The 18 companies that control bitcoin in 2016

swimmers freestyle china barcelona yang sun 1500mAlexander Hassenstein/Getty ImagesThe race is on.

Flashy startups like Coinbase, Circle, Blockchain, and BitPay are some of the most famous companies in bitcoin.

But arguably more important are the miners — individuals and organisations who form the core backbone of bitcoin, ensuring the digital currency’s integrity.

Bitcoin runs on a blockchain, a decentralised and public ledger of every transaction made on the network. By offering processing power towards this, users get a chance to win bitcoin — creating an arms race of miners scrambling to assemble ever-more sophisticated and powerful equipment to “mine” new bitcoin.

This decentralisation has huge benefits, but also comes with new risks: Right now, if just the top three organisations joined forces they would control 51% of the network — giving them the power to rewrite the blockchain as they see fit.

Some individuals go it alone; others join open “pools” where they combine their resources to improve their odds; some larger companies also have mining efforts.

While the #1 spot can change from week to week, we have ranked the biggest mining companies using data covering June 22-29, 2016, using data from bitcoin network analysis company Blocktrail.

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