What is the Antminer DR3?

The Antminer DR3 is a Decred ASIC miner released by Bitmain in September 2018 (which uses the Blake(14r) hybrid proof-of-work/proof-of-stake algorithm). At the time of its release it looked to be much better than other Decred ASICs, but other upcoming competitors like the Whatsminer D1 mean you should be careful buying it.

Below we go through the Antminer DR3's specs & compare it against competitors.

The DR3 was announced on Twitter back on the 23rd September 2018, so we're fairly late posting this guide, where it's currently sold out (they seem to have had 2 batches so far). You can still buy it on sites like Amazon though.

Mining vs staking Decred

If you've mined a proof-of-work coin like Bitcoin, moving to Decred can be very confusing, as it uses a hybrid proof-of-work/proof-of-stake algorithm. The way this works is when you mine a new block in Decred, the reward is split between proof-of-work miners and proof-of-stake stakers, with 60% going to miners, 30% going to stakers and the remaining 10% going to Decred development. The purpose of the staking aspect is to allow stakers to vote for changes on the Decred blockchain and to counter any malicious proof-of-work miners.

To stake Decred you need to mine lots of coins though, where it involves buying a 'ticket' to get the chance to receive this proof-of-stake reward. These tickets cost a certain amount of Decred, in the range of 90+ coins (which at Decred's current price would be over $3.5k). The ROI for Decred staking right now seems to be around 1.28% per month (but as the cost of tickets goes up this will likely decrease over time).

Antminer DR3 profitability

At $0.10/kWh, on the 23rd September 2018 the DR3 looked to bring in around $10 per day. Right now this seems to have dropped to around $4.20 per day again at $0.10/kWH, so it doesn't look to be a great investment based on the drop in profitability so far (unless you have very cheap electricity or you're optimistic that Decred's price will increase significantly and fairly soon). Also be aware that when the Whatsminer D1 is shipped, Decred profitability will likely drop at an even faster rate (as it's much more efficient).

The algorithm used for Decred seems to intentionally be friendly to ASIC miners, where it uses a proof-of-stake mechanism to prevent any potential abuse by miners. So at least the risk of ASIC resistance on Decred seems to be lower than other coins (although isn't guaranteed of course). See this page for a more in-depth analysis of the Antminer DR3's profitability over time.

Antminer DR3 competitors

When researching the Antminer DR3, 2 competitors seemed to be mentioned most often, the Whatsminer D1 and the Innosilicon D9+ DecredMaster. A comparison of these 3 miners:

Whatsminer D1

  • Price: $4,198
  • Hashpower: 44 TH/s
  • Electricity: 2,200W
  • Efficiency: 50W per 1 TH/s

Antminer DR3

  • Price: $673
  • Hashpower: 7.8 TH/s
  • Electricity: 1,410W
  • Efficiency: 181W per 1 TH/s

Innosilicon D9+ DecredMaster

  • Price: $1,499
  • Hashpower: 2.8 TH/s
  • Electricity: 1,230W
  • Efficiency: 439W per 1 TH/s

Comparing these is tricky, where you need to balance delivery date with efficiency. The D9+ is the oldest with the worst efficiency, the DR3 is in the middle, and the Whatsminer D1 is the most efficient, but is not available until November 2018, 1 month after the DR3. So for a few weeks the DR3 might be a good option, but the moment those D1's start being turned on the DR3 and D9+ profitability will likely drop significantly (and so the DR3 doesn't look like a great investment).

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