During the last few weeks, the whole world has been watching the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak (nCoV) that started in Wuhan China. The coronavirus is commonly found in a few animals like certain birds, but when the virus affects humans it can cause severe respiratory infections and flu-like symptoms.
On January 29, the Chinese mining rig manufacturer Microbt, the creators of the Whatsminer series, announced they are delaying shipments internationally because of the virus. The company cited guidelines issued by the Guangdong provincial government and stated that the delay will last until February 9. A rough translation of Microbt’s notice states:
Bitcoin mining rig deliveries from China are delayed due to the coronavirus according to a few Chinese manufacturers. Microbt and Ebang sent notices to customers via the firm’s Wechat channels. Sources say Bitmain and Innosilicon are delaying mining device shipments as well.
Microbt and a Few Chinese ASIC Manufacturers Delay Mining Rig Shipments Because of the Coronavirus Outbreak
“The production, delivery, after-sales service, and the sending and receiving of documents and other arrangements will be delayed as a result.”
Microbt, the creators of the mining rig series called Whatminer, has delayed shipments until February 9, 2020.
Ebang Delays Mining Rig Shipments
In addition to Microbt’s coronavirus delay notice, the 3Logic executive Artem Eremin disclosed that Innosilicon and Bitmain would be delaying mining rig shipments as well. Following Microbt’s announcement, Ebang issued a delay notice as well using the company’s Wechat channel. Ebang’s shipment delays won’t be lifted until February 9-10 according to the translated announcement. Ebang’s notice has a few pictures of doctors, needles, and medical symbols as well.
The Chinese mining manufacturer Ebang’s notice.
At the moment, there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines that can combat the coronavirus. Additionally, the entire Chinese city of Wuhan (population 11 million) has been quarantined and there are other smaller regions in China that are quarantined as well. A number of crypto market observers believe that cryptocurrencies and safe-haven assets like gold will benefit from the coronavirus scare. Gold has spiked considerably since the outbreak in Wuhan and the cryptocurrency market valuation is up more than 30% year-to-date. However, mining rig shipment delays could affect the overall SHA256 hashrate (BTC, BCH, BSV) and possibly delay it from rising further over the next month.
Some speculators believe the delays may affect the overall SHA256 hashrate. At the time of publication, as far as hashrate is concerned BTC has 112 exahash per second (EH/s), BCH has roughly 4 EH/s, and BSV has about 3 EH/s.
Microbt, Bitmain, Ebang, and Innosilicon have all announced next-generation miners but most of the deliveries were already scheduled for mid-February. The current delay may not affect the market negatively if this is the case, but it’s quite possible the Guangdong provincial committee and other Chinese government entities will decide to extend the delay if the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.