Ghash: it’s not our fault we’re so successful

Ghash has responded to criticisms of its pool recently reaching 51%, via its CEX.io blog, in a post titled “Ghash.io

Ghash has responded to criticisms of its pool recently reaching 51%, via its CEX.io blog, in a post titled “Ghash.io is open for a discussion.”

Ghash has come under fire for allowing its hashrate share to grow to such dangerous levels, especially after having said months ago that it will address the issue. Some have even gone as far to accuse them of trying to hijack Bitcoin for their own motives.

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They argue that they have been extremely successful, and this success shouldn’t be compromised to solve the issue. The argument is economically valid, although it can put them on a collision course with Bitcoin’s conditions of existence. Ghash frames the argument more on maximizing the level of competition as key to Bitcoin’s sustainability.

Introducing pool fees has been proposed as a way of diverting miners away from the pool. Ghash says that this does not address the core problem, as they or another pool may still reach 51% one day in the future. It also “contradicts principles of our operation from the very launch of GHash.IO.”

Like some leading figures in the Bitcoin community, Ghash also argues that even if the problem is not solved, the fallout is limited:

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“We do fully recognise the concerns and possible threat posed by an entity with malicious intent taking control of enough mining power to exploit the 51% scenario, but we also have confidence and agree with the views expressed by the Bitcoin Foundation that any such exploitation or attack ”would be obvious it was happening, and pretty easy to defend against. The transparent nature of the blockchain provides unprecedented insight for all to investigate and report such behaviours.”

They didn’t go into detail as to what they envision as a fix to the core problem. The post ends off by instead announcing Ghash’s intention to contact leading mining pools and have a “round table” discussion on the issue at the upcoming CoinSummit in London.

The community had been anticipating their comment for much time. Ghash’s response was also posted on reddit and has thus far garnered over 550 comments. Top-rated was one which noted that pools have been in discussions for years, with Ghash the only one not participating.

The majority of other commenters are also not impressed with Ghash’s response. One, for example, chastised the Ghash for not having adopted a graduated fee schedule that at least makes it more expensive for miners when the 50% level is approached.

As discussed previously, the notion of decentralization is fraught with conceptual challenges. After Ghash’s response, one realizes there are economical ones as well.

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