Mining Pools, OKEx, Luxor

OKEx’s mining pool has gone from being one of the world’s largest to not mining any new blocks in over two weeks after the firm lost 99.5% of its hash power one month after it suspended withdrawals from trading accounts.

Launched in October 2018, OKEx used to rank as one of the tenth largest mining companies in the world, according to rankings on BTC.com. After losing contact with an executive and being forced to suspend withdrawals, OKEx’s mining clients appear to have jumped ship, causing the firm to lose nearly all of its hash power. 

OKEx previously controlled roughly 9,000 petahashes per second (PH/s) of SHA-256 mining power, according to reporting by The Block. Just before suspending withdrawals on Oct. 15, pool capacity was roughly 5,000 PH/s. Now that number has fallen to 20.8 PH/s. 

Mining Pools, OKEx, Luxor
OKEx pool hashrate following the exchange’s withdrawals suspension
Source: OKEx, CoinDesk Research

OKEx did not respond to numerous attempts for comment by CoinDesk regarding the collapse of its mining pool. The firm also did not respond to requests asking how the mining pool team plans to revive its collapsed hash power. 

Read more: Crypto Long & Short: The OKEx Drama Exposes a Weakness in Crypto Market Infrastructure

“Pool payouts are the lifeline of mining operations that don’t have large treasuries,†said Vera. “It’s no surprise that even the threat of that being cut off is enough for miners to jump ship to other mining pools.â€

While payouts to mining clients aren’t directly affected by OKEx’s continued suspension of withdrawals from trading accounts, even the possibility of disbursement complications is sufficient reason for miners to switch pools, said Ethan Vera, co-founder of Seattle-based mining company Luxor Technology.

Most of OKEx’s pool activity occurred in the past 12 months, averaging 213 blocks mined per month during that period. But, using barely 20 PH/s, Vera estimates the pool is now expected to mine only one new block every 40 days.

With withdrawals still suspended indefinitely, according to a Monday update, what little hash power the firm’s pool has left could continue to disappear. 

Mining Pools, OKEx, Luxor
Blocks mined per month by OKEx’s pool
Source: OKEx, CoinDesk Research
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