Alpha Technology Announces Scrypt ASIC Miner For Litecoin By Mid 2014
Whether or not they will reach their mark, remains to be seen.
Alpha Technology, of the United Kingdom, has partnered up with Decxel Designs, of India. Decxel Designs is a leader in ASIC design and manufacturing in its region and Alpha Technology has been working on a Litecoin mining ASIC for some time now. Recently they announced the world’s first ASIC miners meant for use on the Litecoin network. These ASIC miners would become available for pre-order sometime in December, with delivery promised sometime in 2014. Delays in ASIC design and manufacturing are often unanticipated and cause very long delays so it is unclear just how solid Alpha Technology’s predicted time frame for delivery actually is.
Litecoin, with a market cap of $250 million as of today, is more developed than Bitcoin was when Butterfly Labs first announced their ASIC miners, at least by the total market cap metric. Does that mean that Litecoin will experience the growth that Bitcoin did after the advent of dedicated hardware? Perhaps not, in more important areas, such as payment processing, Litecoin is severely lacking in comparison with Bitcoin. In fact, Alpha Technology is not even going to be accepting Litecoin for their pre-orders. They have specifically referenced the lack of a Litecoin Payment Processor similar to BitPay as their reason not to accept Litecoin. Simply speaking, Litecoin isn’t functional enough as a currency to facilitate the sale of the machines meant for its mining. Alpha Technology will be accepting Bitcoin and other more “standard” forms of payment for their pre-orders though.
Furthermore, potential buyers have yet to receive actual proof of a working prototype which brings many scam accusations to Alpha Technology that they have honestly not adequately answered. There are many untrustworthy ASIC/vaporware sellers out there, and it remains to be seen if Alpha Technology is one of the good ones or one of the bad ones. Additionally, there is incredible sentiment from Bitcoiners, and from Litecoiners as well I imagine, against pre-orders after witnessing the Butterfly Labs debacle. Some have even gone so far as to boycott any organization operating with a pre-order which has hurt projects such as the Trezor.
Will any of the above information deter people from placing pre-orders when they open up later this year? Absolutely not.
Historically, mining has always been a high-risk and high-reward venture for those stout of heart. There is no point in history where that has been more true than now. Whether or not Litecoin mining and/or Scrypt mining becomes the next step in that progression remains to be seen.
I eagerly await a working prototype of a Litecoin mining ASIC because I do believe that one will eventually be produced and sold to the masses. Whether or not Alpha Technology is first to market, remains to be seen.