On January 3, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto mined a genesis block on a small server in Helsinki and received a reward of 50 bitcoins, marking the beginning of cryptomining.
From CPU to ASIC
According to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original idea, BTC mining could be performed using central processing units (CPUs) installed on PCs. At the same time, at the beginning of its development, bitcoin remained little known and did not represent any value.
It wasn’t until 2010 that bitcoin enthusiast Laszlo Hanech tried using graphics processing units (GPUs) to mine bitcoin. He turned out to be right. After Hanech shared his GPU mining code with the community, Bitcoin’s hash rate increased 20,000 times from 6 MH/s in January 2010 to 120 GH/s in December 2010.
Interestingly, Hanech not only proposed the concept of GPU mining, but was also the one from whom Bitcoin Pizza Day originated. Hanech earned a lot of bitcoins with the help of GPU mining he invented and spared no efforts to promote the cryptocurrency. For example, he bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC, giving this new currency real value for the first time.
The advent of GPU mining and the rising price of BTC has led to a mining arms race, and miners are constantly looking for new ways to increase their hash rate. In 2011, someone posted the FPGA miner code on GitHub, ushering in a new era dominated by dedicated mining rigs. In 2011, the Bitcoin hash rate increased from 116 GH/s at the beginning of the year to almost 30 TH/s at the end of the year, almost 300 times.
In 2012, ASIC mining machines appeared, which are more advanced models, and the hash rate of bitcoin skyrocketed from 20 TH/s to 12 PH/s, i.e. 600 times. Since then, ASIC models have replaced CPU, GPU, and FPGA mining and have become the main hardware for bitcoin mining.
From solo mining to pool mining
As the hashrate grows, miners have new concerns: will bitcoin mining remain profitable if the number of miners continues to grow? Realizing the limitations of solo mining, Czech programmer Marek Palatinus came up with a solution: to merge BTC miners, pool resources and share profits. In 2010, Marek launched slushpool, the world’s first mining pool. Since then, BTC mining has gradually moved from solo mining to pool mining.
Although mining pools collect a large number of miners, miners are not always tied to one pool, which leads to the rise and fall of many pools. For example, in 2013, GHash.IO attracted many miners with no fees. In 2014, the pool’s maximum hash rate even exceeded 51%, which caused concern in the bitcoin community. However, in 2016, this huge pool ceased operations due to repeated large-scale DoS attacks.
Obviously, a mining pool is a very complex project from a technical point of view. In the early days, many pools underestimated the technical demands of the industry. As a result, they were attacked and eventually shut down, just like GHash.IO.
Realizing the immaturity of technologies and products in the pool industry, Haipo Yang, one of the early investors in Bitcoin, decided to create a more stable and efficient pool in order to expand the mining capabilities of BTC, a key channel for keeping the network running smoothly. In just two months, he independently completed the code for the ViaBTC pool, which was officially launched on June 5, 2016.
ViaBTC on the crest of a wave
ViaBTC was born in a time of intense mining pool competition, but it remains a leading player in terms of hash rate due to its stable technology, innovative products, and quality user experience.
Shortly after its launch, ViaBTC pioneered the PPS+ payout method based on traditional PPS and PPLNS methods. This new approach guarantees a stable mining income while sharing miner fees, making the actual miner income in ViaBTC higher than in other pools. Later, the main pools also started using the PPS+ payment method. The invention of PPS+ by ViaBTC catalysed a change in the rules of the industry and provided miners with a higher and more stable income.
ViaBTC attaches great importance to technology. For example, the pool has optimized the process of broadcasting and transferring on the bitcoin network using its independently developed BTC client. With a high-speed block synchronization network distributed around the world, miners can discover and broadcast new blocks faster. In addition, it reduces the level of abandoned blocks, provides a stable income from mining and increases the efficiency of the network. To date, ViaBTC remains the mining pool with the lowest abandoned block rate.
Over the years, ViaBTC has also launched a wide range of features and tools, including a transaction accelerator, automatic conversion, smart mining, a hedging service, crypto loans, a hash rate change notification service, profit sharing, and a referral program to provide users with a faster, more stable and profitable mining, as well as derivative services.
Over the past seven years, ViaBTC has seen the ups and downs of crypto mining. GHash.IO is just one of many pools that have gone down due to network attacks. In addition, there are pools affected by cash flow disruptions, as well as pools abandoned by miners due to unstable block mining. ViaBTC, on the other hand, maintains a focus on user experience and a focus on products and technology. These efforts have paid off as ViaBTC has become one of the few crypto companies to celebrate its seventh anniversary.
Currently, ViaBTC provides mining services for more than ten cryptocurrencies, including BTC and LTC, and the number of pool users has exceeded 1 million, covering more than 130 countries and regions. Moreover, the pool occupies one of the leading positions in the hashrate of mining cryptocurrencies, including BTC and LTC, and the total mining volume reaches several tens of billions of dollars.
In the future, ViaBTC will continue to provide miners with professional, efficient, secure and stable cryptocurrency mining services, and develop comprehensive, reliable, secure and user-friendly crypto products with all efforts. At the same time, ViaBTC will promote the development of the mining industry to witness the new future of the blockchain together with its users.