Skip to main content

The 21 companies that control bitcoin





Flashy startups like Coinbase, Circle, Blockchain, and BitPay are some of the most famous companies in bitcoin. 
But arguably more important are the miners — individuals and organisations who form the core backbone of bitcoin, ensuring the digital currency's integrity.
Bitcoin runs on a blockchain, a decentralised and public ledger of every transaction made on the network. By offering processing power towards this, users get a chance to win bitcoin — creating an arms race of miners scrambling to assemble ever-more sophisticated and powerful equipment to "mine" new bitcoin.
This decentralisation has huge benefits, but also comes with new risks: Right now, if just the top three organisations joined forces they would control 51% of the network — giving them the power to rewrite the blockchain as they see fit.
Some individuals go it alone; others join open "pools" where they combine their resources to improve their odds; some larger companies also have mining efforts. While the #1 spot can change from week to week, we have ranked the biggest mining companies using data covering August 5 to August 12 from bitcoin network analysis company Blocktrail.

View As:

21. Unknown Entity — 0.1%

An "unknown entity" is currently responsible for 0.1% of the hash power on the bitcoin network. It could be a private organisation quietly building a mining operation, or a public pool that is flying below the radar

.

20. Unknown Entity — 0.28%

Warner Bros.
Another unknown entity.

19. P2Pool.org — 0.47%%

Yep, it's a pool.
This relatively small pool was created in 2011 by programmer Forrest Voight. It claims to be "the most transparent mining pool on the planet" because it distributes all pool data for the public to view. As of September 2014, it had mined more than 78,000 bitcoin (£13.4 million or $20.9 million at current prices).

18. Solo CKPool — 0.47%

It's a race to find the winning block.
CKPool is a public pool created by an Australian anaesthetist and programmer, Con Kolivas, and bitcoiner "Kano."
It was launched in September 2014, and for risk-takers, it also offers a separate "solo" pool. This means that users will pool their resources to find a bitcoin block faster than they would alone — but only the user who discovers the block gets any reward.
This entry refers to the solo pool specifically.

17. Unknown Entity — 0.66%

Vivek Narayanadas/Flickr (CC)
A third unknown entity, this one is responsible for a little over 0.5% of the total hash power.

16. Kano CKPool — 0.66%

Laughing gas, an early anaesthetic. Paul Townsend/Flickr (CC)
CKPool is a public pool created by an Australian anaesthetist and programmer, Con Kolivas, and bitcoiner "Kano."
It was launched in September 2014, and for risk-takers, it also offers a "solo" pool. This means that users will pool their resources to find a bitcoin block faster than they would alone — but only the user who discovers the block gets any reward.
This is the standard pool.

15. BitMinter — 0.76%

The US Mint.REUTERS/Gary Cameron
A veteran pool, BitMinter was created in 2011 by Geir Harald Hansen. According to BitcoinWiki, a digital currency wiki, it has servers in the US and in Europe.

14. 8baochi — 0.85%

Business Insider Australia / Getty Images
Bitcoin is booming in China, and 8baochiis one of the smaller China pools to make the list. It also offers litecoin mining, an alternative, less popular digital currency.

13. BitClub Network — 1.33%

"Everybody in the (bit)club gettin' tipsy..."Paramount Pictures
Unlike some other pools, BitClub Network does not disclose its founders, saying only that it is "run by a team of programmers, digital mining experts and entrepreneurs who have come together with MLM experts from around the world."
MLM stands for Multi-Level Marketing — a referral system whereby a user gains bonuses for each new user they bring in, who then gains bonuses for each new user they bring in, and so on. MLMs can be controversial because they resemble pyramid schemes, but BitClub Network insists that it is legitimate and not a "Ponzi Scheme."
For some users, it works as a cloud mining pool: Users don't have to own their own hardware, just pay to rent some owned by BitClub. Miners with their own rigs can also join the network, however.

