Bowing to pressure, GHash agrees to limit share of hashrate to 39.9%

bitcoin mining

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gastev/

As a bitcoin miner, it’s hard not to have mixed feelings about GHash.io. On one hand, the pool’s massive amount of the total network hashrate means consistent and generally high payouts.

The pool’s operators have clearly invested considerable resources in creating a powerful, easy-to-use dashboard and user experience. It’s a well-made, zero-fee system that works exactly as advertised.

On the other hand, the pool also blindly drove over the 51% cliff last month, crashing profits and making even non-miners worried about the security of the overall network from a true 51% attack.

The 51% scenario could have been avoided easily simply by pointing some of the pool’s own miners elsewhere. GHash seemed to be asleep at the wheel, letting their own pool members take the hit when the price took a nose dive.

It’s hardly surprising that so many miners and smaller pools, like PetaMine, flee GHash in the hopes of keeping the network – and the exchange rate – stable.

GHash appears to have gotten the message. At a meeting of bitcoin mining bigwigs during Coinsummit London, the pool announced it would cap its operation to “not exceed more than 39.99% of the overall Bitcoin hashrate.” Although that’s still a huge amount of hashing power, and there’s no guarantee that GHash won’t effectively control far more simply by splitting up its hashrate among smaller pools, it is a start.

GHash, the Bitcoin Foundation and other related parties also committed to looking for a trustless, code-based solution to the 51% problem.

Written on 16 Jul 2014.