BTC.com, the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pool, has announced it is expanding its offerings to include Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
According to the official statement, the new mining client will be offered through pool.btc.com portal. In addition to that, BTC.com will also offer an Ethereum block explorer and API. The service will allow miners to switch their hashing power from one pool to another, depending on the market.
BTC.com, which is backed by the largest mining equipment manufacture Bitmain, claims to have produced 21 percent of all newly-mined bitcoins in the last year. Now it wants “to help Ethereum scale its mining infrastructure.”
BTC.com currently accounts for over 17 percent of the computing power driving Bitcoin. Similarly, it makes up around 14 percent of the Bitcoin Cash network.
Earlier this year, Bitmain released Antminer E3, the first ASIC miner that is capable of mining Ether and other currencies using the Ethash algorithm. Prior to that Ethash had been resistant to ASICs, meaning that Ether could only be mined using CPUs or GPUs found in gaming computers.
Nevertheless, the new pools will include GPU and CPU mining options.
“Ethereum is BTC.com’s first step in diversifying its mining portfolio to include more GPU/CPU mining options for its users,” the company said.
Somewhat surprisingly, BTC.com insists that it is not concerned about Ethereum’s planned transition to Casper, a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm that will replace its current consensus model secured by the Proof-of-Work-based (PoW) Ethash algorithm.
“It’s still possible to host a mining pool in PoS mode. It will increase the complexity to design such a pool since miners need to deposit ether to the mining pool, but we have a lot of hands-on experience with wallet and Ethereum smart contracts to make a PoS mining pool possible,” Zhuang Zhong, Director of BTC.com’s mining pool, said.
Last year, Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin suggested that the network’s switch to PoS might drive miners out of business.
“When we transition to Proof-of-Stake, the need for Ethereum mining will abruptly decrease at the very first phase. Proof-of-Stake employs an algorithm that doesn’t require many computers to run computations all the time. It’s the algorithm that uses a token within the platform, thus making consensus much cheaper and safer. In fact, it might drive miners out of business,” he said back then.
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