THE NASCENT Bitcoin market could burst thanks to an aggressive mining pool that is becoming close to controlling a lion's share.
Tipped to break the virtual bank is Ghash.io, a bitcoin mining outfit that has gained attention by gathering together a lot of Bitcoins. According to a report on the Quartz website the fact that it has reached 40 percent market share could break the currency and leave it open to manipulation.
However Ghash.io has released a statement following its recent press attention, and said that although it is close to a bitcoin controlling 51 percent, it will not take things that far, and has measures in place to prevent it from reaching that level. Reaching that level, warned Quartz, would mean that it would control the most Bitcoins and the say on whether Bitcoins are legitimate or not. This would put other players at risk of being forced out.
"Although the increase of hash-power in the pool is considered to be a good thing, reaching 51 [percent] of all hashing power is serious threat to the Bitcoin community. Ghash.io will take all necessary precautions to prevent reaching 51 [percent] of all hashing power, in order to maintain stability of the Bitcoin network," it said in a PDF statement.
"We have put a plan in place to see that 51 [percent] of all hashing power, will not be maintained by Ghash.io."
It said that it would do this by performing a temporary halt on adding independent mining facilities to its pool, and will let Bitcoin earnings be placed in hands other than its own.
Rather than break the market Ghash.io wants to assist it, it added, and will soon start to roll out easier payment and merchant features.
It added that it has no intention of breaking a currency that it likes. "GHash.io does not have any intentions to execute a 51 [percent] attack, as it will do serious damage to the Bitcoin community, of which we are part of. On the contrary, our plans are to expand the bitcoin community as well as utilise the hashing power to develop a greater bitcoin economic structure," it added.
"If something happened to Bitcoin as a whole it could risk our investments in physical hardware, damage those who love Bitcoin and we see no benefit from having 51 [percent] stake in mining."
According to Blockchain.info, which monitors the movement of Bitcoins, Ghash.io has 33 percent market share. Its closest rival, the BTC Guild, has 22 percent. µ