Bitmain's Biggest Bitcoin Mining Pool Opens Up to Ethereum Mining

Bitmain’s Biggest Bitcoin Mining Pool Opens Up to Ethereum Mining

BTC.com, miner manufacturer Bitmain’s largest bitcoin mining pool and presently the most prolific bitcoin block-producing pool in the world, has opened up new mining clients for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic today, August 30th. BTC.com Project Director Zhong Zhuang told Bitsonline the move comes as a “a surge of our customers […] are interested in GPU mining.”

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Bitcoin’s Top Pool Looks to ETH, ETC

Available through BTC.com’s pool.btc.com miner portal, the new Ethereum and Ethereum Classic pools come as the powerhouse Bitmain-backed bitcoin pool seeks to pivot toward offering GPU and CPU mining options in its portfolio.

In their announcement today, the BTC.com team also said they would be releasing associated API and an Ethereum block explorer alongside their new ETH and ETC clients.

Ethereum
BTC.com is currently the most prolific bitcoin pool, having produced 17 percent of the past week’s blocks. Images via CoinDance.

It’s an eye-catching move for the heavyweight BTC.com, which mined over one-fifth of all bitcoin produced in 2017 and has previously and eponymously been centered around bitcoin exclusively.

Not anymore, as the company turns to facilitating GPU mining of Ethereum while the gettin’ is still good, a.k.a. pre-Casper. As for ETC, there are currently no plans in the smart contract play’s ecosystem to change from Proof-of-Work, so the crypto is alternatively poised for the long haul where mining is concerned.

The popular pool, which noted in its release its facilitation of “eight quintillion SHA-256d hashes per second” in Bitcoin, now accordingly sets its eyes upon powering up Ethereum’s and Ethereum Classic’s respective security while giving miners the option of switching between the clients at will for profitability.

Bitsonline reached out to BTC.com Project Director Zhong Zhuang for comment on the “why now?” aspect of the move. Zhuang told us:

“GPU mining became an emerging business with the rise of blockchain technology. There is a surge of our customers who are interested in GPU mining. The BTC.com team is full of blockchain enthusiasts, so we started trying out Ethereum development in 2016 and got many first-hand experiences. We feel it’s a good starting point to implement Ethereum mining pool and blockchain explorer to enter this booming market with our solid tech background.”

In today’s announcement, Zhuang also notably estimated that BTC.com’s Ethereum pool would “grow to 12% of ETH total hashrate in the next 12 months.” A bold projection, to be sure, but one BTC.com looks willing to bet on.

Preparing for the PoS Elephant in the Room

Considering that ETH’s developers are currently working toward shifting that blockchain away from mining and toward staking, some will think it’s a curious time for BTC.com to embrace Ethereum.

With that said, conventional estimates seemingly put Casper as being around two years away — and the Ethereum blockchain won’t secure itself in the meanwhile, of course.

Zhuang directly addressed the PoS shift in his latest remarks, however, noting that its Ethereum client could one day facilitate the shift of its users from miners to stakers, though clarifying that work will need to be done on that front:

“[I]t’s still possible to host a mining pool in PoS mode. It will increase the complexity to design such a pool since miners need to deposit ether to the mining pool, but we have a lot of hands-on experience with wallet and Ethereum smart contracts to make a PoS mining pool possible.”

What’s your take? Do you think other bitcoin mining pools may follow suit? Sound off in the comments below. 


Images via CoinDance, Pixabay

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