Antpool, a bitcoin mining pool owned by leading bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain Technologies Ltd. has officially marked the start of the production of Bitcoin Classic blocks on February 16, 2016.
Bitmain’s Antpool is by far the largest bitcoin mining pool in the industry, and controls over 26% of the Bitcoin network’s hashrate distribution. Hashrate is a measuring unit used to estimate the processing power of the Bitcoin network. Miners must generate an adequate level of hashrate to find blocks of transactions on the network, to secure and encrypted payments. Currently, Antpool generates 289.6 petahashes per second, with its 478,683 workers.
Antpool, with 26% of Bitcoin hashpower, just mined their first classic block. Info is being desperately purged from r/Bitcoin @adam3us ?
— Mortuus Bestia (@MortuusBestia) February 17, 2016
The official support from Bitmain/Antpool totals the number of Bitcoin Classic miners to seven, including other major bitcoin transaction processing firms such as BitFury, BW, HAOBTC, KnCMiner, Genesis Miner and Avalon Miner. With BItFury, KnCMiner and BW controlling 25% of the bitcoin mining pool market share, essentially, the hashrate of mining pools supporting Bitcoin Classic amounts to a staggering 51%.
— Peter Smith (@OneMorePeter) February 17, 2016
Bitcoin Classic is a hard fork block size increase proposal drafted led by Jonathan Toomim. The proposal to increase the block size immediately by 2 megabytes is currently supported by Bitcoin Core developers including Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik, who previously suggested a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal to increase the block size by 2 megabytes.
With growing support from leading companies such as Coinbase which are running various tests to evaluate the efficiency of Bitcoin Classic and the 2 megabyte Classic chain, it is highly likely that the Classic chain could co-exist with the core chain in the future. If this happens, wallet platforms and exchanges will support both chains and verify the transactions from the Core and Classic chains.
However, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong recently emphasized that historically, when a split chain occurred, the minority was eliminated in a matter of hours. Armstrong predicts that the same would happen for the Core chain if Classic becomes activated.