History of mining (part 5): Avalon Project and Butterfly Labs

Minerall.io continues the Friday-time texts that can brighten up the evening and tell you about evolution of a mining tech. This time we will tell you about two essential companies whose development helped modern mining to gain a face.

Avalon Project

According to users, the company called that way because of Yifu Guo, the creator of the Avalon Project. His aim was West world, where is a whole layer of pop culture is associated with Avalon.

Cunning Asians, under the leadership of Mr. Guo, correctly approached the issue of marketing, and almost immediately after the renovation (in September 2012), began to produce limited lots with high costs. It creates demand, excitement, and hype around Avalon products. The first batch had severe characteristics: miners were designed according to the process of 110 nm, hashrate at overclocking was 82-88 Gh/s, and energy consumption was 700W.

In total, the first generation of Avalon products had three stages.

Butch №1 hit the market at the end of September 2012, almost immediately after the Avalon Project announced its existence. Then the cost of ASIC miners was equal to 1,300$, and the products didn’t cause strong demand. However, miners were received by the owners in March 2013. Devices paid off in a few days and began to bring profit. These first lucky ones pulled a whole crowd of people behind them.

The next batch consisted of 600 devices and cost 1500$. The cost increase didn’t affect the demand, and the whole lot was sold out in the first week. Devices paid off, although they caused a discontent due to the delay in delivery and being used.

The third batch (it was the last), consisted of 600 machines, was not so popular. The reason was simple – it cost 75 bitcoins (at the rate of 100$), and that was about five times more expensive than the devices of the second batch. In this case, customers received a few months after ordering. By the time the miner is received, it is already outdated, and the complexity of mining has increased several times. Almost all owners of Avalon Project products of this period mined at a loss without paying for the purchase.

Despite the crushing failure, miners of Avalon remain on the market, but without such a resounding success. According to testers, one of the main drawbacks of the miners of this company is the use of a weak TP-link controller with a lot of freezes and bugs.

Butterfly Labs

Next in line is BFL, a company known for its strange attitude towards customers. Company’s name became the talk of the town among miners. Butterfly developed the pre-order program for ASIC miners and successfully used it. As of June 2012, BFL was selling the following models:

Jalapeno for 149$ and performance of 4.5 Gh/s
SC Single for 1299$ and performance of 60 Gh/s
SC MiniRig for 30,000$ and performance of 1,500 Gh/s

Pre-orders collected a quarter of a million dollars. Characteristics of the devices were top-of-the-pop: a chip with 65 nm process technology, energy efficiency of 0.9W per 1 Gh/s. There were no limits to the miners’ delight. But time passed, and the delivery time was postponed. Also changed energy efficiency and power. Just two weeks, the catchphrase, meaning an “unknown date”, entered into the miners’ glossary thanks to the BFL public relations department. That is how they responded to angry customer messages.

To get the ordered Jalapeno, miners had to wait almost a year, until June 2013. And against the backdrop of competitors, the equipment is entirely outdated.

BFL tried to get out of the situation and presented Monarch, a video card device that can be inserted into a PCI-e slot on a PC. According to the promises, it had to give 300 Gh/s for a device worth almost 1500$. Monarch with a surcharge was offered to those who are still waiting for their orders. The company fell massive claims and four months after Butterfly was closed during the trial. After the company was allowed to return to the market, some customers received a refund. After that, the BFL closed completely.

This fact concludes our Friday material and Minerall.io invites you to join us next weekend for a new historical reading. See you again!