There’s certainly been a lot of discussion lately with regard to the Ghash.io mining pool. Consistently reaching a high bitcoin network hashrate (exceeding 40 percent), the pool has been viewed by many in the community as a bad player.
Why is this a big deal? Because when a pool reaches 51 percent network hashrate, they may have the ability to carry out malevolent attacks. These include excluding transactions, reversing transactions while in control, and more.
But now, amid all of the bad press, Ghash.io and sister company Cex.io have released a statement on the matter, and the long-and-short of it is that they are committing to remain below the 39.99 percent hashrate level.
The gesture of good will was made with the following statement, published on the Cex.io blog:
Based on the closed round table discussion, which took place on July 9th in London, GHash.IO states that it will not exceed more than 39.99% of the overall Bitcoin hashrate. If GHash.IO approaches the respective border, it will be actively asking miners to take their hardware away from GHash.IO and mine on other pools.
None of the existing technical solutions against the 51% attack threat is able to solve the problem in a long-term perspective, taking into account interests of existing mining pools, individual miners and Bitcoin community. Thus, Bitcoin adherents should focus on temporary acts until the lifetime solution is found.
Both Ghash.io and Cex.io are establishing a committee that includes “major Bitcoin marker players,” in addition to volunteer companies and other mining pools.
The idea is to find a long-term (or lifetime) solution to the threat of a 51 percent attack. They write:
An original policy document, which describes operational processes of the committee, will be presented shortly. The committee will drive closer communication and cooperation between developers working on the Bitcoin protocol and solving the 51% issue, and businesses, highly interested in expanding the industry, and promote Bitcoin to a broader audience.
In a humorous twist, Cex.io and Ghash.io have asked other mining pools to come out with their own statements promising they won’t breach the 40 percent mark (Ghash.io was and remains the biggest perpetrator).
“We believe that mining pools should support the statement, since any of them can possibly take leading positions and appear on GHash.IO place [sic],” Ghash.io adds.
With a no-fee structure and instant payouts, Ghash.io remains a popular pool for miners. Whether or not they stick to their word here, well, we’ll just have to see about it.