Blockchain research unit Diar has published new data which illustrates the degree to which anonymous Bitcoin miners are now validating more blocks than any other pool.
This research follows recent announcements that Bitmain, the world’s largest maker of cryptocurrency mining chips, is reported to be laying off up to 50% of its staff in 2019 following huge staff cuts in 2018 in its 11 mining farms operating in China. This forced the company to lay off 3,000 of its staff in December having initially grown from 1,000 employees.
With larger producers such as Antpool, BTC.com, and ViaBTC now validating fewer blocks than this time last year and Bitmain pulling back from mining, it appears that “unknown” miners are becoming a dominant factor of the space. Diar reported:
“[Unknown] miners closed December having solved a whopping 22 [percent] of the total blocks, up from 6 [percent] at the start of last year… The Bitcoin network is currently less likely to experience an attack given the fact the BTC.com controlled pools have lost dominance over the network.”
At the beginning of 2018, Bitmain’s mining pools represented 53% of Bitcoin’s hash power, but with the recent reduction of the company’s influence on the crypto mining industry, those wary of 51 percent attacks are now expressing relief that such attacks will now be far less likely in the future. This means that the world’s flagship cryptocurrency is becoming more decentralized due to Bitmain’s diminishing influence along with the return of anonymous miners.
However, Diar has warned that the growth in hash rate observed over January may be unstainable, especially if Bitcoin returns on its 2018 bearish trend. Bitmain will be watching the market and significant changes could see a return to the former giant’s mining dominance.
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