Ethereum Miners Analysis over Time

cyber•Drop
Nov 29, 2018 · 4 min read

Serge Nedashkovsky, Anatoli Belchikov, Maxim Odegov

Our aim is to see how Ethereum network mining has been changing over time, analyze the activity of mining pools and real miners and their influence on the market.

The analyzed period is up to block 6,781,512 (27 November 2018). All figures and conclusions are given for this period, if otherwise did not state.

A mining pool stands for an address, which gets a reward from the system.

A miner is a person who performs the mining and gets a reward from a mining pool.

We set ourselves the task of defining the change over time of incoming and outgoing transactions, as well as mining pools and miners’ balances.

Mining pools

Since the Ethereum network was launched, mining pools have got a reward of 31M ETH and 0.4M ETH of transaction fees. The number of addresses which have got a reward is 4.7К. There are 4.5K block authors among them. The process, depicted these changes over time, is shown below.

High reward inequality

Reward distribution over mining pools goes with large-scale inequality. For instance, top 3 mining pools started to get more than half of the reward after a month of the launch.

Figure 1. Distribution between Mining Pools, Change over Time

Incoming and outgoing transactions

Let’s have a look at the flow of mining pools’ funds.

Figure 2. Mining pools Transactions Value, Change over Time

As you can see, the main incoming flow is formed due to mining rewards (31M ETH).Transaction fees (0.4M ETH) and other incoming transactions (4M ETH) are worth noticing as well. The great influence of other incoming transactions is caused by operations with mining pools’ cold wallets.

The amount of incoming transactions equals 35M ETH. Interestingly, outgoing transactions mirror the incoming ones.

Balances change over time

Mining pools’ balances have been decreasing over time and at present amount to 0.2M ETH.

The chart only shows the balances of reward-receiving addresses. Mining pools control a much larger amount of funds kept in cold and hot wallets.

Figure 3. Mining pools Balances, Change over Time

Mining pools’ balances have been strongly influenced by ETH market value increase and by Ethereum network key events.

Classification

Having analysed mining pools’ transactions, we found out they are divided into two groups depending on the average value of an outgoing transaction.

  1. Less than 10 ETH — 82% of total reward volume and 91% in the last year;
  2. More than 100 ETH — 11% of total reward volume and 8% in the last year

We made a decision to analyze the first group, so all the data are related to it.

There are two typical types showing how mining pools work:

In our analysis we decided not to take into account the reward received by mining pool owners which amounts up to 3% of total reward.

Miners

In our work we defined the transactions common for miners and broke them down into three categories depending on the following attributes:

  • A miner is not a mining pool
  • A miner doesn’t send funds to a mining pool
  • Mining pools’ incoming funds take 80% of the total volume of incoming miner’s transactions.

Incoming and outgoing transactions

The amount of incoming miners’ transactions which belong to the first type equals 20M ETH, the amount of outgoing transactions equals 19M ETH.

Figure 4. Incoming and outgoing transactions of Miners addresses, Change over Time

Unlike the incoming transactions volume, the outgoing one tends to have strong peaks. The maximum outgoing transactions volume — 125K ETH — was reached on 19 July 2016.

Balances change over time

Current miners’ balances amount to 5% of the total mining reward and, unlike the mining pools’ balances, tend to grow.

Figure 5. Miners Balances, Change over Time

We can see how strongly DAO hardfork (20 July 2016) and price changes in 2017 influenced miners’ balances.

We defined three groups of miners according to their contribution to the common balance:

  • Miners whose current balance is less than 0.1 ETH
  • Miners whose incoming transactions volume is less than 0.1 ETH
  • Other miners
Figure 6. Miners Balances, Change over Time

Interestingly, holders account for 2% of all miners’ reward and 40% of their balance.

Conclusion

Mining pools and miners’ contribution to Ethereum ecosystem can hardly be overestimated. Market movements are closely connected with mining pools and miners’ flows of funds.

Figure 7. Mining pools and Miners balances, Change over Time

Based on the results of this research, new metrics will be integrated into Santiment platform.

cyber•Drop

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cyber•Drop

Distribute Your tokens to any number of addresses in the Ethereum Blockchain