In less than 15 days, a very unlikely phenomenon occurred three times: a solo miner managed to add a block to the Bitcoin blockchain by himself.
At current levels of computational power required by the network, one estimate is that the chance of this happening for someone using an average of 100 TH/s (terahashes per second) is one every 27 years — that’s if the miner leaves the machine. connected every day, paying for the electricity used.
This Monday (24) the creator of the Solo CK mining pool, Con Kolivas, informed on Twitter that once again a member of the group was lucky enough to add a block by himself.
The miner managed to add the block 720,175 to the blockchain using a computing power of just 86 TH/s (terahashes per second). In addition to the standard reward of 6.25 BTC per mined block, the user also received transaction fees, resulting in a total profit of 6.55800548 BTC.
At the current price of the cryptocurrency, the amount is equivalent to US$ 218 thousand, or about R$ 1.1 million.
Marathon, the world’s largest bitcoin mining company, applies 3.5 exahashes per second to mine bitcoin – with one exahash equaling one million terahashes.
In the case of this second one, the miner managed to add the block using 0.002% of the force that the company uses to do the same task.
the used machine
The miner posted a message on the Solo CK forum, maintaining his anonymity, but celebrating the event and thanking Kolivas for creating the pool.
He also released a photo of his rig (the term for the machinery used in mining) and of his computer screen with CGMiner (software that does mining).
He said his machine has nine Gekkoscience Compaq F USB units, responsible for solving the block. These are small mining equipment, similar to a pen drive, which are placed via USB ports on computers, as can be seen in the image below:
According to the website Bitcoin Merch, each Gekkoscience Compaq F USB is worth US$ 220, about R$ 1,200. The miner must have spent around BRL 10,800 to build his rig, without taking into account the cost of other equipment shown in the image, such as the USB hub and fans.
Odds: One block every 27 years
To give you an idea of how lucky the person was: in one of the recent events, a Solo CK miner managed to add a block using 126 TH/s. With this computational power, Kolivas said there is one chance in ten thousand of finding one block per day or, on average, one block every 27 years.
In the case of the latter, the miner used a much lower power than the example cited (86 TH/s against 126 TH/s, a 31% drop in computational power).
Maré de sorte not only CK
Solo CK is different from traditional mining pools that share the rewards evenly among all participants when a block is found. On the rare occasion that an independent Solo CK miner finds a block, the reward is all his own.
The run of luck there started on January 11th, with block 718,124 Then, on January 13th, another Solo CK participant managed to solve the block 718.379 with a capacity of only 116 EH/s, less than the first miner.
According to Kolivas, the second miner had joined Solo CK just two days ago, “probably in response to the other lucky block solver, so he was astronomically lucky to solve a block by himself during that time.”
He added that, as far as the second miner was concerned, the odds of finding a new block in the pool were one in six thousand from the moment he started mining.
After the first lucky episode this year, in response to a Twitter user who asked how often it is for someone with such low computing power to solve a block of bitcoin, Kolivas explained:
“For the miner involved, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance. The last time such a small miner resolved a block in my pool was just over a year ago. It’s usually bigger miners that solve blocks statistically, but there’s no reason why even the smallest miner can’t solve one.”
The last time a Solo CK miner had found a block before this tide was on July 2, 2021. At that time, the anonymous user included the block 689.382 on the network using only 100 TH/s, a computational power.
Kolivas stressed that it’s all about luck and odds.
“There is nothing wrong with proof of work [consenso utilizado na rede do Bitcoin para aprovação de blocos], bitcoin is not broken and my mining service does not have a back door to resolve blocks faster,” he said.
The entrepreneur pointed out that “with a sufficient number of miners, someone will eventually solve a block and it could be anyone of any size”.