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Author Topic: Bitmain controls close to 51% of mining hash  (Read 237 times)
Jet Cash
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July 05, 2018, 03:35:32 PM
 #1

Their continuing profits allows them to build an increasing investment in Bitcoin and other crypto- mining operations. There seems to be a few new concepts being created for potential miners. The most interesting are the inclusion of mining hardware in room heaters and air conditioners, and the possibility of using the surplus electricity generated by hydro-carbon powered transport. Whilst the individual hash power will be fairly small, the aggregation of millions of such miners could make a substantial contribution to the decentralisation of mining. Of course this assumes that Bitmain doesn't operate a mining pool for this new source of hash power.

What is your view of the future de-centralisation of Bitcoin mining.
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July 05, 2018, 07:02:32 PM
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If Bitmain don't have any strong competitor or miners still to choose to mine on pool owned by Bitmain (or anyone with high percentage hash), i'm sure the community eventually will begin to ask those miners to use other pools or promote some form of P2P/decentralized pool.
In worst case, there's chance the community will propose to change PoW algorithm or consensus method.

IMO, we should consider different consensus method or prepare proposal/idea of emergency action if 51% attack happen.
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July 05, 2018, 10:31:11 PM
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Unfortunately as far as miners go there aren't many new concepts available.

All they can focus on is efficiency, to try and make any waves in the market. This can go 2 ways depending on the climate people are living in. For colder arctic/subarctic climates you could get away with creating an efficient heater by using an inefficient miner design. This isn't far off from when I move my 741's into the basement to feed into my furnace air intake. This could even breathe life back into non profitable miners. Then there is the efficient miner that needs to use the least amount of electricity per hash, and this is beginning to flatline, at least until a company improves on the current 7nm chip designs.

I like the idea of popping a few chips, or even an entire miner into anything and everything you can. The problem is most items won't be able to handle many chips, making the added cost of the equipment undesirable when trying to convince someone it will pay off in the end. The concept will appeal more to the old guard of BTC as they still hold the decentralized belief near and dear; you don't find that much amongst the current wave of crypto supporters.

Unfortunately regardless of how much hashpower is created in this way, Bitmain can continue to produce an efficient miner to more than offset this new hashrate. The only comforting thought someone pointed out to me in discussion about a 51% attack. Bitmain has so much invested in BTC that it doesn't make sense for them to due any damage to the network. It is of little comfort but I'll take it.


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July 06, 2018, 10:28:44 AM
 #4

I think it is Samsung that is planning to release "domestic" ASIC chips. If those can be incorporated into vehicles, then a fleet operator could run a mining pool to reduce his costs.  For example, a delivery company has a fleet of 1,000 vans, and they are in constant contact with the head office. Installing a couple of "domestic" ASICs would generate a bit of hash power from the surplus electricity generated by the engine. Multiply that by 1,000, and you could have an economic mining pool. Include aa leisure battery, and the miners could be run for 24 hours per day. Run this as a service for other fleet operators, or even individual car owners, and you could create a reasonable sized mining pool.

I wonder if I've got a domain name to exploit this. Smiley
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July 06, 2018, 08:58:29 PM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #5

According to this there is only ~35% hashrate owned by bitmain if I'm right that they only own Antpool and BTC.com?
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July 06, 2018, 11:18:35 PM
Merited by bitmover (3), Welsh (2), LeGaulois (1), paxmao (1)
 #6

According to this there is only ~35% hashrate owned by bitmain if I'm right that they only own Antpool and BTC.com?

They had reached 43% sometime last week, today it has declined. But the big question is that they also mine BCash. If at any moment they were close enough, they could direct all power to Bitcoin. This could momentarily dominate the network.



But I find it totally unlikely that they use that power to perform an attack. It would be far more harmful than beneficial and if something like that happened, the exchanges would probably notice. 51% attack is only really feared when it is done unexpectedly. As with other shitcoins. Anyway, it is really necessary to seek ways to prevent that few players dominate so much share of the market.
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July 06, 2018, 11:26:53 PM
 #7

According to this there is only ~35% hashrate owned by bitmain if I'm right that they only own Antpool and BTC.com?

They had reached 43% sometime last week, today it has declined. But the big question is that they also mine BCash. If at any moment they were close enough, they could direct all power to Bitcoin. This could momentarily dominate the network.



But I find it totally unlikely that they use that power to perform an attack. It would be far more harmful than beneficial and if something like that happened, the exchanges would probably notice. 51% attack is only really feared when it is done unexpectedly. As with other shitcoins. Anyway, it is really necessary to seek ways to prevent that few players dominate so much share of the market.

