Allegedly, Antpool mined the stale block that had 2426 transactions that found its way into block height 644,543 but was later replaced by another block. The new block was chosen as part of a longer chain that has only the Coinbase transaction, but the miner of the block is still unknown.
The Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain has witnessed a rare event with what is known as a ‘stale block.’ A stale block is known to represent a valid block that has its transactions reversed since it fails to become a part of the main chain against another already established competing chain.
Transactions from the stale block were shifted to the next blocks. BitMEX Research discovered:
“The stale block contained 2,426 transactions, broken down as follows:
•2,362 confirmed in the next block 644,544
•62 confirmed in block 644,546
•1 as yet unconfirmed”
Notably, on August 20, 2020, at 11: 40 hours, two different versions of the Bitcoin blockchain were active simultaneously though for a short time. Both of these blocks had valid confirmations from the miners.
In the instance that the same address sent two transactions are the time, the blockchain would have probably seen ‘double spent’ on the network. Nonetheless, BitMEX’s research also saw no signs of that. It noted:
“No evidence of any double spends”
The Coinbase fees paid to the Antpool miners were reversed but all of the other transactions got confirmation in the subsequent blocks. That is one of the key reasons why the wallets and exchanges put a 3-6 confirmation rule before any deposits are credited.
Mining Pool Statistics
Even if there was some double-spending possibility, the rule of the longer chain would have invalidated all the stale block transactions. Furthermore, the distribution of the mining pool is significantly diverse. Antpool only accounts for almost 10% of the cumulative hash rate on Bitcoin.
Additionally, the mining ecosystem is huge with some of the most advanced hardware installed in the system with a high opportunity cost as well. A leading Bitcoin analyst, Thomas Heller, who is also a mining expert shared details of new bitcoin mining pool in Canada, the US, and Germany dubbed DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc.
DMG is seeking to enable the “commercial release of its proprietary Mine Manager Enterprise Software (the “Mine Manager”).” He also said:
“Furthermore just found out about a new Chinese pool; launching by two of the biggest heavy hitters in the Chinese mining scene. Pools will keep getting more and more competitive!”
That means there is an expanding network of miners which in turn increases the efficiency in the validation process and the security against double-spent attacks.