Monday, August 21, 2017

If Bitcoin miners control the currency's monetary policies, then that means China is in the drivers seat

As we have written about before here on The Daily Economist, there is a private form of centralized control over the monetary/blockchain policies for Bitcoin.  And this is understood within the community and Bitcoin space where those with the greatest processing power have the largest say in the direction of the currency.

And when we talk about who has the greatest processing power, the undisputed winner is China.

Bitmain may now be the most influential company in the bitcoin economy by virtue of the sheer amount of processing power, or hash rate, that it controls. Its mining pools, Antpool and BTC.com, account for 28.9% of all the processing power on the global bitcoin network. 
Hash rate is critical because bitcoin is in the midst of a messy “civil war.” Controlling chunks of hash rate provides miners with a public vote on the bewildering array of technical proposals dictating bitcoin’s future. At the crux of the technical debate: How to increase the number of transactions the bitcoin network can handle at any given time. The recent split of bitcoin into bitcoin and bitcoin-cash illustrated one way to do this. 
Bitcoin mining is the process of checking and adding new transactions to bitcoin’s immutable ledger—its blockchain. Miners must compete with one another to be the first to find a new block. In return for performing this work, which requires massive processing power and incurs hefty electricity costs, miners are rewarded with a certain number of bitcoins for each block they add to the blockchain. Currently, that’s 12.5 bitcoins per block, and a new block is found roughly every 10 minutes. At the current bitcoin price of about $4,000, that’s $50,000 up for grabs every 10 minutes, or $7.2 million a day. – Quartz Media

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