Blockchain Research: Major Competition from Bitcoin Mining Pools Pushes Bitmain Out


  • Blockchain is one of the largest companies in the cryptocurrency industry.
  • AntPool, BTC.com, and ViaBTC almost took up enough of the hashrate last year to create a 51% attack on the blockchain.

Mining is a critical component of Bitcoin, required to keep the blockchain updated and scaled as necessary. Recently, one of the largest companies in the crypto industry – Blockchain – decided to analyze the changes in how blocks are distributed within some of the biggest mining pools. Mining pools are used for individual miners to combine their resources, and the graph posted by Blockchain shows that the competition is still relatively consistent, and there’s yet to be a leader to emerge.

Last year, BTC.com – owned by Bitmain – was a top mining pool last year. However, through the last few years, the market share has been decreasing. Based on the data available through Blockchain’s tweet, it looks like the one-time leader is now only responsible for about 15.5% of the blocks mined for Bitcoin.

Instead, Poolin appears to be taking the slight lead, which only entered into the crypto mining sector in 2017, led by former employees of Bitmain. The pool didn’t start to rise amongst the many competitors until late last year, but it has continued this progress through 2019. Still, the competition is tight, and Poolin’s market share is 16.6%, but that hasn’t stopped some people from predicting that it will become a dominating pool for the market.

The third and fourth places are taken by F2Pool (14.8%) and AntPool (9.9%), respectively. However, it is worth pointing out that the only pool that has stayed consistent with their market share through the last two years has been AntPool, despite residing at the fourth place.

Even with this competition, unknown pools account for 24.7% of all blocks mined, which is a good thing, as it helps decentralize the Bitcoin network. Through the first half of 2018, the collective blocks mined between BTC.com, AntPool, and ViaBTC nearly reached 51% of the hashrate, which puts the whole network at risk for a 51% attack. As unknown pools account for a bigger portion of mined blocks, it is easy to stay away from this risk.

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