Inarguably, one of the biggest names in cryptocurrency today is Bitmain. This company has their hands in many different aspects of the field. They are a bitcoin miner, and they are the designer of ASIC chips. The miners that they sell are some of the most well-respected and most used miners on the market today. In addition to this, they also happen to control two of the largest Bitcoin mining pools in the world – BTC.com and Antpool. Naturally, the company is in control of a large number of Bitcoin mining nodes, as well.
Networks utilize randomly selected nodes, which can reduce the issues of double spending. Double spending is a term that is used when someone tries to spend the same digital coins or tokens twice. Bitcoin requires a large number of nodes that are fully functioning, and many have fears the company is closing in on having the majority of the market for nodes. It is easy to see that they have a substantial control over many different aspects of Bitcoin.
Who Is Bitmain?
Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan founded Bitmain in 2013. It was the ASIC designs that the company created that really helped the company to gain such a strong foothold in the field of Bitcoin. Previous to the creation of the ASIC miners, people were able to successfully mine cryptocurrency right through their home computers. The ASIC miners were faster, and they were dedicated to mining, unlike the GPU and CPU rigs that people had been using. After Bitmain, everyone needed to have an ASIC miner if they wanted to stay competitive.
Why Are Some People Nervous About the Power of Bitmain?
Bitmain has several mining pools, and together they make up a significant portion of the overall network. As mentioned, they also make specialized ASIC mining hardware for mining Bitcoins (source). There was a vulnerability in Antminer software, called Antbleed, which would allow Bitmain to have access to shut down the devices remotely. Because of the massive number of miners who are using the Bitmain technology, this has proven to be quite concerning to them.
While they have not done anything yet, and it is unlikely that they will do anything to hurt the miners, it is theoretically possible. They could shut down the individuals who are mining on the networks, but they could still control their miners and keep them running. This would allow them to take over the Bitcoin network and control the production of all of the blocks. Keep in mind that this is not likely to happen.
The influence of Bitmain is felt all over Bitcoin, and it is likely that this is going to keep getting stronger. It also means that you can expect to see more instances of Bitmain influencing Bitcoin. They are the most powerful company involved in Bitcoin today, and most people are going to have to use them at some point. They are not quite a monopoly yet, but who knows what the future might hold.