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Evidence of ‘Tribalist Miners’ Who looked to Hold Up Bitcoin Cash before Halving

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This year there have technically been three Bitcoin mining reward halving events that took place — two of them to the major forks of Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, and this was followed by the original coin, Bitcoin, getting its halving event last week. 

The two halvings that came before the main event painted a picture of two coins that have not reached the potential that they promised during the long so-called civil war against those who wanted Bitcoin to be more cash-like,and those who were happy with how it was operating. 

Since the first fork that happened in 2017, Bitcoin Cash has had its moments, but for the most part, paled in comparison to the original coin, and what is more concerning is that since the fork, the idea of tribalism has grown and expanded to a point where it seems there is work being done for the project to keep it alive that does not fit in with the traditional incentives or reasoning. 

This has caused the emergence of what has been called ‘tribalist miners’ who were propping up the Bitcoin Cash mining ecosystem at a loss for reasons that had nothing to do with profitability and everything to do with tribalism. 

Tribal miners

Luxor Mining Pool Operator, Ethan Vera, has been looking at the rise of tribalist mining on the Bitcoin Cash network.

“If the hash price (value of hashrate) for a chain is below that of another for a long period of time you know that there are people propping it up for reasons beyond mining profitability,” Vera told Cointelegraph.

Vera shared data that indicates there was a rise in tribalist BCH mining in April, just as the cryptocurrency network was experiencing its first halving event. The data showed that even though the Bitcoin chain was more profitable to mine, the miners chose to stick with Bitcoin Cash.

“On April 8th the hash price of BCH was about 30% lower than that of Bitcoin,” explained Vera. “If the market was efficient then some miners would jump to BTC and BSV until the difficulty adjusted making them all equal again. This indicates that there [were] many tribalistic miners on the network that were willing to forego some mining profit to support the network.”

“It mostly stopped recently,” added Vera. “Hashrate for BCH really dropped off. Maybe [the miners] figured they had done their job of supporting it through the halving?”

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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