It appears that Butterfly Labs isn’t the only company having trouble making and selling specialized chips designed only to mine for bitcoins crazy fast. As Bitcoin buffs may already know, another rival firm, Avalon, has been having recent trouble getting its hardware off the ground.
Yifu Guo dropped out of New York University to start the company and Avalon was the first to ship a consumer-grade ASIC miner earlier in 2013. But while the company shipped around 1,000 miners earlier this year, it’s struggled considerably since.
In a Monday e-mail sent to supporters and customers, Avalon wrote that it was offering a “full refund in bitcoin for all the Avalon Generation One orders made on any date.” To be clear, that constitutes bulk orders of 10,000 chips or more—each chip has processing power of 280 megahashes per second. The company sold those orders for 780 bitcoins or over $101,000 at present exchange rates. Avalon's earlier miners, which are powered by these same chips, used hundreds of chips running in parallel in a single box.