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Blockstream Announce Bitcoin Mining Initiative for Enterprises

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August 9, 2019 | 

Darryn Pollock |  0 Comments| 

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Blockstream, the Canadian blockchain services company well known for its work on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, through the Liquid Network, has launched its own mining initiative that will allow many different institutions and enterprises to get into the industry. They have also launched, alongside it, a mining pool.

The idea behind this initiative is to open up a number of facilities across North America, and into Canada where they have ties to hydroelectric power. At these facilities, mining equipment will be set up in colocations, in purpose-built data centers designed to meet the needs of institutional and enterprise customers.

Blockstream claim their purpose in going down this avenue is to try and boost decentralisation on the Bitcoin network after, in 2017, it became worrisome that companies and pools in China were garnering a lot of the hashing power on the Bitcoin network.

THis venture will allow big companies and enterprises to break down the usually tough barriers to entry for Bitcoin mining, all the while decentralizing the network even more. 

A big drive in mining

Blockstream are not taking this new venture lightly, they mention that there are a few facilities up and running - one in Georgia, USA, their latest. They have also been involved in Hydro Quebec, a hydroelectric energy source in Canada which will provide cheap, renewable, energy for the new mining company.

“We now have over 300MW of energy capacity secured (with more sites on the way). We also have a self-mining operation, which represents less than 1% of global hash rate, running on a combination of hardware from Bitfury, Ebang, MicroBT, and other manufacturers,” explained Blockstream in a release.

The mention of a small portion of self-mining is important because it appears that at full capacity, Blockstream would have enough power to run 10 percent of the Bitcoin network, which is in contrast with their call to be decentralized. 

“I don’t believe Blockstream Mining poses centralization risks,” said Blockstream CSO Samson Mow. “If anything, Blockstream Mining serves to decentralize the Bitcoin mining ecosystem in many ways. 

“We’re self-mining with just a small portion of our available power, with the rest allocated to customers, and we have plans to make the hosting service available to smaller miners that otherwise would not be able to mine effectively.”

Taking power from the monopolists 

Bitcoin's mining network has often been called centralized because of the massive amount of mining power coming from a few pools, and mining companies - especially those in control of the ASIC chips

Now, Blockstream believes that if they can get more big customers to mine with them, the network will be more decentralized. They already have the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, interested.

“We began our Bitcoin mining operations back in 2017 motivated by widespread concern that mining decentralization was declining. At the time it appeared that parties involved in ASIC manufacture, hosting, and pool operations were becoming a centralizing force and holding back Bitcoin from reaching its full potential,” Blockstream said. 

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