12. Unknown entity — 1.42%

Colin Kinner/Flickr (CC)
This fourth, largest unknown entity is behind more than 1% of the network's total hashing power.

11. Unknown — 1.9%

¯\_(ツ)_/¯Martin Pettitt/Flickr (CC)
This is everything else on the network that is unknown and that managed to mine a block in the last week. (Other smaller pools and individuals that did not manage to of course also exist.) 
This could include miners trying to go it alone, or pools and organisations too small to register by themselves.

10. GHash.io — 1.99%

# # #Bloomingdales
Ghash.io was launched in July 2013 and last year gained some notoriety through its success: In June 2014, it briefly gained control of 51% of the entire bitcoin network. This majority control is arguably the biggest threat to bitcoin, and demonstrates the power of miners when they get too large — it could have rewritten the blockchain however it saw fit, potentially fatally unstabilising the network in the process.
Since then, its hash power has dropped off: It now sits just under 2%. Londoner Jeffrey Smith, the company's CIO, acts most frequently as its spokesperson. It also operates Cex.io, a bitcoin exchange.

9. 21 Inc. — 3.79%

Mike Seyfang/Flickr (CC)
21 made waves in March 2015 when it announced it had raised $116 million (£74 million) — making it the best-funded bitcoin startup ever. Investors included top Silicon Valley VC fund Andreessen Horowitz, where 21 CEO Balaji Srinivasan also works as a partner. 
This mammoth round came despite heavy secrecy about what the company was even trying to do. When it exited stealth mode in May, it announced what many had already suspected: That it is trying to embed bitcoin network hardware into consumer goods. 
21 doesn't offer a public pool, and its chips are not yet available, but its own private hardware currently makes up a little under 4% of the network.

8. Slush — 4.08%

Launched in November 2010, Slush Pool is the world's oldest public mining pool, and remains prominent today. Its formal name is Bitcoin Pooled Mining.
In real life, Slush is Marek Palatinus, a programmer from the Czech Republic. The pool is owned by SatoshiLabs, which also runs a number of other digital currency projects.

7. KnCMiner — 4.27%

N i c o l a / Flickr (CC)
KnCMiner is a Swedish mining hardware company. It hasn't been worth mining bitcoin using standard consumer computer hardware for years because of the kind of processing power involved; the overwhelming majority of ordinary members of public pools will have bought hardware from companies like KnCMiner.
It raised a $15 million (£9.6 million) Series B in February 2015 led by Accel Partners. It boasts its green credentials on its website, and has data centres Sweden, with expansions planned for Iceland and Finland.

6. Eligius — 4.83%

Saint Eligius is the patron saint of goldsmiths and coin collectors.Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons (PD)
Eligius is a North American public pool launched in April 2011. According to CryptoCoinsNews, its operator Luke Dashjr(or "Luke-Jr") is a Catholic who has previously written religious messages onto the blockchain, the public ledger of all bitcoin transactions.
Saint Eligius, the pool's namesake, is the patron saint of goldsmiths and coin collectors.

5. BW Pool — 7.68%

Black & white?Wikimedia Commons/Heinonlein
BW Pool is another Chinese pool. It has almost no publicity in the English-speaking world, despite its size. It made a rare public statement in July 2015, when it co-signed a Reddit post in favour of an increase in block size — an ongoing technical question the bitcoin community is debating.

4. BTC China Pool — 13.74%

China.Kim Kyung-Hoo/Reuters
A relative newcomer to the scene, the BTCChina Pool is one of the biggest players around despite only launching at the end of 2014. This growth is down to the fact that BTC China itself is one of China's largest bitcoin exchanges, and also offers a number of other digital currency solutions.
It was founded in 2011, and is currently led by Bobby Lee, who became CEO after purchasing the exchange in 2013.

