#Bitmain's Latest Bitcoin Miner Update Activates Controversial 'AsicBoost'

Bitcoin mining computer manufacturer Bitmain has released a software update for its Antminer s9 devices, using controversial code to allow them to more efficiently mine bitcoin.

Bitmain announced Monday that the just-released firmware will support "overt AsicBoost" functionality, bringing a speed boost to the miners. Notably, while Bitmain is only just now enabling these mining devices to use AsicBoost, the chips were already capable of supporting the function on a hardware level. In particular, the post claims that this will ensure Bitmain's machines remain effective at mining the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization, while simultaneously increasing the hashrate of the bitcoin network and reducing its energy footprint. The company explained that it previously had not intended to release software supporting the AsicBoost method due to concerns that the software may be protected by patents. However, the company's legal counsel had decided that there presently is no specific patent claim over the software.



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