An individual Ether (ETH) miner struck it big by mining a block on their own and receiving a reward valued at about $540,000.
The miner was operating through the 2miners Ethereum SOLO pool on Jan. 17 when they mined an entire block and received 168 ETH. That reward vastly outstrips the per-block average reward of about 4 ETH according to BitInfoCharts.
Adding to the remarkable nature of the reward is the size and hash power of the SOLO pool. It is relatively small with 854 miners online and 1.5 Tera hashes per second at time of writing, meaning that the average miner contributes 1.85 Giga hashes per second. The lucky miner currently contributes 2.25 Giga hashes per second which could be generated between 1 to 20 of the latest GPU devices.
Hash power is the amount of computer processing power a device contributes to a Proof-of-Work blockchain like Ethereum and Bitcoin. More hashpower helps secure the network by processing transactions and mining blocks.
The lucky jackpot on the Ethereum network marks the third time in two weeks that an individual crypto miner has hit the big time. A Bitcoin (BTC) miner from the Solo CK anonymous solo mining operation raked in 6.25 BTC for mining an entire block on their own on Jan. 11.
Two days later, another solo miner using Solo CK again mined a new block on Bitcoin with only one to three rigs.
Each miner had a 1 in 1,400,000 chance of mining an entire block, and the chances of two tiny miners managing the same feat in the same week have been estimated at 1 in a billion.
Average daily Ethereum mining profitability has been on a decline since it spiked to an all time high of $0.282 on May 12, 2021. Average profitability is now about $0.0474 according to BitInfoCharts. This is partly due to EIP-1559 which burns fees rather than distributing them to miners.
Related: Ethereum’s EIP-1559 upgrade launches on Polygon to burn MATIC
A jackpot reward like the one earlier this week may be consigned to the past when the Ethereum network completes “the Merge,” referring to its move to a Proof-of-Stake (POS) consensus algorithm. With POS, network stability is maintained by staking tokens. This will reduce the electrical resource requirements of the network.