Mining has always been one of the key functions for most cryptocurrencies. Especially in case of a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm based cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, mining difficulty is important to keep the network decentralized. However, as Bitcoin’s popularity has grown with time, the requirements to mine it have also become stringent. Long gone are the days when BTC could be mined with any computer. Today you must have a machine with powerful mining chips installed in it to receive some meaningful rewards for your machine’s hard work. Needless to say that this barrier to entry has made Bitcoin mining more and more centralized overtime. Though Bitcoin network is still resistant more than enough to a 51% attack, the more and more centralized nature of its mining is becoming evident with time.Another such report suggesting how centralized Bitcoin mining has become came out yesterday. The report, based on a research study prepared by RSK Labs Chief Scientist Sergio Demián Lerner, reveals that a single entity has mined more than 22,000 blocks of Bitcoin network. Those blocks collectively might have consisted of 1 million BTC. The report is based on the analysis of one of the oldest Bitcoin miners, and it hardens the already existing proof regarding the power of certain Bitcoin miners.Lerner had published his first study concerning the ancient days of Bitcoin mining back in 2013. In that study published on 17th of April 2013 he had concluded that initial Bitcoins were mined by a single miner, who was able to gather 1,814,400 BTC after his efforts. Lerner’s study also revealed that more than 63% of these mined coins (more than 1.1 million), have never been spent since their creation.Now exactly six years later Lerner has published another study giving even harder evidence that backs his prior claims. In the study entitled “The Return of the Deniers and the Revenge of Patoshi” Lerner first of all discusses his original study published in 2013 and then goes on to describe how he discovered the patterns of this mysterious miner, whom he calls ‘Patoshi’. He also explains how a few people have accepted the existence of Patoshi patterns while still not acknowledging it at the same time. For denying the existence of Patoshi they present the arguments of synchronized mining, or possibly the existence of a mining pool since the days of Genesis block. Lerner, however, has debunked those arguments in his latest study with the following reasons:Lerner has also set up a site called SatoshiBlocks.info where anyone can visit to analyze the patterns of Patoshi blocks. All data is available there with clock and timestamps. So if you understand crypto mining thoroughly, you can definitely head over there to confirm what Lerner has been saying for 6 years.Now, this raises the question… does Patoshi pattern belong to Satoshi Nakamoto? We don’t know, but if a single entity has mined more than 1.1 million BTC then it certainly is something to think about.
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