After building a formidable bitcoin mining empire that at one point reportedly controlled 51 percent of bitcoin’s hashrate, Bitmain is now moving into the Ethereum mining space through its subsidiary BTC.com. An August 30, 2018 report in The Next Web lays out how Bitmain and BTC.com are going about executing a new phase of their strategy to take over the crypto world one new blockchain at a time.
After taking over and dominating the bitcoin blockchain using Bitmain’s legendary Antminer ASIC mining devices, BTC.com became a victim of its own success. The company voluntarily pared back its output after some in the bitcoin community raised fears about possible centralization and the hypothetical risk of a 51 percent attack, Now BTC.com appears to have set its sights on conquering the Ethereum mining world.
To this end, the company released a new client module specifically designed to mine ether, which for many is a head-scratching decision.
Currently, BTC.com’s share of the bitcoin blockchain hashrate is about 16 percent, while it controls about 14 percent of the bitcoin cash blockchain’s hashrate as both blockchains retain close similarities. Despite this dominance, BTC.com seems to have placed Ethereum in its sights, and the timing of the move at a time when Ethereum has publicly committed to switching away from a Proof-of-Work (Pow) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) hashing system altogether is somewhat baffling.
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Zhuang Zhong, BTC.com Mining Pool Director betrayed no such uncertainty when speaking about the upcoming addition.
“We expect mining operations to grow to 12 percent of ETH total hashrate in the next 12 months..It’s still possible to host a mining pool in PoS mode. It will increase the complexity to design such a pool since miners need to deposit ether to the mining pool, but we have a lot of hands-on experience with wallet and Ethereum smart contracts to make a PoS mining pool possible.”
Exactly what Zhong means by this is still a mystery as he did not give away any sort of information beyond a generic surface definition of how -proof-of-stake (PoS) operates. Ethereum’s upcoming switch via the Casper protocol really does not seem to bother BTC.com at all, which would seem to indicate that the company has some sort of plan up its sleeve that it is being tight-lipped about.
At press time, no further information was available from BTC.com about how it intends to run its Ether-mining strategy or how its PoS mining implementation pool is supposed to operate.
In August 2017, BTCManager reported that Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin stated that Ethereum’s proposed Proof-of-Stake mining framework was 75 percent complete and would be deployed before the end of 2017. After nearly a year of delays, the Casper framework finally looks set to be deployed before the end of 2018.