Poolin Continues Months-Long Decline While F2Pool Grows
The last few days have seen Poolin continue to lose considerable hash rate contribution in line with its gradual decline in the last months while F2Pool swells in size, according to the latest chart of mining pools. Once considered one of the top three Bitcoin mining pools despite being a new entrant into the space, the Zhibiao Pan-led pool has suffered a huge drop from its 16.5 pool distribution share some three months ago to a low 7.1% as at this writing according to BTC.com stats – it briefly unseated BTC.com in September 2019 from its years-long first place position.
Poolin still ranks in the top-five pools by hash rate though as Coin.Dance shows that its total Bitcoin hash rate as a mining pool dropped in the last seven days from 9.44% to 6.94%. On the other hand, F2Pool is gaining more strength while BTC.com and AntPool – both owned by Bitmain – follow behind. F2Pool leads with a 26.5% share while the combined rate of the two pools owned by Bitmain gives an output that is slightly less (25.8%) according to Coin.Dance.
There have been projections, like from a provider of institutional trading tools for digital currencies TradeBlock, that mining breakevens will rise to between ~$12,000-$15,100 per coin following the 2020 halving assuming the hash rate stays near current levels or rises following a modest growth rate. The overall impression created by the top pools’ activities is that smaller miners that cannot meet the breakeven point are being pushed underwater. It somewhat supports the expectation of many, including Nick Cowan, CEO of the GSX Group, that the price of Bitcoin is important for a lot of elements surrounding the cryptocurrency, especially the miners.
“Ultimately, miners will receive less per successful block hashed, which could impact the cost-implications of running mining operations,” Cowan said. “The ‘break-even price’ model could see miners feel the pinch of a Bitcoin price drop, and may have to re-evaluate their business models. If the price were to rise, then it would equal out the costs for miners receiving lower rewards from mining.”
While the Bitcoin halving may be good for top miners, as shown by these pools, despite a doubling of operational costs for the same amount of earnings as they strive to maximize their profits, the same cannot be said of the likely impact such would have on Bitcoin as a supposedly decentralized network. The weeks leading up to the halving might see a price drop as most miners start selling their crypto earnings to run operations for the months following the halving and to accumulate Bitcoin post-halving so as to break even when they receive fewer rewards post-halving, explains Ashish Singhal, CEO and Founder of CRUXPay and Coinswitch.
“Then, in theory, after the halving the bitcoin prices should go up because the supply is now cut to half and the scarcity will increase further as miners avoid selling until the break even price is attained, all the while the demand remains the same,” he said. Singhal adds that Bitcoin prices have to reach the breakeven point or small miners will have to leave the system for the big ones with deep pockets to dominate. “This may not be a good thing for Bitcoin because it skews towards centralisation.”