Report: GHash commits to a 40% hashrate cap

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In June, behemoth bitcoin-mining pool briefly gained more than half of the total network hashrate, a move that caused many to question just how secure bitcoin’s much-touted decentralized network really was. The situation was a wake-up call for many, as it meant that the long-hypothesized “51% attack” wasn’t as implausible as many experts had claimed. Bitcoin’s price fell dramatically, and miners fled the highly profitable pool in an effort to address the problem.

Through it all, however, GHash had little to say other than it was being unfairly blamed or the event and the price crash. GHash’s argument went something like this: Why should a private company need to limit its profits when the flaw was in the protocol? That argument did little to appease the mob.

Perhaps this is why GHash has changed its tune. Today, the mining pool announced it would cap its operation to “not exceed more than 39.99% of the overall Bitcoin hashrate.” The announcement follows the release of documents from a closed-door meeting at the recent Coinsummit London conference to CoinDesk.

The Coinsummit meeting involved a who’s-who of bitcoin-mining notables, including representatives from PeerNova, KnCMiner, SpoondliesTech and the Bitcoin Foundation. As CoinDesk reports:

All participants agreed that the consolidation of mining power – and the associated threat of 51% attacks – is something that all parties have a vested interest in avoiding. Participants further concluded that short-term remedies are best suited until a permanent fix is discovered and implemented.

The 40% solution is still problematic, given that it is a trust-based handshake agreement in an industry where the “trustless” nature of the network and transactions are a major selling point. The agreement still allows GHash’s parent company,, to build up massive amounts of hashing power, although it would spread such power out over multiple pools. Given the aggressive investments in hashing centers and cryptocurrency technology startups being made by CEX’s mining hardware partner BitFury, there is still plenty of cause for concerns about the centralization of the network.

GHash currently controls 30% of the network hashrate.

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