Mining Pool Limits Its Own Power For The Greater Good Of Bitcoin

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7:00 AM EDT July 17th, 2014

Yesterday popular bitcoin mining pool GHash.IO announced in a statement that in the future it will “not exceed more than 39.99 percent of the overall Bitcoin hashrate.”

GHash hit and very briefly passed the 50 percent hashrate mark, raising what some called a 51 percent apocalypse issue problem.

Summed up quickly, if any one pool supplies more than half of the computing power used for bitcoin mining, it essentially gets God-like power over the currency and has the ability to misbehave by blocking transactions, double spending and more.

GHash’s compute share declined quickly after reaching 51 percent and currently sits at about 31 percent. In its statement, the group has promised to never launch a so-called 51 percent attack, and in an email toTechCrunch, confirmed that the pool had held a roundtable with other bitcoin constituents where a 39.99 percent ceiling level was proposed.  That was accepted by the pool’s management.

GHash is also “initiating a committee” to seek a more permanent fix, as voluntarily agreeing not to do the wrong things is not really a fix, and a motivated attacker might not be so reasonable. The new commission will set out to solve the 51 percent issue with tech. GHash intends to release a policy document outlining its solutions in the future.

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