As of December 12, 2017, the total market capital for 1,325 different digital assets was valued at over US$ 350 billion. Increasing adoption of cryptocurrency and total market capital in these digital assets to gain long term profits has led significant increase in mining activities. Moreover, 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.
Cryptocurrency mining is a computationally intensive process, which requires network of several computers for verification of the transaction record, known as the blockchain. The miners 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 help in providing enhanced security to network users, and ensures integrity, which is expected to be the prominent factor influencing growth of the global cryptocurrency mining market.
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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.
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