GHash.IO Mining Pool Nears 51% of Network Hashing Power Mining Pools 09 JAN 14

Some disconcerting news this Thursday morning. Mining pool GHash.IO has grown potentially too large over the past couple of months, reaching 42% of total hashing power on the bitcoin network on Thursday.

This put it uncomfortably close to the 51% hash power mark, which some argue is the Achilles heel of bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.

A 51% attack would allow a specific mining pool to do a number of malevolent actions that include excluding transactions, reversing transactions, and double-spending coins, among other things.

Such an attack would undoubtedly bring down the value of bitcoin exponentially.

As far as solutions go, they are very limited at this point. Which is why it is considered to be of prime importance to distribute computing power between mining pools. A quick view of the bitcoin page on Reddit shows a number of pleas to the community to move their miners to another pool.

As of this writing, total hashing power of GHash.IO has dipped, but not nearly enough to make this concern a problem of the past.