Bitcoin mining since 2010
Bitcoin launches with the mining of the genesis block by Satoshi Nakamoto.There are very few miners in the early days, and it’s possible for solo miners to find blocks frequently with CPUs.
More participants join the network and some begin mining with GPUs, making it increasingly difficult for solo miners to find blocks. To address this, Marek “Slush” Palatinus announces the creation of the Bitcoin.cz cooperative mining pool in a bitcointalk thread. The pool mined 3 blocks in its first 24 hours of operation on December 16th. (Bitcoin.cz was later renamed to Slush Pool in 2016.)
The concept of pooled mining had been discussed in the community before the launch of Slush Pool, with a few implementations all launching around the same time. These early pools did not operate for long before shutting down, except for the Slush Pool.
Jan Čapek & Pavel Moravec combine their years of IT experience in the banking & embedded engineering industries to start Braiins with a focus on embedded software R&D.
Embedded devices engineer and father of Braiins OS firmware and BOSminer software to replace the outdated and closed CGMiner.
Lead engineer of Slush Pool since 2013, now primarily focused on building hashrate-based market products for the mining industry.
Slush Pool was originally operated and funded by Slush. As network traffic to the pool’s servers increased, a 2% fee was introduced to cover the operating costs of running the pool and to address a concern that some community members had that zero fees could lead to greater centralization and less competition. This validated the concept of using a mining pool as a business. As a result, competitors began to emerge, such as DeepBit and BTC Guild, in the Spring of 2011.
In March, the web hosting company Linode suffers a hack which leads to the loss of 3094 BTC from the pool wallet. Slush generously covers the loss out of his pocket.
On September 10th, Slush announces his proposal for a new pooled mining protocol known as Stratum, which helps to address many flaws of the getwork mining protocol. Stratum would go on to become the open standard for pooled mining, helping the industry scale over time.
In January, the release of the first ASICs by Avalon kickstarts a new era in bitcoin mining.
Marek “Slush” Palatinus launches a new venture separate from Slush Pool called Satoshi Labs, which develops the Trezor hardware wallets. Meanwhile, Braiins acquires a majority stake in Slush Pool and takes over operations and development of the pool.
Braiins rewrites Slush Pool’s software to make it more scalable, easier to operate, and secure.Meanwhile, we continue investing in more robust mining infrastructure to accommodate the expanding mining ecosystem across the globe.
Slush Pool was the first to reach the 1 million BTC mined milestone and is still the top mining pool in terms of total bitcoins mined at over 1.25 million and counting!
The mining community is regularly referring to Bitcoin.cz by its nickname of "Slush's Pool", making “Slush Pool” an obvious choice for renaming the pool as it continues to grow internationally.
Braiins becomes the first and only pool operator to allow individual miners to participate in bitcoin’s governance by voting on the controversial issues of the SegWit upgrade and a potential block size increase. After the contentious Bitcoin Cash hard fork, Braiins stays focused solely on bitcoin and doesn’t support BCH mining on the pool.
The Braiins team verifies the capability for overt AsicBoost and is the first pool to add AsicBoost compatibility. Meanwhile, Jan leads a new initiative to offer alternative firmware for the Antminer S9 as centralization concerns grow with the Antbleed and covert AsicBoost incidents. In September, Braiins releases a free and open-source firmware called Braiins OS for Antminer S9s, enabling overt AsicBoost.
As Braiins OS adoption continues, it becomes clear that CGminer, the mining software used as a base by hardware manufacturers, has become a mess of closed-source forks. To address this, Braiins begins working on BOSminer, a replacement of CGminer written from scratch in Rust language.
Jan and Pavel work with Matt Corallo to publish a detailed specification for Stratum V2, a next-generation pooled mining protocol that solves many of the inefficiencies and security flaws of the original stratum protocol.
Braiins launches a commercial variant of the firmware called Braiins OS+ which includes per-chip autotuning to optimize ASIC efficiency at any level of power consumption. The firmware includes a native (partial) Stratum V2 implementation and the team adds Stratum V2 endpoints on Slush Pool, enabling miners to have encrypted V2 connections that are more secure, private, and efficient.
Braiins, which has been the sole operator of Slush Pool since taking a majority stake in 2013, acquires the remaining stake from Marek as he continues to focus on SatoshiLabs.
Slush Pool celebrates its 10-year anniversary.
Slush Pool gets a major upgrade, enabling an ultra-flexible payout system, customizable reward splitting, and more sophisticated account structuring. The user interface also gets fully redesigned.
The Braiins OS+ team grows rapidly and the list of supported hardware models grows along with it to include the entire X17 generation of Antminers.
Our Bitcoin mining pool is renamed as part of an effort to unify our bitcoin mining tools under the Braiins brand umbrella.
Wondering what’s next for the bitcoin mining industry?
Check out our thoughts in our Bitcoin Magazine article:
The Next 10 Years of Bitcoin Mining