ASIC maker and crypto-mining giant Bitmain has found 42 percent of total blocks in the last week. BTC.com and AntPool, both owned by Bitmain, currently account for 25.6 percent and 17 percent of bitcoin network hashrates, respectively.
Bitmain – The mining company with a huge lead
Bitmain Technologies Ltd. The Beijing-based mining company generated profits of $ 3-4 billion in 2017. Bitmain covers almost the entire mining market with the production and use of its own ASIC miners.
In addition, the company also operates mining pools, in which miners merge and thus reduce costs and increase the chance to find blocks. In addition, Bitmain offers its own cloud mining options, where you can buy hash, without having to know the matter.
Bitmain is also a well-known Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporter. On its own homepage, ASIC miners can only be acquired with BCH. If Bitmain were to switch the hash that is currently used for BCH, then Bitmain could spend a total hash of 45 percent.
This comes extremely close to the majority of 51 percent. This would theoretically give Bitmain the opportunity to carry out a 51% attack on the Bitcoin network to censor transactions or double spend.
The danger is given – implementation questionable
Unfortunately, a 51 percent attack was not uncommon lately. Smaller networks like Verge and Bitcoin Gold had to plug in this year. What would happen if Bitmain reaches 51 percent, and what are the ways to keep Bitmain out of a majority position?
It would not be the first time that 51 percent have been achieved by a company. In 2014, the mining company Ghash had exceeded the 51 percent mark, triggering an account over in the community. One solution Ghash proposed was to ask miners to shift their resources to various mining pools. It also called on every company in the future to do the same. For Bitmain, however, the situation is different because Ghash was a decentralized mining pool, while Bitmain is a centralized company.
Another unlikely solution would be to change the Bitcoin proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. However, this is very unlikely due to the potential security issues. The threat of centralization by Bitmain exists, even if it is unlikely that they will attack the Bitcoin network.
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