Bitcoin Foundry USA’s mining pool concentrates 33% of the network’s hashrate or processing power. The pool’s growth over the past year is also a sign of a growing concentration of power that does not align with Bitcoin principles.
According to statistics shown on mempool.space, the second most hashed Bitcoin mining pool is AntPool, with 15.63%. That is less than half of what Foundry has at the time of writing.
F2Pool is also close behind with 15%, followed by Binance Pool with 12%.
Measured in PH/s (pentahashes per second), Foundry accumulates 93 PH/s, AntPool 43.87 PH/s and F2Pool 42.11 PH/s.
Although Foundry has positioned itself as the Bitcoin mining pool with the most processing power in the last year, the gap with the others increased recently. For example, taking the data on average over the last month, the gap with AntPool was 5% (25% and 20%).
Meanwhile, measuring last year’s hashrate, they were even more even (21.61% and 15.84%). By November 2021, AntPool was still averaging a higher hashrate, although Foundry was starting to take the lead and even mined four blocks in a row a few months earlier.
Foundry’s concentration of power in Bitcoin
The data reflected above indicate that Foundry progressively increased its capacity to mine blocks in Bitcoin. The fact that today it concentrates a third of the blocks that are mined marks an undesirable concentration of power for a network that claims to be resistant to censorship.
So, for example, if Foundry were to make the decision to comply with OFAC (U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control) regulations, certain transactions would not be included in the blocks mined by Foundry, i.e., in 1 out of every 3 blocks. As reported in this newspaper, this is something that already happens in Ethereum and has also happened with other Bitcoin pools before.
It should be clarified that Foundry has spoken out against this possible scenario. Jay Beddict, the company’s research director, said this year that, by adding a block to the Bitcoin blockchain, other previous blocks that may not comply with regulations are being taken for granted. Therefore, in his view, the blockchain that would be OFAC-compliant would be meaningless.