That's a great question; here is the thing about cloud mining and ASICS.
1. CLOUD MINING
cloud mining is an act where a company pays users to use their mining software so that customers may use their machines as a proxy. Here is what doesn't make sense about the economics, who gets the money?
1.1. customers make profit
1.2. company makes profit
1.3. miners make profit
You cannot have all 3 of these groups make money, that's just not how economics works. The companies when recruiting others to cloud mine suggest that they (the miners) will earn a higher profit than mining if they mine for the cloud mining company. How can one earn more money with a company than mining the coin directly?
How can the company make a profit as well as the customer? You can't. We did an audit of NiceHash for example, and we found if you order a hashrate that was 10% of the hash unit advertised, then your order of miners will appear for a few minutes and then approximately 25% would disappear, and then reappear again 8 minutes later. This was a repeating cycle.
scammers will use fake user accounts that:
a) try to gas light you (telling you that you either made it up or that you're confused on how it works)
b) try to discredit you so that people looking up reviews to test the service will trust the users who are doing the gas lighting and discrediting.
c) defend the company to their last breath. Hint: actual people won't die hard defend a company, especially a crypto business.
2. ASIC MANUFACTURERS
this boils down to liquidity. If you engineer an ASIC and no one else on the market has one, then do you keep them for yourself or do you sell them? You sell them. Because if you were able to make an ASIC, then you can be sure that someone else is also doing the same thing and will bring theirs to market if you don't. Now you don't have the edge on mining, and you lost out on ASIC revenue.
the second part comes to availability. What would you rather have? 1 bitcoin every day, or 40,000 units of sales within a year? ASICS are very, very cheap to manufacture, especially with the hack jobs that bitmain cranks out. Old recycled hardware or unused from Chinese manufacturers, and a design that isn't compact in the slightest. It's truly built as if someone threw scrap parts together. Nonetheless, it does what it was designed to do. At 40k units, the company manufacturing these units are most likely looking at a profit of $100+ million.
There is likely around 160k ASIC units mining Bitcoin. Most of which Bitmain is responsible for. They would not be able to get to that point if they had not sold their ASIC units. It costs a lot of money to start manufacturing, but if you're pumping out thousands, then the costs get relatively cheaper by scale.
Another point to look at is that Bitmain also owns Antpool where they can get up to 4% of all bitcoins mined. They have 0% for paid per last N shares, or 4% full paid per share, of which the latter is more desirable as it takes nearly a full day to start earning revenue with PPLNS.
Ant Pool finds approximately 14% of all Bitcoin blocks.
506.3 Bitcoins Per Day * 13.8% Block Claim = 69.86 BTC per day
let's assume 30% of the miners choose the 4% option.
69.86BTC * 30% (0.30) * 4% (0.04) = 0.8384328 BTC per day.
This means that Bitmain is also earning approximately 306.02 BTC ($10,557,965) per year, all without deploying 5000 ASIC machines, and having to pay for mass cooling, mass storage, and mass electricity.