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Why are AntMiners' firmware closed-source / non-GPL? What does Bitmain have to lose by making the source open?

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The ASIC "arms-race" is all about having cutting edge technology. In a recent Motherboard article about a mining farm, the hardware was not even allowed to be specified.

Consider also that both SHA256/Scrypt ASIC manufacturers were clamoring to bring smaller nanometer sized chips - and the associated R&D costs - and it's probably more a question of why a company would make their hardware open source.

  • Yes, it is an "arms race," but what about the possibility that there're back doors in the software? – Geremia Apr 15 '15 at 0:58
  • @Geremia Very good point, however I don't know how this could be done, given the high-skill level involved with the mining community (Slush, Luke Dashjr, numerous others). If something was fishy they'd have flagged it, however that isn't an airtight situation, admittedly. Also, I'd tend to see cloud-mining scams are providing sufficient returns insofar as hardware backdoors are infeasible from a cost-benefit perspective (I won't further this hypothesis/opinion however) – Wizard Of Ozzie Apr 15 '15 at 2:07

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