The long-awaited and planned halving of Bitcoin (BTC) took place yesterday and it was AntPool that mined the halving block, number 630,000, taking home the new reward of 6.25 BTC plus the corresponding fee of 0.9 BTC, while the previous blocks were mined by F2Pool.
Before entering the virtual bitcoin mine we have to explain a few things about mining. To begin with, it must be said that anyone can mine bitcoin and start to calculate the hash to confirm transactions and get paid for the creation of new blocks.
Over time, due to the cost of electricity and mining machinery, some miners have joined together to create the so-called mining pools to combine the computing power of individual miners. Once the block is discovered, the prize is distributed proportionally to the participants in the pool.
The miner who mined the last block before the halving was AntPool, a Chinese pool co-founded by Tian Xin, which has a lot of power to its advantage: for example, for BTC alone it has 14.9 EH/s, which represents about 13% of the total bitcoin hashrate.
Interestingly, this pool is not only mining for the bitcoin blockchain but also for other ones like BCH, LTC, ETH, ZEC. In addition, there are two of the DigiByte (DGB) algorithms, SHA256D and Scrypt. The diversification is clear, allowing AntPool to reduce risks which it would be subject to if it only relied on one blockchain.
Who is F2Pool?
Another mining pool is F2Pool which has 19% of the bitcoin computing power and has mined some of the 10 blocks before the halving.
Launched in 2011 as a private pool, in 2013 Chun and Shenyu launched F2Pool supporting BTC and LTC and for over a year it was the benchmark mining pool throughout China.
The quantum leap came in 2015 when it became the largest mining pool on the planet with a turnover of over $1 billion.
Interesting little note: it was F2Pool that included this message in the block 629,999:
“NYTimes 09/Apr/2020 With $2.3T Injection, Fed’s Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue.”