Slush Pool, the bitcoin mining pool operated by Trezor founder and CEO Marek “Slush” Palatinus, has officially become the largest mining pool in the global bitcoin mining industry.
Recently, most of the mining pools and hash rate which had previously supported the SegWit2x hard fork migrated to Bitcoin Cash. Consequently, many of the leading mining pools such as Bitmain’s Antpool reallocated their hashrate from bitcoin to Bitcoin Cash, leaving the bitcoin mining space open for competition.
As some hashrate left the bitcoin network, Slush Pool solidified its position as the largest bitcoin mining pool in the industry, accounting for 20.8 percent of the bitcoin network’s hashing power.
For many months, Slush Pool was praised for the freedom it has provided to miners within the pool. For instance, in regards to the SegWit2x hard fork, it allowed miners to choose whether to signal for SegWit2x or not, instead of forcing miners in its pool to adhere to its vision.
As Slush Pool overtook Antpool in hash rate, the bitcoin community celebrated the company’s milestone.
— slush (@slushcz) November 12, 2017
In response to a question from a bitcoin user in the community about the SegWit2x hard fork and the migration of some capital, resources, and hashing power to Bitcoin Cash, Slush stated:
“I’m not here to decide. We let our miners to choose and they rejected NYA.”
Initially, the bitcoin market reacted positively to the cancellation of the SegWit2x hard fork, as it cleared the future of bitcoin from uncertainty. However, the bitcoin market and the majority of investors began to panic as Bitcoin Cash overtook Ethereum briefly in terms of market valuation.
A fairly large number of investors claimed that the market has switched over to Bitcoin Cash, following the hash rate. However, that has certainly not been the case, as hash rate tends to follow the more profitable blockchain. At the moment, Bitcoin Cash is substantially more profitable to mine due to its difficulty level. When the next difficulty adjustment occurs on both the bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks, it is likely that a large portion of hash rate which left the bitcoin network will return to bitcoin.
If miners choose to mine at a loss to stay on the Bitcoin Cash network, however unlikely that situation is, upon the next bitcoin difficulty adjustment, mining pools like Slush Pool will continue to maintain the bitcoin network and eventually, the size of the bitcoin mempool will decrease as unconfirmed transactions become cleared.
Evidently, there exists uncertainty around the future of bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and frankly, the entire cryptocurrency market. It is positive that existing bitcoin miners and mining pools like Slush Pool are continuing to devote their resources to maintain the bitcoin network healthy and confirming transactions for the community and the industry.