GHash.IO Mining Pool Nears 51% of Network Hashing Power

Super User
By Super User Jan 9, 2014 8:05AM BST Updated


GHash.IO Mining Pool Nears 51% of Network Hashing Power

Tip button 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.

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Nuno Menezes is a Bitcoin Entrepreneur and a crypto currency’s enthusiast strongly supporting the Bitcoin Portuguese Community. He is an Anthropologist and a Writer and his current field of work is virtual currencies.Complementing his Social Sciences Master degree with a Professional background in telecommunications along some experience in Computer Science, he intends to bring knowledge and understanding about the impact of crypto currencies in society. Updated
  • Peter

    1) The graph doesn’t show mining power, but the number of mined blocks in the last 24 hours. If you have more luck, you can mine more one day, and less another day. You would need to compute average mined block in a longer time to guess their hashing power.

    2) A 51% attack would allow …send coins belonging to other…

    No, it would not, since the transaction still needs to be signed with the private key of the address owner. Without it, other nodes would not validate such a transaction.

    • Eric Calouro

      Hey, thanks for the feedback.

      I’ve made some amendments because I feel you make good points here. Thanks!

  • dankey

    GHash IO and BTCGuild owners, don’t be a stupid!
    Imitate decrease of yourself, split shares between own subagents