Vice President Of BTC.com About Current State Of Mining Industry
The crypto sphere is currently one of the most rapidly growing sectors, and the crypto mining industry has to follow the trend. On the Blockchain UA Conference in Kiev, Blockspoint discussed the mining industry with the Vice President of BTC.com Alejandro De la Torre. BTC.com claims to be the largest mining pool in the world. According to their recent statements, it accounted for 21% of all bitcoins produced in 2017. This company was acquired by Bitmain Technology, which nowadays controls over 42% of the whole Bitcoin blockchain power.
Story Behind BTC.com Foundation
Before entering the cryptocurrency world, I was in the music business. It gave me many skills as it was extremely difficult industry. Besides, I was always interested in tech and for some reasons was looking for technologies that could help humanity to create a fair financial system where everyone could conduct transactions and hold funds. You can imagine how amazed I was when I read the White paper of Satoshi Nakamoto.
I was involved in a few projects dealing with decentralized technologies. But it was not very serious. We had founded a startup called Blocktrial in Amsterdam in 2015. The Bitmain company got interested in it and acquired us. After that, Blocktrail rebranded in BTC.com and became a part of Bitmain. We have offices in Amsterdam, Beijing and Singapore with around 80 employees. We are growing very quickly and looking to continue our growth.
Our company is the biggest bitcoin mining pool in the world right now. Recently, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic have become available for mining on our platform as well. We have developed a crypto wallet available for IOS and Android. Our system is very simple and safe. We always think about users when developing our services. All private keys are owned only by users and we do not have access to them. So far, we have 1.5 million users. The turnover of funds through our platform is estimated at billions of US dollars.
Is Mining Still Alive?
There is a lot of hype and rumors around the mining industry. People think that mining pools own bitcoins that were mined. But they were mined and owned by miners, we just provide services to them and try to increase efficiency. Any miner can disconnect whenever he or she wants and we do not force anyone to participate in our pool.
Another common misconception is that mining today is not profitable and complicated. The truth is that Bitcoin was designed in such a way that the more miners are involved in the mining process, the higher complexity is. It is not possible to mine on your laptop as it was in 2011. A lot of people are really concerned about that. It is not a hobby anymore but a serious industry where big enterprises are involved. Mining is very important for the functioning of the whole system.
According to the statistics, mining is still extremely popular. And not only ASIC mining but GPU/CPU as well. Even though the price keeps declining, we see a lot of new clients from all over the world every month. The market is volatile but if you look at the dynamics you might notice that it continues to be more stable. Every year it becomes less volatile. And what is really important that we have to think about the usage of coins instead of just holding them. Bitcoin was designed as a payment instrument. By increasing the usage of cryptocurrencies as money we can decrease the volatility of the market. Countries which have a lot of inflation and capital control, like Venezuela or Turkey, seem to adopt cryptocurrencies more actively. We have seen a significant growth among our users from Turkey.
The Era Of Green Mining
The question about the future of the mining industry bothers many people. No one knows for sure what will happen after the last of 21 millions bitcoins is mined. I hope that in 2140, there will be such a great amount of participants that the amount of transaction fees will be enough to sustain the whole network. The mining complexity is growing but IT technologies are developing too. Recently, BTC.com has reached a hashrate of about 10 010 PH/s. The Bitmain company is now developing equipment of the next generation with the implementation of AI technologies. The world is changing and it is hard to predict something.
But we can trace some tendencies instead. Today we see that a lot of miners are looking for cheaper energy which are solar and wind sources. Many people are concerned about the great amount of electricity wasted during mining and say that this energy was spent for nothing. But the electricity cost is very important as it forms the value of cryptocurrencies and secures the system from malicious users. We cannot change the way it works but we can make things less harmful. And it is already changing right now. There is a significant move from traditional types of energy to new and clean sources. We see the increase of green energy areas, and many governments are trying to pay maximum attention to this problem.