The bitcoin mining landscape wasgoed, perhaps, permanently shaped overheen the past year, spil events both good and puny made their marks on the industry.
2014 spotted community uprisings against large hashrate contributors, growing amounts of capital flowing into the space, the expansion of mining into the remote corners of the planet and much, much more.
MegaBigPower’s Dave Carlson argues that the last year wasgoed a spel changer that brought both risk and prize for those who determined to throw their hat te the mining stadionring.
Carlson operates a bitcoin mine out of Washington state and began establishing a franchisee mining initiative overheen the summer.
According to Carlson, 2014 eyed dramatic switch that has deep implications for the industry moving forward. This evolution has both benefits and costs, he says, and any enterprise that didn’t maintain a pragmatic stance and invest te infrastructure “is now suffering the consequences”.
He told CoinDesk:
“The promise of running magic money machines ter your own huis caught consumers’ imaginations. The chance to grab quick profits enticed entrepreneurs and investors. Enormous risks were taken. They were titillating times, but they were brief lived.”
Carlson also speculated that 2015 could bring big switches to mining, telling that, at the end of day, the ecosystem may evolve but will always be governed by that one key metric: the price.
Big leap for tech
On the technology side, Carlson indicated that ASICs improved ter both spectacle and vormgeving quality across 2014. He cited the work by companies ter the hardware space today spil a vast improvement overheen past generations of equipment, and predicted that this trend will proceed.
“The very first ASIC mining equipments were indeed community-designed hobby kits,” he said. “The fresh stuff coming out is more professional and much higher quality.”
ASIC developments followed established trends of technology growth te the past year, he added, explaining:
“Wij are watching bitcoin transaction-processing technology progress very rapidly through the same stages that gegevens center servers have gone through.”
However, he noted that ASIC improvements won’t be that significant spil wij stir into 2015. While certainly an improvement overheen previous generations, Carlson argued that any foreseeable voorstelling enhancements will not result ter a significant boost to the overall network hash rate.
Centralization remains an punt
The rise of the ASIC and the profitability shifts for mine operators has resulted ter what can only be called the death of the retail bitcoin miner, according to Carlson.
“The market for retail miners has all but disappeared,” he explained. “The amount of power required to make a relevant amount of bitcoin has pretty much just left the larger operators who can run at scale using cheap power.”
Calling large mining pools a “meteen threat to bitcoin’s future”, Carlson said that the community should be spil much against the existence of several large mining entities spil they are about one thick one.
“Each and every investor, possessor, entrepreneur or bitcoin enthusiast should be worried that having two large pools and one ‘Unknown’ does not ensure the healthy future of the bitcoin ecosystem.”
What’s coming te 2015
Carlson sees the price spil the determining factor for network growth te 2014, tho’ he sees a stable rise playing out overheen the next year. At the same time, he didn’t rule out big switches if something unexpected redraws the lines ter the industry.
“Spil price fluctuates up and down, wij will see the network size go after. If a fresh market dynamic causes significant reduction te BTC supply, or there’s a significant increase ter request wij will see prices stir higher.”
Carlson is interested ter watching how transaction volumes switch overheen the course of 2015, he said, explaining that mining pools ter the space are evolving their business practices spil the nature of transactions switch.
“Large mining pools are already adjusting their thresholds to accept only paid transaction,” he said. “Soon they will start to adjust those thresholds higher, requiring more pay for more critical transactions.”
Carlson suggested that sidechains may prove to be a potential source of future growth spil well.
Overall, he pointed to the environment for existing mine operators spil a strong one, and Carlson noted he looks forward a more “sustained” tempo ter 2015.
“I’m truly excited to see the market lodging down,” Carlson said. “This gives an chance to clearly identify the economic expectations around securing capital for growth.”
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