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Bitcoin Mining giant Bitmain has mined 42% of all Bitcoin blocks this past week, steadily moving closer to controlling a majority 51% of th network hash rate. 

Bitmain Moves Closer to 51%

ASIC manufacturer and cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain — claimed 42% of the total blocks found on the Bitcoin network from the past week. BTC.com and AntPool, which are both owned by Bitmain, currently comprise 26.6% and 15.3% of the network hash rate, respectively.

Bitmain Technologies Ltd. — the Beijing based Bitcoin mining company reported astonishing profits in 2017, taking in between $3 and $4 billion.

Bitmain has a big leg up on its competitors by manufacturing and using its own products in the mining process. It manufactures application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) miners that are able to mine Bitcoin at a faster rate than high-end graphics processing units (GPU).

It also operates mining pools, where miners can join their efforts and ultimately cut down on their mining costs — as well as offering cloud mining services that allow miners to remotely rent out mining power from its mining farms.

Bitmain also mines Bitcoin Cash (BCH) with its ASIC miners — as BTC and BCH run on the same algorithm. If Bitmain were to halt mining BCH and instead used 100% of its resources for mining BTC, it could theoretically reach around 45% of the total Bitcoin hash rate.

This is quite close to the majority 51% number. This would theoretically put Bitmain in position to perform a 51% attack on the Bitcoin network to censor transactions or perform double-spends.

The Sky Is Falling — But Probably Not

The number 51% makes many people in the cryptocurrency space quite nervous. It’s a number often associated with loss of decentralization and immutability. What would happen if Bitmain were to reach 51%, and what are the possible ways of keeping Bitmain out of a singular majority position?

It wouldn’t be the first time in Bitcoin’s history that 51% was achieved by one company, however. In

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