On Friday, a single Bitcoin miner, who had a relatively low hashing power of 10 TH/s (terahashes per second), was able to successfully add a new block, number 772,793, to the Bitcoin blockchain. This is a significant achievement, as the process of adding new blocks to the blockchain, known as mining, is a highly competitive process.
User Willi9974 wrote on BitcoinTalk shortly after the block was solved on January 20 that the person using this mining rig had beaten the odds and become the first to add block 772,793 to the Bitcoin blockchain, rewarding them directly with 6.25 BTC (worth over $130,000).
When the block was added, the total hash rate for the entire Bitcoin network was slightly above 269 exahashes per second. This means that the solo miner’s hash rate of 10 TH/s was only a tiny fraction of 0.000000037% of the entire network’s computational power. Despite this, the miner was still able to successfully add a block to the blockchain, which is a testament to their persistence and the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network.
The odds of adding a block as a solo miner are determined by the ratio of hashes computed per second by an individual miner to the total number of hashes computed by all machines on the network, and this miner’s success with only 10 TH/s is a remarkable achievement.
According to the information posted on BitcoinTalk, the 10 TH/s was the combined power of four machines (called “workers”). This implies that this solo miner’s rig was most likely made up of four USB stick Bitcoin miners, each of which can achieve a hash rate of around 3 TH/s and costs around $200. In other words, the chances of this person succeeding were one in 26.9 million.
In return, the miner garnered 98% of the total 6.35939231 BTC allotted for the block reward and fees. The remaining 2% went to Solo CK Pool, an online mining service that allows individuals to mine independently.
The miner is not the first to accomplish this feat, as a year ago, within a two-week period, three different solo miners were able to successfully add blocks to the blockchain with similarly improbable hash rates. One of them, in particular, had a hash rate of only 8.3 TH/s when compared to the estimated total hash rate of 190,719,350 TH/s, which gave them a probability of one in 23 million, or 0.000000044%.