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Author Topic: "the 21 companies that control Bitcoin"  (Read 1377 times)
Possum577
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August 14, 2015, 04:53:32 AM
 #1

http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-pools-miners-ranked-2015-7

Business Insider ranks the 21 largest mining companies/operations claiming that these companies control Bitcoin. They also say that the top 3, if they were to combine operations, would control 51% of the [blockchain] network.

Any surprises here? I know the top dogs probably change some, but is this list generally accurate?

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August 14, 2015, 06:00:22 AM
 #2

The title (from BI) is rather misleading.  Miners don't "control" Bitcoin.  Multi-page discussion, that, but read e.g. http://nakamotoinstitute.org/mempool/who-controls-bitcoin/

As for the list itself: it's roughly accurate.  You can see at the end that they're just taking the data from BlockTrail.com .  BlockTrail.com attributes blocks to pools based on things like payout address(es), coinbase scriptSig, etc.

However, their attribution list needs updating; their list of 21 is closer to a list of 17.  For a more accurate overview of the top pools, check out http://organofcorti.blogspot.com/
Specifically the block maker statistics posts, e.g. http://organofcorti.blogspot.com/2015/08/august-9th-2015-block-maker-statistics.html
( 1DXRoTT6.... is probably Telco214, known as 'dotpool' there )

The top dogs haven't changed in a while - the major change in the past few weeks had been BitFury who rose pretty sharply.  Probably more movement soon-ish , but generally business as usual.

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August 18, 2015, 10:09:29 AM
 #3

Hey thanks for posting the link, I'm always scouting the news feeds for enjoyable quick reads on the mining industry and this was surprisingly useful. Each short blurb on the operations/operators was pretty informative. It made me think how much time I've also spent researching the 11 named groups and why some of the facts were still new to me.

In regards to the top three pools colluding and possibly executing a 51% attack.. I'm sceptical. The way I see it these operations (aka corporations) will be far more profitable to see the price of Bitcoin rise through its own brilliance than to cause mass hysteria from an attack that will only cause a crash in price leaving themselves with worthless assets.

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August 19, 2015, 06:55:19 PM
 #4

Although the top three pools could indeed combine for close to a 51% attack (right now combined they make up ~ 50.7% of the network, so not quite 51%) I think the decentralization of the network is looking much better than it was last year, when it wasn't uncommon for CEX/Ghash.io to maintain over 51% of the network, and do absolutely nothing to combat that problem (they could easily have increased pool fees to encourage users to move to different pools). 21 companies vs. a small handful controlling bitcoin is a huge improvement from last year, but it's tough to say if this pattern will continue, and even right now having the network controlled by basically 21 different parties isn't very decentralized for a worldwide project.

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August 20, 2015, 10:44:20 AM
 #5

From memory the attacker only needs 50% + 1 miner and therefore an attack with ~50.7% is quite possible, theoretically an attack could be attempted with less. With some luck an attacker could be successful in double-spends with less than 50%, perhaps 45% or less but statistically their more likely to succeed with 50% given you will need to find new blocks faster than the remainder of the network combined.

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August 22, 2015, 05:23:06 AM
 #6

I think this is quite the reality, when you can control the network blockchain 51% sure you can do anything, however, and whenever you want.

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