Global Cryptocurrency Mining Market - Insights
Cryptocurrency mining requires network of several computers for verification of the transaction record, known as the blockchain. The miners in this computationally intensive process are offered a share of transaction fees and gain a higher probability of finding a new block through contributing high computational power. These support transactions facilitate enhanced security to network users and ensures integrity, which in turn influences growth of the global cryptocurrency mining market.
Emergence of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash has led to huge investments by companies and this is expected to aid in substantial growth of the market in the near future.
The total market capital for 1,325 different digital assets was valued at over US$ 350 billion in 2017. The increase in cryptocurrency mining is attributed to rising adoption of cryptocurrency and total market capital in these digital assets to gain long term profits. Increasing complications in finding new blocks of most popular cryptocurrencies that includes the Bitcoin has led to increased requirement for advanced hashing power, increase in power consumption, and requirement of specific weather conditions to maintain its operability over long durations. These factors in turn have led to significant investments in mining to gain high ROI (within 20 months) and additional income over the life cycle of the systems. Moreover, offerings that include remote hosting and cloud services have enhanced the user access to low cost solutions and favorable environment for these operations. These factors are expected to aid in substantial growth of the cryptocurrency mining market over the forecast period.
Figure 1. Global Cryptocurrency Mining Market, 2016, by Region.
Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin are both limited to 21 million units as the maximum number over its lifetime for use. Limited supply of such assets in addition to increasing complications in finding new blocks is expected to impact the revenue of miners in the near future. Miners are emphasizing on increasing transaction fees for the asset exchange. This is anticipated to be among the major factors that may impact the users’ motivation in the utilization of Alt coins. Therefore, this is expected to be a factor hampering growth of the cryptocurrency mining market over the forecast period. According to Blockchain Luxembourg S.A., on December 12, 2017, the proportion of transaction fees as a percentage of total bitcoin mining was reported to be 9.12%. Moreover, according to Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study - 2017 by Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, it was projected that the transaction fees is expected to reach 10% by the start of 2018, owing to decreasing block rewards.
According to Coherent Market Insights analysis, in 2016, China and the U.S. accounted for over 70% of the global cryptocurrency mining market, based on the total number of pools across the world. However, location of the pool operators does not determine mining capabilities of these regional pools. Low temperature, low electricity cost, and continuous internet access are basic requirements for high operability for these facilities. Robust electricity generation infrastructure in Russia and increasing inclination of major regional players such as RadiusGroup in deployment of cryptocurrency mining facility is expected to position the country as a key player in the market over the forecast period.
Key pool operators in the global cryptocurrency mining market include AntPool, BTC.com, ViaBTC, BTC Top, SlushPool, and F2Pool among others. These aforementioned companies accounted for over 75% of the industry as of December 2017. Chief players offering remote mining service contracts include Hashflare, Genesis Mining, Hashing 24, Ebot, ViaBTC, and others.
Cryptocurrency mining involves grouping unverified transactions into new blocks and integrating them to global blockchain ledgers. Computing power of the miners is used to secure such technologies, through computing large number of hashes. The technology rewards the operators through new blocks and also helps them with a share of the transaction fees to these enterprises. Moreover, each valid block added to the system helps in enhancing security for preventing malicious attacks, double spend or reorganization of the already confirmed transactions.
Cryptocurrency mining activity could be performed from any regular system integrated with high processing capabilities. However, over the years, the industry has become highly capital intensive, in turn requiring the utilization of custom hardware solutions to perform economically viable operations. Growing difficulty level of these ledgers and increasing requirement of hashing power and electricity is expected to be among the major factors influencing the development of cryptocurrency mining. Growing market capitalization coupled with increasing scope of Alt coins in various applications is anticipated to be major factors influencing growth of the cryptocurrency mining market. However, declining probability of finding new blocks and requirement to provide higher transaction fees to support these operations are expected to among the major factors negatively impacting growth of the cryptocurrency mining market over the forecast period.
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“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.
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