On June 9, a solo Bitcoin miner managed to mine a block at height 793,607, earning the block reward of 6.25 BTC, worth around $161,250 at current prices.
The miner, identifiable on-chain as “151XTfHBfaDqoNWGGeYobNX2YzFFWuB5YD,” solved the block with an extremely low hash rate of 17 terahashes per second (TH/s). This means the miner likely operated a S9 miner, noted Dr. Con Kolivas, who started CK pool – the solo mining service that the miner used to solve the block.
Here is what the ckpool console showed when he solved the block. Assuming they have been mining continuously on the same address, they solved the block after only 9G shares. At the current diff of 51T, that is a one in ~5,500 chance. pic.twitter.com/6gj7tn9TVK
— Dr. Con Kolivas (@ckpooldev) June 9, 2023
The S9 Antminer was released by Bitmain in 2017 and saw its profitability decline after global hashrate expanded in 2020, after which nearly all machines were removed from the network. The machine can only be purchased in the secondary market and typically has a maximum hashrate of 13.5 TH/s.
Mining difficulty on the Bitcoin network currently sits at an all-time high of 51.23 trillion, making the odds of successfully mining a block solo extremely rare. Still, this is not the first instance of individual Bitcoin miners coming out ahead.
CK Pool alone has reported four earlier cases where a solo Bitcoin miner managed to successfully mine a block. However, despite the impression that this mining pool might have contributed to the solo miners’ chances, Kolivas says there is no special secret to beating the odds.
“People believe that you need a powerful enough ASIC to actually solve a block, and that’s not true. Basically, the more hash rate you’ve got, the more likely you are to solve a block, but even the smallest miner can solve it,” he said in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine last year.