I mean it is quite a bit of an issue if bitmain have a preference of bitcoin cash, maybe they have datacentres that aren't actually running and are preparing for an attack where they have all of their mining power pointed at bitcoin and start to mine empty blocks to push up the bitcoin cash price because no one can transfer any bitcoins.
They could get around being blacklisted in quite a few ways if they have a plan so it would be virtually impossible to trace who mined the block (if done well).

I think we've seen miners get as high as 43% before.
A 51% style attack can be done with luck and a 40% hashpower.
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July 07, 2018, 07:58:28 AM
 #8

I'll see if I can find the article I read, but it seemed to indicate that the combination of the pools they run, and their own mining, gave them a tad under 50%. They are also making substantial profits, and are likely to increase their share of Bitcoin mining, unless they switch their hash to other coins.
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July 07, 2018, 12:42:17 PM
 #9

Hey guys,

I wrote an article about this when it was relevant.

My personal opinion is that it is just FUD, and I give a few interesting possible outcomes that might happen in an article that I wrote for a client. It's an opinion piece, so even though I know there is a general dislike of sharing links I am doing it anyway.

I've already written the article and if you are curious to find out a different perspective you should have a look:

https://www.crypto-news.net/truth-behind-the-news-bitcoins-supposed-51-attack/

My research showed me that there has also been a situation when a pool went past 51% in the past (don't remember which one) but I don't write about it in the article.

Here is a short excerpt from the article that I find funny:

"What if Bitmain gets hacked. Or the Chinese government takes over?

Again, they would need to unplug Bitmain from the network, have the entire community ignore this fact, and be lucky enough for their computation to be faster than everybody else (while Bitmain is utilizing all communication to ask miners to stop contributing because they were hacked).

Still, the hackers would also have to deal with the following idea: “What is more profitable, performing a 51% attack on the entire BTC blockchain, or leveraging Bitmain’s mining pools to mine to our own addresses?”
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July 10, 2018, 02:40:33 AM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #10

I think it is Samsung that is planning to release "domestic" ASIC chips. If those can be incorporated into vehicles, then a fleet operator could run a mining pool to reduce his costs.  For example, a delivery company has a fleet of 1,000 vans, and they are in constant contact with the head office. Installing a couple of "domestic" ASICs would generate a bit of hash power from the surplus electricity generated by the engine. Multiply that by 1,000, and you could have an economic mining pool. Include aa leisure battery, and the miners could be run for 24 hours per day. Run this as a service for other fleet operators, or even individual car owners, and you could create a reasonable sized mining pool.

I wonder if I've got a domain name to exploit this. Smiley

Well I have no doubt that you will find a name to exploit the this,  Grin

The idea itself would put some hashpower out there; I just don't think it would be enough to be relevant in any way. Not sure how many you are thinking, but lets say you manage to set up 10 chips/vehicle. Depending on the quality of the design, you need about 11 vehicles approximately to match an Avalon 841, or 19 vehicles to match an S9. This is just based on chip numbers.

So even the fleet would be a drop in an ocean. So if you are only concerned with having hashpower that doesn't belong to Bitmain; it's something. The idea just isn't feasible as a profit maker in terms of FIAT.
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July 10, 2018, 02:27:03 PM
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The idea itself would put some hashpower out there; I just don't think it would be enough to be relevant in any way. Not sure how many you are thinking, but lets say you manage to set up 10 chips/vehicle. Depending on the quality of the design, you need about 11 vehicles approximately to match an Avalon 841, or 19 vehicles to match an S9. This is just based on chip numbers.

So even the fleet would be a drop in an ocean. So if you are only concerned with having hashpower that doesn't belong to Bitmain; it's something. The idea just isn't feasible as a profit maker in terms of FIAT.

The electricity is free, and the network connectivity is already in place, so all you are talking about is the capital investment for the mining hardware. If that is cheap enough, then it shouldn't be too hard to turn a reasonable roi from a fleet of vehicles.
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July 10, 2018, 02:34:29 PM
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The idea itself would put some hashpower out there; I just don't think it would be enough to be relevant in any way. Not sure how many you are thinking, but lets say you manage to set up 10 chips/vehicle. Depending on the quality of the design, you need about 11 vehicles approximately to match an Avalon 841, or 19 vehicles to match an S9. This is just based on chip numbers.

So even the fleet would be a drop in an ocean. So if you are only concerned with having hashpower that doesn't belong to Bitmain; it's something. The idea just isn't feasible as a profit maker in terms of FIAT.

