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The experts explained how a private miner managed to get a reward for the found block, having a barely noticeable computing power of their devices
A lucky private miner, with a tiny fraction of the computing power of the bitcoin network, received a reward of 6.35 BTC for finding block number 772,793 on the blockchain of the first cryptocurrency.
To add a block to the Proof-of-Work blockchain (which runs Bitcoin), the miner must first find a valid hash of this block, using the computing resources of his device for this. Machines built specifically for this function (ASICs) are capable of calculating trillions of unique hashes every second.
The chances of adding a block as a single miner are determined by the number of hashes that the miner’s device computes per second, relative to the total number of hashes that all machines on the network compute every second.
As a rule, blocks are mined in large pools, combining the power of thousands of devices participating in the user pool. The largest of these are Foundry, AntPool and the Binance exchange’s own pool.
At the time the block was added to the blockchain, the total hashrate of bitcoin was just over 269 EH/s (exahashes per second), that is, the hashrate of a single miner of 10 TH/s (terrahash per second) was only 0.000000037% of the total computing power of the network.
This is an extremely atypical case, Sergey Arestov, co-founder of BitCluster, comments on the event. One private miner “may work for 30 years and not find the right hash during this time,” while it will consume electricity and exhaust the resource of the equipment. The risks of not finding anything and getting a loss are much greater.
“It’s like buying a lottery ticket. You can buy one ticket every day and not receive any winnings. Or you can buy one single time and win, but the chances are low,” the expert explains, adding that if you approach mining as a business, it’s more pragmatic to get a more modest but guaranteed income every day.
According to BitRiver financial analyst Vladislav Antonov, getting a reward for a found block during solo mining is “the same as hitting the jackpot.” Now the network hashrate is 283 million TH / s against 10.6 TH / s of the power of an unknown miner. In theory, with such equipment parameters, it should produce one block out of almost 27 thousand mined blocks. Given that about 900 BTC are mined per day, this is about one block in 81 years, the analyst concludes.
Solo mining can be used when mining new coins, where the power of the network is quite low, and the equipment of one person takes a significant share of the entire computing power of the network, explains Antonov. With pools, the probability of receiving a reward increases significantly, but the user receives only a share of the reward, proportionally calculated from the entire computing power of the pool.
Users of the Bitcointalk forum, discussing the lucky miner, came to the conclusion that his installation consisted of four simple USB miners, each of which gave out no more than 3 TH/s and cost about $200.
“According to the characteristics, it is difficult to find equipment for a hashrate of 10.6 TH / s. There is an old ASIC Antminer S9 with 30% better parameters. Its performance is up to 14 TH / s. ”, Antonov comments
A year ago, in less than two weeks, there were three cases where solo miners successfully mined blocks, with the third having a hash rate of only 8.3 TH/s compared to the total network hash rate of 190,719,350 TH/s. The probability of getting a block reward with these parameters is 1 in 23 million.
Since the mining system in the Proof-of-Work algorithm is based on random generation of hash values and response mechanisms, there is no unique strategy for devices of different power. Thus, rare cases of luck of single miners are quite likely, and most likely will still take place in the future.
Bitcoin mining difficulty set a new record on January 16th. As a result of the next recalculation, it has updated its historical maximum, having increased to 37.59 T, according to BTC.com. The average block time is now 9 min 4 s. The bitcoin hash rate (the total computing power of the equipment that produces cryptocurrency) at the current difficulty is expected to be 269.02 EH/s, which is also close to the maximum values.
As Antonov explains, due to the fall in the rate of bitcoin to $15,476, prices for equipment for cryptocurrency mining dropped sharply. Despite the energy crisis and the uncertainty in the financial markets, investors preferred to invest in mining equipment in anticipation of the recovery of bitcoin and a new all-time high before the halving in 2024. In previous market cycles, the price of bitcoin began to rise a year before miner rewards decreased.
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