This morning, Cointelegraph is citing an emerging study published by Diar yesterday that shows Bitcoin mining hash rates are becoming more evenly distributed.
Reporting by Adrian Zmudzinski doesn’t purport to say exactly why this different distribution is occurring, but it does engage in some rather intricate explanation of what’s happening vis-à-vis current Bitcoin mining activity
“Per the report,” Zmudzinski writes, “smaller mining pools have made significant gains this year as unknown miners either drop off or change pools.”
Zmudzinski also cites statistics showing that 40 percent of Bitcoin mining pools have shut down since the beginning of 2018, which was probably mainly due to a slump in BTC values that lasted quite a while; BTC value perhaps reached its nadir around Christmas.
Other clues come from articles like this one at Coindesk where Wolfie Zhao talks about Bitmain, the major bitcoin mining pool, decreasing the hash rate of hardware running the SHA 265 algorithm.
“Bitmain, based in Beijing, manufactures mining equipment that it sells to others and also mines coins for itself,” Zhao writes. “The firm started disclosing the hashrate of the machines it owns on a monthly basis in July of last year. Archived pages available online show that the hash rate was 1,692 PH/s that month, and then increased to 2,339 PH/s in October. This figure then dropped below 1,700 PH/s in March, in line with the overall decline of the bitcoin network’s total computing power since November of last year as bitcoin’s price plunged below $4,000 during the same period. It then climbed slightly in early April before the latest steep drop. Partly as a result of that drop, Bitmain’s share of the bitcoin network’s total computing power has also shrunk from four percent to now just 0.4 percent. Assuming all the hashing power comes from the more widely used AntMiner S9, each with a hash rate of 14 tera hashes per second (TH/s), Bitmain may have ceased using more than 130,000 machines to mine for itself.”
Embedded in this analysis are the kinds of indicators that will spur greater Bitcoin interest this year – cheap Chinese hydroelectric power, and more notably, a massive bull run that put Bitcoin over the top over $8000 as of today.
Let’s put that in perspective – anyone who bought into Bitcoin during the doldrums at the beginning of this year and the end of last year is now sitting on double their money. That’s double.
Then look at the historical chart context, where Bitcoin peaked at $20,000 just a couple of years ago. Clearly there’s a major upside and a major downside. Bitcoin could slump back down or continue upward. Consider all of this in the context of the rough calculus around Bitcoin mining – if, as analysts say, companies have shuttered many of their Bitcoin mining operations in 2018, 2019 promises to be the year that they start them up again.