Crypto Firms Join Forces to Push for Stratum V2 Bitcoin Mining Upgrades

A group of crypto firms led by Bitcoin mining tech provider Braiins and the Block Inc’s subsidiary funding Bitcoin development called Spiral are promoting the adoption of Stratum V2 protocol.

The initiative sets to upgrade Stratum V1 (the current Bitcoin mining pool protocol) miners use to control how mining machines communicate with pool servers.

The upgrade from Stratum V1 would improve security for miners and for the network, help further decentralize the network, and make communication more efficient, a joint statement from Braiins and Spiral said.

Stratum’s second version (V2) promises to bring many improvements to the protocol, including censorship resistance and allowing miners to choose their own work rather than being assigned workloads by pools, as a result, would increase the Bitcoin network’s decentralization. The upgrade is a necessary step to support an increase in pooled mining and further growth in hashrate, the report elaborated.

The working group now focuses on building and sharing tools for all mining firms to rapidly and seamlessly upgrade to Stratum V2 protocol.

As per the announcement, the working group has released the first version of an open-source Stratum V2 reference implementation (SRI) for testing. The SRI will allow anyone to run the upgraded protocol or use it as a guide for their own implementation of Stratum V2, the report said.

The joint statement said that the working group plans to release a new “more robust” version of the SRI with more functionality in early November.

Crypto exchange BitMEX, crypto financial services firm Galaxy Digital, crypto mining and staking firm Foundry, and Bitcoin education program Summer of Bitcoin, are among the members of the working group who are giving support to Stratum V2’s key developers. Spiral and Braiins invited interested parties to participate in the group in their joint report released yesterday.

Miners “know the benefits of Stratum V2 very well,” but pushing the mining industry over the “remaining development and adoption hurdles” is a “big task,” Braiins co-founder Jan Capek said in the report.

The push for the Stratum V2 protocol comes at a time when mining difficulty has increased by 13.55 % to an all-time high. Blockchain.News reported the matter. As the individual activity becomes more difficult and competitive over time, Bitcoin mining has shifted to a pooled resource model that significantly reduces the volatility of payouts. Miners join pools, paying a service fee to the pool and obtaining a consistent share of block reward payouts relative to their hash provided.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / / /

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Hits Record High Amid Miner Revenue Surge

Bitcoin’s mining difficulty just reached a record high above 20.6 trillion as more people are mining at a larger scale than ever before thanks to ballooning mining revenue and bitcoin’s parabolic price rally.

“A new difficulty all-time high is no surprise considering mining revenue has tripled in recent months,” said Edward Evenson, business development lead at Braiins, a mining software company that recently acquired full ownership of leading pool Slush Pool after being majority stakeholders since 2013. 

Saturday’s adjustment at block 665,280 marks an 11% increase from the last adjustment on Dec. 27.

Difficulty is a relative measure of the amount of resources required to mine bitcoin that climbs or falls depending on the amount of computing power consumed by the network, known as its hashrate. 

As bitcoin’s price continues to soar – briefly almost touching $42,000 Friday – miner revenues keep pace, incentivizing even more participants to mine. Twelve months ago, bitcoin’s difficulty was below 15 trillion. 

“I see this trend continuing in the first half of 2021,” Evenson told CoinDesk. 

“Show me the money”

Signalling even more upward difficulty adjustments in the future, mining companies plan to capitalize on higher revenues at such a scale that their orders for new machines have left leading manufacturers like Bitmain sold out until August even after nearly doubling the price of some models. 

“ASIC manufacturers have had to turn away more than half a billion dollars in mining equipment orders in Q4 2020 alone,” Evenson said. “Hardware supply chains are currently overloaded by immense demand.”

Companies like Core Scientific are handily contributing to the overload with massive 59,000-machine orders from Bitmain, which are set to triple its mining capacity. 

Publicly traded mining firms like Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and Marathon Patent Group (MARA) placed similar pre-orders for 31,000 and 90,000 machines through 2020, respectively. 

Based on the ongoing mining frenzy, Bitcoin’s hashrate is “likely to at least double in 2021,” Evenson predicts. 

Historical bitcoin mining difficulty and price

Source: Coin Metrics, CoinDesk Research

A major miner problem

More than an inconvenience, the current ASIC shortage signals a deeper fundamental weakness in the mining sector amid soaring revenues and activity.

“Right now, the biggest risk to the mining business is the ASIC shortage,” said Steve Barbour, president of portable mining infrastructure manufacturer Upstream Data, in a direct message with CoinDesk. 

Barbour said he doesn’t see “any signs yet” that manufacturers are “ramping up fast enough” to meet the yet unabated surge in demand for machines. They aren’t even pursuing temporary solutions like offering mid-tier machines for “miners who aren’t interested in high-priced, high-efficiency gear.” 

With no signs of replenished supplies, miners have been scavenging secondary markets for any available and working machines, causing prices of some models to reach 12-year highs, per CoinDesk’s prior reporting.

The miner manufacturing business “definitely has room for more diversified competition,” Barbour said.



Tagged : / / / / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,529.38 0.31%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,646.48 1.15%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.55 2.74%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 231.59 4.24%