Russian Mining: Interview with 51ASIC’s CEO
ForkLog’s editorial board has been pretty surprised when it found an online store selling mining equipment from Russian town of Smolensk. 51ASIC has been active since 2013. It services lots of clients, and, as it seems, has a good reputation attached.
ForkLog talked with the company’s CEO, Evgeny Zolotoy, to know about the company’s future plans concerning possible ban of cryptocurrency in Russia.
FL: When did you come up with this idea of selling mining equipment, which is quite untypical for Russia?
Evgeny Zolotoy: We started selling miners almost immediately upon their emergence. It was in mid-2013, as I recall. Back then, enthusiasts from videocard-based farms were switching to first ASIC miners. We’ve seen demand for the devices growing and dashed to China.
FL: Are there many customers? What are their most usual problems?
Evgeny Zolotoy:Â Number of customers directly depends on availability of new devices and cryptocurrency exchange rate. When the rate goes up, or a new miner is released, our buyers are very optimistic. When the market is going down or stagnating, it may be a slack. However, we’ve got some other ideas to work on during a time like that.
As for the problems, most of them have something to do with correct connection and adjustment of equipment, selection of a pool, and some other issues, which are simple for many, but crucial for newbies. We’re very understanding here. Anyone may ask any question at our social media page, and we surely will answer. There are some malfunction instances, so we launched Russia’s only service center to solve such problems. If we can’t tackle it here, we go to China, where the manufacturer runs a service center.
FL: Have you ever had any problems with law enforcement?
Evgeny Zolotoy: Not a single one. And hopefully, we won’t.
FL: This summer, Russia may prohibit all cryptocurrency operations, including its mining. Are you getting prepared for that?
Evgeny Zolotoy: Yes, we’re considering some options, though, in our opinion, it’s too early to come to any conclusions here. Those initiatives concerning bans, penalization and so on, as far as we can remember, have been lasting for years. We hope nothing like that would happen, as it would be pretty sad if our country goes overboard and loses its chance to adapt for a new reality.
FL: Do you intend to move the business abroad?
Evgeny Zolotoy: That’s one of the options we consider in the first place.
FL: As far as we can see, your site also offers Ethereum mining equipment. Is it of any demand?
Evgeny Zolotoy: No, it’s not. Currently, people prefer assembling farms themselves, and we can understand thatÂ as it’s more flexible and less expensive. It’s more like an experiment for us, though currently we put our efforts to make the equipment cheaper than individual assembly.
We’re also developing an industrial solution. For that purposes, we joined ranks with some talented developers, like Denis Soldatov aka General Beck (https://general-beck.info) and Andrei Zimin (http://coin-lab.com).
FL: What’s that industrial solution?
Evgeny Zolotoy: As we all know, there are two parts to mining equipment, namely software and hardware. As for software, we offer a product, which is easy to set up, provides maximum efficiency, allows for remote monitoring, and has no licensing problems. This software will be based on GenEthOs, which Denis and Andrey release as an open source solution. However, apart from that, all our equipment will be connected to a cloud service, which would enable remote setup of a miner, starting from graphic chip voltage and ending up with selection of mined cryptocurrency. Notwithstanding the expectation of Ethereum’s POW stage, our equipment will continue working as a miner of a different cryptocurrency. It would take just a few minutes to introduce changes on the cloud.
As for the hardware, we’ve developed a mobile system, which may be allocated in server racks and would be equal to 4U. We’ve provided for a great cooling system and stable power supply. It could work with maximum effifiency of GPU chips. Our equipment will be easy to accommodate, take out and transport with no fear of it disintegrating on the way. Our equipment’s enclosures have been designed and manufactured at a secret military facility, so it’s okay when it comes to reliability. We used principles of promptness and easiness of assembling, usage, and scalability – it’s very important for an industrial solution.
FL: Who are your immediate competitors?
Evgeny Zolotoy: If this name is applicable, then lots of scammers are our competitors, as they deceive people and put them off mining. In all other instances, there are no competitors. Those few people who, just like us, are running a honest business, are more like our brothers in arms.
Interviewed by Tanya Otter
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