Bitmain declares ‘zero tolerance for secret mining’

July 27, 2018
Chris Wheal

Hong-Kong based Bitmain, the world’s largest bitcoin mining company and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip producer said that it is developing new policies to strengthen its transparency and communication with the cryptocurrency community.

Bitiam website

Bitmain has announced a policy for improved transparency: Shutterstock

A statement issued by the company declared: “We believe that communities served by Bitmain and its products should be supported and served as transparently as possible.

“Recent measures have included restricting order quantities, ensuring a first-paid-first-ship order of fulfilment, blocking IPs that we suspect to be hoarding, and publishing detailed shipping updates openly.”

Four point policy

Bitmain’s policy is based on four basic features:

  1. A disclosure policy on self-mining
  2. A zero tolerance policy against ‘secret mining’
  3. Never seeking to mine ‘empty blocks’
  4. Providing shipping and volume information of new miners to the public

The first policy will see Bitmain release a report every 30 days  of the algorithms that the company is currently mining and the algorithm of the total hash-rate of each bitcoin-hardware.

The second policy relates to ASIC manufacturers who use the newly developed equipment before the product is out for sale or distribution. This practice gives the manufacturer an advantage over the mining community. Bitmain pledges to maintain a zero-tolerance policy and will stand against the practice.

The third policy states that the company will report to the public if it ends up with an unusual or excessive rate of empty block mining by a mining pool, seeking out the cause. This represents a change from the company’s stance of two years ago, as outlined on Twitter.

The fourth policy states that the company will report on the shipping and volume information of all the new miners of the first model. This will be made public via Twitter on their official Antminer Twitter account. The report will be publicised for all the rounds of the first batch and will include the quantity and payment timestamps.

Secret mining allegations

Bitmain has previously been on the receiving end of accusations that it indulged in secret mining by using new mining devices before they were made public for sale or distribution.

The company’s CEO, Jihan Wu, denied the claims and said that the company has a small-scale test and secret mining isn’t a part of its strategy.

Bitmain's AntMiner Z9 Mini

Bitmain’s AntMiner Z9 Mini

Commenting on the new policy of greater transparency a Bitmain representative stated, “This announcement is a milestone on a journey that started with revealing shipment details of Z9 Minis [an ASIC miner] and subsequent discussions with cryptocurrency community leaders like Zooko Wilcox.

“The measures described here are the results of extensive dialogues with our stakeholders and our critics.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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