Mining Companies

In modern Bitcoin mining, there are three prevalent mining companies.

1. Butterfly Labs

Butterfly Labs, a Kansas City based company, started with some success selling FPGA Bitcoin miners. During mid 2012, they announced the development of new ASIC mining chips. They immediately began taking pre-orders promising delivery within a few months. After continuous delays and setbacks, the miners were finally manufactured and began shipping a year after the initial announcement. Butterfly Labs continues to sell hardware at the disadvantage of a massive backordered waiting list.

2. Avalon

Avalon is a Chinese based Bitcoin mining company. They began selling ASIC mining hardware a few months after Butterfly Labs had originally promised to ship its units. Although the mining hardware sold by Avalon cost over ten times the price of an equivalent Butterfly Labs product, purchasers were well rewarded by receiving their orders almost six months before Butterfly Labs. Avalon continues to sell its mining hardware in batches every month or so and has also begun selling individual chips.

3. ASICminer

ASICminer is the most unique of the modern mining companies. On the Bitcointalk Forums, a user by the name of Friedcat began selling 'shares' of a new company called ASICminer to help fund the development of ASIC chips. After a number of investors got on board and 400,000 shares of the company were issued, ASICminer released two mining products: the 10 g/hash 'blade' and the 333 m/hash 'USB Block Erupter'. They began selling some of these products and used the majority of them for mining. The proceeds from the hardware sales and the mining went toward dividends that were paid out to share owners. As they continued to grow, share prices increased and the market cap of ASICminer is over $100 million US Dollars.

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