3. BitFury — 16.4%

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
BitFury is the best-funded mining hardware company in the business, raising $20 million (£12.8 million) in July 2015. It was, CoinDesk notes, its third round in two years, and it has now raised $60 million (38.4 million) in total.
The startup is headed up by Valery Vavilov, originally from Latvia. It does not operate a public pool, but has private mines in Finland, Iceland, and the Republic of Georgia. Despite its prominence in the mining industry, Vavilov insists that "we are not a mining company, I don't like the word mining."
Instead, he told CoinDesk, "we're a technology company, but we're focused on bitcoin now. Our vision in the next three to five years is to move into different areas where computing power is valuable. We plan to expand into other fields of knowledge where humanity needs a lot of computing power."

2. DiscusFish/P2Pool — 16.49%

V.v/Flickr (CC)
Officially known as F2Pool, this Chinese pool is also known as DiscusFish due to its logo — a discus fish. It is operated by Wang Chun and Mao Shihang, "two Chinese technology enthusiasts," Chun told CoinDesk in September 2014. A spokesperson told Business Insider that the pool owns no hardware itself; 100% of its hash power comes from users.
In July this year, F2Pool generated the largest bitcoin transaction ever in order to clear up a spam attack of "dust" or tiny bitcoin transactions apparently intended to clog up the network.

1. AntPool — 17.82%

These ants aren't mining bitcoin.Lennart Tange/Flickr (CC)
AntPool is run by Bitmain, a Chinese mining hardware company headquartered in Beijing. It boasts that its technology accounts for 56% of global bitcoin miners. It also claims to be the largest cloud miner in the world.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Duncan Logan just tweeted that he's on board Electroneum

I have been a buyer and holder of bitcoin and Etherreum for a long time but this will be the first ICO I buy into--Duncan Logan.

What is Electroneum?

Electroneum (ETN) is a cryptocurrency that can be mined with a smartphone, requiring almost no technical knowledge or prior experience. This sets it apart from other cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin) which require expensive hardware and technical know-how to mine.
Electroneum’s unique mobile mining experience allows anyone with a smartphone to earn ETN coins by letting the miner app run in the background.
It was designed specifically with mobile users in mind, thereby appealing to a potential market of 2.2 billion smartphone users around the world. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Electroneum has a user-friendly, beginner-oriented interface that allows users to seamlessly transfer ETN coins between one another, check their balances, and mine coins.
Being a cryptocurrency, Electroneum is created, held, and spent electronically, and has no phy…

Police Bust Alleged $13 Million Crypto Pyramid Scheme

Police in China's northwestern city of Xi'An have arrested the founders of a claimed nationwide cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that allegedly amassed 86 million yuan ($13 million) from over 13,000 people.
According to a report from local media source Huashang News, Wednesday, the scheme launched in March 28 this year after months in preparation by a primary suspect who has has the surname Zheng, as well as three other accomplices.
The report cited an investigation from the police who said the scheme used a cryptocurrency called Da Tang Coin (DTC) that is linked to DTC Holding - a firm under the suspect's control and registered in Hong Kong - to allegedly hoax potential members of the pyramid scheme.
In various promotional events in multiple cities in the country, the scheme claimed that new members can make 80,000 yuan (roughly $13,000) per day with an initial investment of $480,000 to purchase the DBTC at $0.50 per token, according to the report.
These promises of high r…

Is Bitcoin Legal?

Bitcoin is of interest to law enforcement agencies, tax authorities, and legal regulators, all of which are trying to understand how the cryptocurrency fits into existing frameworks. The legality of your bitcoin activities will depend on who you are, where you live, and what you are doing with it. Bitcoin has proven to be a contentious issue for regulators and law enforcers, both of which have targeted the digital currency in an attempt to control its use. We are still early on in the game, and many legal authorities are still struggling to understand the cryptocurrency, let alone make laws around it. Amid all this uncertainty, one question stands out: is bitcoin legal? The answer is, yes, depending on what you’re doing with it. Read on for our guide to the complex legal landscape surrounding bitcoin. Most of the discussion concerns the US, where many of the legal dramas are currently playing out. Alternatively, you can access our comprehensive Regulation Report for worldwide expert …