The concentration of bitcoin mining power in China continues to raise concern in the bitcoin community. A recently produced TechCrunch video, based on Nathaniel Popper’s book, “Digital Gold,” offers an overview of bitcoin mining, including footage from inside of a Chinese mine. Several prominent bitcoin executives offer their views about the issue.
The video is titled, “Mines and Miners | Truth Disrupted: Bitcoin and the Blockchain.”
Mining Becomes Specialized
When bitcoin began, miners were the “fanatics” who had fallen in love with bitcoin, noted Popper. But over time, mining has become a specialized profession available to those who have the ability to set up mining centers.
“That’s become something of a problem because the design of the bitcoin software gives decision-making power to the miners,” he said. “These miners around the world have a sort of voting power over the bitcoin software and what bitcoin itself looks like.”
Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, a Shanghai bitcoin exchange and mining company, explained that bitcoin’s founder, the eponymous Satoshi Nakamoto, saw mining as a way to award new bitcoins in a fair manner. “The only fair way he came up with was to give it for free to whoever wants it,” Lee