The situation is reported by the hash monitoring service of various pools, CoinDance
CoinDance hash monitoring service reports that the mining pools of BTC.com and Antpool produced about 25% and 16% of blocks over the past week, CNN informs.
It is worth noting that both pools in question are part of Bitmain – a giant in the field of ASIC chip production. The total capacity of these pools means that at the moment the team is keeping under control about 42% of the bitcoin’s hash rate. In addition, both pools control about 21% of the Bitcoin Cash hash, which operates on the same algorithm as bitcoin.
This situation means that Bitmain is close to a dangerous mark in 51% of the network capacity, in which, in theory, the team will be able to perform an attack of 51% on the cryptocurrency. In the past, such attacks already happened with Bitcoin Gold, Verge, Litecoin Cash, and Monacoin.
Bitmain, however, does not have a big financial incentive to attack the bitcoin network in this way, because the asset will immediately lose value. But the fact that the executive director of the project supports SegWit2x and Bitcoin Cash, as well as the very possibility of conducting such discussions, indicates an abnormal degree of centralization of the production of cryptocurrency.
In 2014 a similar situation has already happened. Then Mining Pool Ghash took 51% of the network capacity, but after fears of the community, called the client-miners to move assets to other pools. Bitmain, most likely, will not take such steps.
Concern about the centralization of mining forced Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo to develop BetterHash, a technology for decentralizing bitcoin mining. Coral’s plan is to replace the existing mining algorithm with two new ones. This step will allow single-manners to create their own block templates, not relying on those offered by pool operators.
Implementation of the technology will not only allow the miners to work autonomously, but will also reduce the likelihood of an attack on the network by an unscrupulous mining-mining operator.