What is the GMO B3? (Specs, ROI & Bitmain Comparison)

On the 5th June 2018, GMO launched a new Bitcoin ASIC miner called the Miner B2, which looks to be more efficient than the popular Antminer S9i. More recently they also released the B3 on 2nd July 2018.

This guide will explain what the GMO Miner B2 & B3 are, and how they compare against other Bitcoin ASICs.


GMO Miner B2 & B3 specs

Well to start, the GMO B3 is very powerful, it has a maximum hashpower of 33TH/s (compared to the Antminer S9i's 14TH/s maximum). So you can get around the same hashpower as the equivalent Antminer, but in half the space. Efficiency is also very important, so we'll cover that in more detail now.

At a glance, the GMO B2 looks to be the most efficient miner GMO currently sells. But when you research the B3 in more detail this doesn't seem to be the case. The B3 seems to be an upgraded version of the B2, where if you run it at full hashpower, 33TH/s it isn't as efficient as the B2, but it offers functionality to run at the same hashpower as the B2 at the same efficiency (the maximum hashpower is 33TH/s and the minimum is 24TH/s).

So considering the B2 and the B3 are selling for the same price (where GMO seems to release new batches each month, where any new batches would be for the B3), the B3 looks to be the better option of the two GMO miners. GMO even seem to be offering B2 owners the ability to swap it for a B3.

This variable hashpower works through a built-in system to optimize mining efficiency based on the environment it's in. So if you have cheap electricity, or maybe the total hashpower for Bitcoin drops, you can increase the hashpower of your B3 to take advantage of the situation; and equally if Bitcoin's difficulty increases very fast it seems you can decrease the hashpower. Other scenarios might include weather conditions, where if it's particularly hot you can decrease the hashpower/power usage to free up electricity for extra cooling.

See the current profitability & other statistics for the GMO B3 here.


The specs of the GMO B2, GMO B3 & Antminer S9i (last updated 13th July 2018):

GMO B2 ($1999):

  • Power consumption: 1950W
  • Hashpower: 24TH/s
  • Power per 1TH/s: 81W

GMO B3 ($1999):

  • Power consumption: 1950-3417W
  • Hashpower: 24-33TH/s
  • Power per 1TH/s: 81-103W

*You can change the hashpower of the B3, the power consumption would change based on this.

Antminer S9i ($925):

  • Power consumption: 1320W
  • Hashpower: 14TH/s
  • Power per 1TH/s: 94W

Other useful features of GMO miners:

  • Online surveillance via an API.
  • Anti-theft measures (where if your miner is stolen, GMO can detect if they're plugged in again and trace the IP address).
  • Has a temperature sensor to prevent overheating.
  • GMO offer their own mining pool (although you can use another pool if you wish).
  • 180 day warranty.

This YouTube video gives lots more insights into GMO in general.


GMO Miner B2 return on investment

Bitcoin mining profitability has dropped a lot over 2018, where in July 2018 it's no longer profitable in many countries to use an Antminer S9i (in the UK for example). The GMO Miner B2 & B3 are quite expensive unfortunately, and only slightly more efficient than the Antminer S9i (around 20% more efficient). Because of their cost, which seems to be $1999 for a pre-order that's delivered potentially 4 months later, many people may find that by the time their GMO miner arrives and they've run it for a few months, it wouldn't have made back this initial $1999 by the time it's no longer profitable. In many cases it may stop being profitable before it even arrives if Bitcoin's price doesn't increase significantly over the next few months.

So as an investment, unless you have very cheap electricity, the GMO miners are very high risk. The Antminer S9i for example is half the price (this decreased price was likely to stay competitive with GMO). So although the S9i is less efficient, it would potentially take less time to make your money back.

Also be aware that the architecture used in the S9i was 16nm, and the GMO B3 uses 7nm. The smaller this number the higher the potential efficiency, so if Bitmain were to release a 7nm Bitcoin ASIC it could potentially be much more efficient than the GMO B3. This is highly speculative, but you need to be aware that this could happen in the form of say an Antminer S11. The fact that Bitmain is selling the Antminer S9i so cheaply supports this argument, with many people claiming that they're 'clearing house' of old hardware in advance of their own 7nm Bitcoin ASIC.


GMO vs Bitmain on decentralisation

There's been a lot of criticism of Bitmain in the area of decentralisation, where because they're creating so many Bitcoin ASICs, they could potentially control a lot of Bitcoin's total hashpower. If they were able to control more than 51% they could potentially start doing malicious things like blocking payments from/to certain addresses.

GMO seems to be trying to deter this by launching this new miner, and also by creating their own mining pool called 'GMO POOL'. In their announcement for the GMO B2, they included this text: "we are aiming for Decentralization which is according to Satoshi Nakamoto's philosophy". GMO itself looks to be a very large company, where the GMO Internet Group runs 106 companies and has 61 offices globally, so it seems feasible that they're large enough to take on Bitmain (something many smaller ASIC manufacturers would likely struggle with).

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