The electricity is free, and the network connectivity is already in place, so all you are talking about is the capital investment for the mining hardware. If that is cheap enough, then it shouldn't be too hard to turn a reasonable roi from a fleet of vehicles

Why not just put a solar panel on the roof if it's a hgv. I think you could make a few kW from that surface area.
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July 10, 2018, 04:50:42 PM
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Why not just put a solar panel on the roof if it's a hgv. I think you could make a few kW from that surface area.

It would get ripped off as they went under the bridges. They aready  scratch the paintwork, so what chance would a solar panel have. Smiley
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July 10, 2018, 08:58:24 PM
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Why not just put a solar panel on the roof if it's a hgv. I think you could make a few kW from that surface area.

It would get ripped off as they went under the bridges. They aready  scratch the paintwork, so what chance would a solar panel have. Smiley

Not on motorways they wouldn't?
If a driver can't read a sign then  they deserve to lose out on some bitcoin earnings. There's a lot of trees on streets near me actually and they'd drag off those solar panels also.
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July 11, 2018, 03:38:08 AM
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The electricity is free, and the network connectivity is already in place, so all you are talking about is the capital investment for the mining hardware. If that is cheap enough, then it shouldn't be too hard to turn a reasonable roi from a fleet of vehicles.

In regards to the electricity, I assume your talking using the vehicles alternator and drawing of the battery maybe even a spare dedicated solely to the chipset? Then I agree if you can do this and run the vehicles long enough each day that it doesn't drain the battery while they are off, your electricity is essentially free.

The bigger hurdle you brought up is the network connectivity. Not using a wired network connection causes it's own issues with latency and submitting shares. This could be the difference between your fleet submitting and finding a block or getting beat to it. With this though I guess some shares are better than no shares especially if you don't have a noticeable electricity cost.

It would almost be better to mine off the spare battery solely on downtime with the fleet and joining with a pool.
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July 11, 2018, 07:54:45 AM
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The electricity is free, and the network connectivity is already in place, so all you are talking about is the capital investment for the mining hardware. If that is cheap enough, then it shouldn't be too hard to turn a reasonable roi from a fleet of vehicles.

The electricity cannot possibly be free, unless you use solar panel or some other energy source that is not the car itself, otherwise the cars are just going to consume more gas to supply the energy needed, 100% guaranteed.

And if it does, for some reason, it just simply means that the car is wasting a great deal of gas doing nothing at the moment, so you are still paying for what you consume.
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July 12, 2018, 10:20:33 PM
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The electricity is free, and the network connectivity is already in place, so all you are talking about is the capital investment for the mining hardware. If that is cheap enough, then it shouldn't be too hard to turn a reasonable roi from a fleet of vehicles.

The electricity cannot possibly be free, unless you use solar panel or some other energy source that is not the car itself, otherwise the cars are just going to consume more gas to supply the energy needed, 100% guaranteed.

And if it does, for some reason, it just simply means that the car is wasting a great deal of gas doing nothing at the moment, so you are still paying for what you consume.



Electricity is never free, even if you use solar panels.
Solar panels cost money and therefore the electricity is not free.
And they don't last forever, they break and repair also costs money.
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July 19, 2018, 12:48:57 AM
 #18

Vitalik Buterin talked about this possibility in a recent interview. According to him, we underestimated the oligopoly of the current PoW system on Bitcoin.

Quote
COWEN: As Ethereum and perhaps other groups move from proof of work to proof of stake or some kind of intermediate weighted average solution, to what extent will this require more institutional trust in Ethereum or the other intermediaries, and will that be centralizing?

BUTERIN: I would actually expect that, on net, it would require less institutional trust. Part of this is just because a lot of people don’t realize the sheer level of centralization in proof of work already.

In Bitcoin, there is one person, Jihan Wu, who controls the largest two mining pools in bitcoin that add out to 42 percent of the network.

And 42 percent isn’t enough to do a 51 percent attack, but it is enough to do selfish mining, which is enough to reduce other people’s profits to the point where they drop out, and you can do a 51 percent attack.

Granted, these are pools, but a very large portion of that 42 percent, I believe, actually is his own hardware.

I think, because we’re used to it, people do underestimate the oligopoly and the rich-get-richer and the trust that’s necessary inside of proof-of-work systems already.

For example, bitcoin users already trust Jihan Wu and Wang Chun to not team up and start doing 51 percent attacks pretty much every day. They seem to be nice enough or at least rationally self-interested enough not to do that, but that’s definitely still institutional trust.

https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/vitalik-buterin-tyler-cowen-cryptocurrency-blockchain-tech-3a2b20c12c97
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