On August 21 the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network got a lot more active as the large mining pool Antpool has pointed some of its hashrate towards the BCH chain. According to data, the forked chain’s hashpower has spiked exponentially, and BCH hashpower is roughly a quarter (approx. 2 exahash) of the BTC hashrate at the time of writing.
Antpool Begins Mining Bitcoin Cash
As news.Bitcoin.com recently reported the bitcoin cash (BCH) blockchain has sped up quite a bit over the past five days. There are a few factors behind this, such as the price of BCH rising exponentially and reaching $960, making mining over 140 percent more profitable on the BCH chain on August 19. Since then the price has dipped quite a bit on Monday, August 21, as one BCH hovers roughly just above the $600 price range at press time. This makes BCH miner revenue only 69 percent more profitable than BTC. Currently, bitcoin cash miners have processed 2171 blocks since the hardfork, and are steadily catching up to the BTC chain which is leading by 794 blocks.
Just recently the mining pool BTC.com started mining BCH on Sunday, August 20 becoming the next pool to join after Bitclub. Following this, the Bitcoin network’s largest mining pool, Antpool, pointed some of it’s hashrate towards mining BCH as well. Antpool’s Jihan Wu previously stated that once another Segwit supporting pool joined in on BCH mining, Antpool will follow suit. Over the last 144 blocks, Antpool has captured 2 percent of the hashrate since it started 24-hours ago. BCH supporters are also waiting for the mining pool BTC.top to point some hashrate towards the chain as they announced they would start doing so on Monday the 21st. Additionally, many miners are coin-jumping between BTC & BCH as mining pools have added switchable interfaces on their dashboards.
The Mining Operation Batpool Dedicates Hashrate to Bitcoin Cash While the Mystery Hashrate Drops Below 50%
While waiting for other miners to jump aboard the bitcoin cash mining train, BCH supporters got another surprise. On August 21 at approximately 10:25 am EDT the mining pool Batpool mined BCH block 480667. Now a total of six ‘known’ mining pools are mining the BCH chain, and the ‘unknown’ hashrate is currently mining less than 50 percent of the network. Further, there has been lots of discussions about the mystery mining power, and many believe the hashpower does not represent one miner. According to many BCH supporters, who are currently asking data sites like Coin Dance to update their pie chart, there are three ‘unknown miners’ making up the majority share of BCH hashrate. The differences between the three ‘unknown’ mining pools can be seen within the coinbase data on each block.
At the Current Trajectory, the BCH Network’s Difficulty Will Retarget Higher
Now with a lot more hashrate pointed at the BCH chain, the network’s difficulty will retarget higher at the current rate in roughly two days. If the price remains low and the hashrate stays the same or increases, BTC mining may become more profitable to mine at this time. This could very well lead to miners switching back and forth between both chains for competitive profits. Since some hashrate has shifted to the BCH chain, there has been a significant drop in hashrate for the BTC chain. For instance, on it’s top around August 16 the Bitcoin network had commanded 9 exahash, but at the time of writing on August 21, the hashrate was only 5.9 exahash.
At the moment many cryptocurrency spectators are watching the competition between these two chains very closely. Further, besides watching BCH & BTC, there is still a lot of bickering happening back and forth between Core developers and Segwit2x supporters. With all this action taking place there’s no doubt there will be a lot going on over the next few weeks in Bitcoin-land.
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