Alpha Technology Viper Scrypt Miner Shipments Slip to October

Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Sep 29, 2014 at 15:09 UTC
Updated Sep 30, 2014 at 00:56 UTC
Alpha Viper circuit boardAlpha Viper circuit board

Alpha Technology has confirmed that shipments of its Viper Scrypt miner will suffer delays of up to a month.

The company had previously planned to ship the ‘batch one’ units in September, but now says the date has been moved to October.

“We are confident that we will be shipping in the latter half of October 2014, provided everything goes as planned,” director Mohammad Akram told CoinDesk, explaining:

“We are doing our best to ensure our customers receive the highest quality of product, which is performing at, if not better the advertised hash rates and power usage requirements advertised and do not want to rush anything which would undermine that.”

The tape-out of the firm’s new silicon was a success, according to Alpha, which is currently still testing the hardware. Once the new miner passes quality control, it will move into mass production, followed by shipping.

Furthermore, the first batch will beat its previously quoted performance targets, according to Alpha, although the exact figures have not bee revealed. Four months ago, the spec was revised from original estimates, with the flagship Viper miner claimed to deliver 250 MH/second.

Delays explained

In its latest developmental updates, Alpha Technology shed more light on a number of problems that contributed to the delays.

The company wrote:

“It’s absolutely thrilling for us that we are going to be able to ship you your miners at any moment now. However, we do realize that making batch one happen has not turned out exactly as we all had hoped and planned, and just like you: we are very disappointed with that.”

The company started taking orders for the first batch of miners in January and planned to ship the first batch of miners in July. However, that date slipped and, two months ago, Alpha pinned part of the blame on a dispute with PayPal.

Akram said at the time that the delay was due to the company not being able to access customer funds held with the payment provider.

The company then revised its schedule so that batch one of the Viper would ship in September.

Akram explained:

“We are aware that there [are] some customer complaints regarding the delays etc. However, I would like to point out that we have increased the minimum hash rate tenfold from 5 Mh/s to 50 Mh/s, and 25 Mh/s to 250 Mh/s, and are looking to meet, if not outdo, our estimates on the power efficiency requirements. These changes, together with the problems we have had with PayPal, have naturally resulted in delays, which have been problems completely out of our control.”

Loyalty rewards

The company now says it wants to “give back” to those who have stuck with the firm through the delays, and has launched a new loyalty scheme for all customers who made batch one orders. Alpha originally considered handing out shares to those affected by the delays, but due to potential legal issues it decided to develop an alternative.

The scheme will run for five years and will involve giving almost half of the value of shareholder dividends to first batch customers. Any buyer who purchased 50 MH/s or 250 MH/s Viper miners prior to the 31st August 2014 will be eligible.

Akram said the company has “big plans” for future batches and it is determined to set a high standard in the mining industry for years to come.

“Out of all the startup companies like ours, who had started from scratch in the scrypt mining market, most have been delayed significantly or failed altogether, as a result of some of the high level competition which cropped up from some of the bigger players in the bitcoin market and well-funded companies,” he said.

Altcoin resurgence?

Akram added that Alpha Technology is confident that scrypt altcoins will rise again in value and generate more market opportunities.

“The problem seems to stem from those who are in it for the short term, and only thinking about short term ROI, and are dumping coins as soon as they are mining them. This seems to have had a negative effect on the value of these coins,” said Akram.

“However, in the long term, I am pretty confident that the value of scrypt coins will again rise, and stabilise in the coming years.”