they come in the pipeline. [It’s a] good question about sales contracts. We are the only authorized repair center in Canada for MicroBT, which has been great in bringing us closer to the supply chain and enabling us to have a great relationship with a major ASICS manufacturer. However, we think optionality is important in this space and so we want to make sure we can build relationships with all suppliers in this industry. How does this change the larger landscape of mining, when a large company like Intel invades a space largely controlled by a select few, smaller companies? Extremely disruptive. More competition is better because if a supplier can’t compete on technology, they can certainly compete on price. What excites you most about this announcement and what is your biggest concern? Don’t worry, because again, we have fantastic relationships in the traditional technology hardware space. We are excited to see who is next after Intel, and of course to see this product in action. Conclusion Intel enters the ecosystem publicly and signs a supply agreement. This quickly demonstrates the rapid growth of the bitcoin mining industry. We will definitely see more manufacturers enter the arena, and probably a drop in costs as competition in the space increases. Lower barriers to entry allow more users to join the mining space, furthering Bitcoin’s distributed nature. Bitcoiners should be excited to see the ongoing game theories play out, and even more excited to see the entire industry adapt. This is a guest post from Shawn Amick. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.