Another solo miner with a hashrate 116 TH/s has solved a block earning approximately 6.26810839 BTC ($275,000) in the process. This comes less than 48 hours after another solo miner achieved the same feat with 126 TH/s. Both miners were mining on solo mining pool ckpool

Dr. Con Kolivas, administrator of ckpool Tweeted to confirm that the second miner had joined the pool in the last two days, possibly motivated by the reports of the previous miner’s success, only to find himself also hitting the “jackpot” a short time later.

Mind Shattering Odds

The odds of either miner successfully solving a block are approximately 1 in ~1,500,000. The odds of finding a block vary depending on the hashrate of the network, network difficulty, and the hashrate of the miner in question at any given point in time. In both of the latest cases, the miners each had a miniscule amount of the overall network hashrate, approximately 0.000072% as was calculated by the popular bitcoin Twitter account Bitcoin Archive.

The first miner earned 6.35461270 BTC consisting of the 6.25 BTC block reward, plus the transaction fees of all the transactions included in that block, minus the 2% ckpool fee. 

Solo Mining Is Technically Not Possible

A recent tweet in response to these events by bitcoin mining pool Slush Pool explained that it is technically not possible to solo mine given the way the bitcoin network operates. From a technical standpoint, miners must interface with the network via a pool implementation. Solo miners are able to earn entire block rewards with ckpool because unlike most other mining pools, ckpool rewards the individual miner in their pool that solves any given block.  

Most other mining pools split each reward found between all the miners in proportion to the hashrate they provide to the pool. The ckpool method essentially means that miners are going for lower frequency of higher rewards (potentially taking years or decades to solve a block, depending on their hashrate) while miners using traditional pools will get a higher frequency of lower rewards. 

Over a long enough time period the rewards earned by a miner in either scenario average out to be the same but the variance in frequency and size of each reward is different. 

Readers interested in better understanding how bitcoin mining and pools work can refer to the following blog posts here and here.

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