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Avalon specializes in developing and selling ASIC Bitcoin Miners. ASIC chips are the customized component that performs hashes in bitcoin mining. Avalon was the first company to mass produce ASIC miners and at 65 GH/s they are significantly faster that GPU miners. Avalon pre-sold 3 batches of bitcoin miners, consisting of 300, 600 and 600 units, before deciding to sell bulk orders of chips last April.
Avalon began selling batch 3 units on March 25th for 75 BTC each, projected to be 1 month’s return on mining at the time. The original shipping date at the time of pre-sales was projected to be May 5th, and the difficulty in mining has risen significantly since then. Both ASICMiner and Buttefly Labs have been shipping ASIC miners over the last 2 months, leading to a 134% increase over the last 60 days. The current shipment of 600 units will add another 15% to the network hash rate.
Users on the bitcointalk forums are reporting that they have received customs notices as well, as DHL tracking notices that their orders are arriving most likely next Monday or Tuesday. At current difficulty, the investment in these units will take approximately 80 days to break even, and result in a 70% return over the next 12 months, assuming an increase in bitcoin network difficulty consistent with the last 30 days.
Additionally, users that requested refunds over the last couple weeks have reported that the status of their orders has changed to refund processing. Many of these have begun receiving refund payments for their orders, returning the 75 BTC they originally paid. Though some refunds have been issued, many users were upset with the 2 month shipping delay and the reports that Avalon has been shipping 100,000′s of ASIC chips to bulk sale purchasers before shipping Batch 3.