I have already seen reasons why Cryptonight is more resistant to ASICs as compared to SHA256 for example:

  1. Cryptonight takes advantage of the AES-NI instruction set available on most modern machines
  2. Cryptonight limits parallelizing hashes due to uses requirement of 2MB of fast memory

Acknowledging the above (largely focused on the lesser relative advantage Cryptonight ASICs would over CPUs/GPUs not the impossibility of creating ASICs) what are the range of cost estimates for ASIC creation?

If low end estimates are easier to make, please share estimates for FPGA creation and FPGA Conversions instead.

1 Answer 1


Even FPGA would be expensive for CryptoNight because most standard FPGA have close to zero memory. Your second point will, therefore, not only decrease the relative advantage of ASICs or FPGA over GPUs and CPUs but greatly increase their cost.

Even a basic FPGA mining board would be an expensive custom job because of this memory requirement.

I would estimate a minimum of $100,000 for the most basic FPGA board with minimum order requirements that will unlikely allow it to be profitable over GPUs and CPUs unless Monero prices rise dramatically.

ASICs creation might cost anywhere from a few hundred thousand to several million dollars depending on the specs. Again, there would be no guarantee of profitability.

ASICs for CryptoNight remains pretty unlikely until/unless XMR prices rise dramatically. There is also always a threat that Monero could eventually change its PoW to Cuckoo PoW or something else. Eventually a more Quantum resistant PoW might become attractive. If Monero changes PoW all previously produced CryptoNight ASICs would become close to worthless because there are not any other CryptoNight coins with the market cap to justify their expense.

  • 3
    What about co-processor cards like clearspeed.com/products/csx700.php
    – user15
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 12:48
  • 2
    Or something like this aliexpress.com/item/…
    – user15
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:18
  • @ChrisZim I would like to hear more about these options with on-chip memory too.
    – user22576
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 20:50
  • how much RAM does it require?
    – user626528
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 2:01

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