Krater, a new bitcoin mining rig builder, is offering a clone of the Avalon ASIC mining rig. Krater says it has purchased 10,000 Avalon ASIC chips and plans to build (to order) rigs with up to 320 chips in each that could reach a theoretical high of 90 giga-hashes per second (Ghps). If you have already purchased some Avalon ASICs, Krater will still build the rig for you.
In its FAQ, Krater describes itself as:
We are just three normal guys from Ohio. Combined, we have corporate developer experience, small business ownership experience, and component level electronics.
We know there are plenty of people who are essentially scammers in the bitcoin community. We wanted to prove our concept before we introduced ourselves.
The design of the Krater Miner is a modified version of what Avalon already produces. As you can see, the prototype in the demonstration video below is built on a flat board. Fear not, though, Krater says the final model will be shipping a professionally made aluminium case.
As mentioned above, one interesting service offered by Krater is to take the chips you may already have and build a mining rig for you with the following parts:
- Complete and fully functional Avalon cone
- 1000W Gold rated power supply
- Five cooling fans
- TP-Link router with CGminer
- Professionally built aluminium case
The ASIC modules (i.e. printed circuit boards, PCBs) that Krater has designed for its mining rigs can take up to 80 Avalon ASICs each, and up to four modules can be fitted to a rig. Depending on the number of modules, a custom build will set you back between 60 BTC and 90 BTC. Bitcoin is the only accepted currency.
For 125 BTC, Krater will build a mining rig from scratch, from its own ASIC stock, fully decked out with 320 (that's four times 80 for those not keeping count) ASICs fitted, which should theoretically reach 90 Ghps.
The company told us that it is now taking orders for its fully fitted model, of which they plan to build 31 units. Unlike other companies who can be difficult to communicate with, Krater has published an email address and telephone number on its website. What's more, the demonstration video features the guys responsible for the building work.
This may well engender some confidence in the customer service. However, the official Krater thread on the Bitcoin forum shows that many have been dissatisfied with the pricing of the units. Indeed, reading through the thread it appears that Krater had been asking 200 BTC for its mining rig. So the published price of 125 BTC represents a sizable reduction in price.
However, that 125 BTC price tag for a 90 Ghps miner is still quite hefty when weighed against the 72.36 BTC price offered by Avalon for its mining rig which promises a minimum of 63 Ghps. On the other hand, Avalon is not taking orders for its rig at the moment, whereas Krater is. Until proven otherwise, Krater has not had the same criticism that was levelled at Avalon for mining with equipment paid for by its customers, which may count towards its purported image of a genuine set of people.
There are still some unanswered questions as to Krater's stock of ASICs though. We do not know which batch of Avalon chips they come from (which may or may not matter to prospective miners). Furthermore, Krater's store page states: "We are selling our 31 "Krater Miner" Avalon clones which we are building based on the 10,000 chips we ordered on May 2nd."
This would seem to suggest that they do not yet have the chips, and so they are at the mercy of Avalon's supply chain.