Mining manufacturer Bitmain has announced new litecoin hardware it is aiming to ship in July.
The China-based company listed the Antminer L3+ miner on its website yesterday, claiming that it will be the most powerful and efficient of its kind on the market. Published specifications indicate that the miner operates at a peak hash rate of 504 megahashes per second (MH/s), while consuming 1.6 Joules per Megahash (J/MH). The starting price is $1,370.
Notably, Bitmain international sales VP Gadi Glikberg said that new demand for litecoin, which has seen its price skyrocket in recent days, led the company to announce the miner.
Glikberg told CoinDesk:
"Right now, the [litecoin] exchange rate is going up, so more and more customers are contacting us in search of miners. We try to respond through hardware, though production has certain hard timelines ... We try to keep an eye on the market and give more attention to projects that seem in higher demand."
The hardware's release comes as the litecoin network moves toward adopting a scaling solution previously proposed by developers working on bitcoin.
Litecoin miners have started to signal their intention for adopting segregated witness, a proposal aimed at increasing the amount of information that can be stored within a block while also addressing issues such as transaction malleability. The change requires that 75% of blocks produced during an 8,064 block activation period must signal for the change.
At press time, that key level stands just over 78%, according to Litecoinblockhalf.com, meaning the activation will happen sometime within the next 30 days if the level of signaling remains the same.
For now, however, Bitmain isn't moving to devote significant resources to the litecoin space, reiterating the firm's commitment to bitcoin hardware.
"Even with the recent increase [litecoin] still has a fraction of the market cap of bitcoin," Glikberg said. "As mining and market cap are coupled, our main focus has and remains in bitcoin."