Bitmain Activates the Controversial AsicBoost for Antpool to Mine Bitcoin Faster
AntPool, one of the companies controlled by Bitmain, has decided to activate the so called AsicBoost. With this activation, the mining pool would mine Bitcoin in a more efficient way.
The information has been revealed by the website AsicBoost Block Explorer. The site identifies blocks that are mined using the AsicBoost technology. According to data provided by this website, 4% of the blocks mined during the last week used the AsicBoost.
AntPool is one of the most important mining pools in the market. The biggest is BTC.com and is also owned by Bitmain. Both of them have almost 30% of the hashrate of the Bitcoin network. Moreover, the block #540032 that was mined by AntPool seems to use the AsicBoost.
This AsicBoost exploits an important weakness that Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) has. If the AsicBoost works, the miner is able to mine faster than usual. In the past, Bitmain was accused of implementing a version of the AsicBoost into the mining hardware chips that the company produces. According to some reports, this is one of the main reasons why the company rejected the SegWit implementation.
Jihan Wu, Bitmain CEO, explained that the AsicBoost was tested in closed environment and never used for real-world mining. Blockstream CTO, Greg Maxwell, accused Bitmain of using the AsicBoost to increase its profits.
About it, Bitmain answered:
“Bitmain holds the ASICBOOST patent in China. We can legally use it in our own mining farms in China to profit from it and sell the cloud mining contracts to the public. This, however profitable , is not something we would do for the greater good of Bitcoin.”
Bitmain holds a patent that is related to a system using AsicBoost and the technology behind it.
Until now, the company has not released any statement about AntPool and the blocks mined using AsicBoost. Some time ago, BitMEX Research reported that Bitmain is losing money due to the increased virtual currency mining costs and the bear market.
Why is Bitmain starting to mine with #AsicBoost now all of a sudden? Their hardware is getting obsolete and they need to squeeze as much out of it as possible. Need to try to look good for the IPO! #BitmainIPO
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) September 6, 2018
Some users believe that Bitmain is not being able to remain sustainable and is not able to compete in such a difficult market. There are several companies that are starting to produce better or similar rigs.