Solo Bitcoin miner beats the odds and solves block for 6.25 BTC reward

A solo miner from Russia has solved a cryptographic hash puzzle and claimed block reward despite having only 0.002% of the total network hashrate.

Bitcoin coin representation
Despite weak odds, solo miners with a rather modest hashrate can produce a valid hash and gain rewards

On March 10, a solo Bitcoin miner managed to produce a valid hash for block 780,112 despite a rather low computational power, which represented only 0.002% of the network's total hashrate. The lucky miner received a reward of 6.25 BTC worth nearly $148,000 at press time.

On March 12, the miner appeared on the Bitcointalk forum under the pseudonym Pineconeeee. The user from Russia had previously used a hashrate power of 270 TH /s, but rented additional 5 PH/s from the hash power broker NiceHash on March 9. It took less than a day for Pineconeeee to produce a block with increased power.

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"A miner of this size will solve a block on average about once every 10 months, but they've only been mining solo for the last 2 days so have been very lucky. There is no way of knowing how many times they've intermittently pointed hashRussrate at solo CK Pool before though," CK Pool founder Dr. Con Kolivas tweeted Friday.

Solo miners are getting lucky

Although stories of solo miners hitting the jackpot are quite extraordinary, they are not as rare as many members of the crypto community may think.

For example, in January 2022, a solo miner with a hash rate capacity of 126 TH/s produced a Bitcoin block with a reward worth $266,000. Although the number of bitcoins was the same, their dollar-denominated value was much higher back then.

Read also: Bitcoin hashrate reached a new all-time high at 271.19 EH/s

When asked about the probability of mining a block with such a hashrate, Kolivas explained that the odds decrease over time. “You have about a 1 in 10,000 chance of finding a block per day with that hashrate, so one block on average every 10,000 days (but the chance keeps diminishing over time as global hashrate rises.)”

In April 2022, an individual miner solved block 733,739 with twice as low hashrate of 60 TH/s. At that point, the 6.25 BTC reward was worth $244,000.

Another solo miner was lucky to mine a Bitcoin block 752,868 with a hashrate power of 270 TH/s in September 2022. The value of this reward was equivalent to $117,000 at the time.

All these miners used Solo CK Pool, which took 2% fees for their mining rewards.

Is something wrong with the Bitcoin network?

Mining a Bitcoin block can be a real challenge. According to Nicehash estimates, a solo miner equipped with AntMiner S19 XP, one of the most profitable and efficient ASICs on the market, has a 0.000065% chance of solving the block every 10 minutes, which equals to intercepting a block every 1538357 blocks, an equivalent of 29 years.

Many members of the crypto community believe that with such odds there is no point in being a solo miner. At the same time, each case of extreme luck immediately draws suspicion of blockchain’s software secretly favoring solo miners. "People think that this small miner should not have solved the block. People think that was impossible, that there’s something wrong with Bitcoin, or that proof of work is broken or there’s a back door. And this is completely, utterly wrong. There isn’t something wrong with Bitcoin when it happens. It’s perfectly normal, it’s just unlikely," Kolivas said in a 2022 interview with Bitcoin Magazine.

"Mining involves just a single hash. The first thing people don’t understand is that it doesn’t really matter how much hash power you’ve got. If you’re lucky enough, you just need one hash and you can solve a block," he added.

Since the creation of a valid Bitcoin block requires a single hash, which is basically a guesswork and not a complex mathematical puzzle as some people believe, it is natural that solo miners strike it lucky every now and then. Yet, what makes the process more challenging for such miners is the amount of computational power required for finding a valid hash. The greater the hash rate capacity, the higher the speed of hash generation, and the stronger the odds of finding the correct hash.

Even though CK Pool does not provide miners with any secret tools that would boost their chances of catching a block, it aims to make solo mining easy and secure.

Read also: A two-year moratorium on PoW mining signed into law in New York

“CK Pool automatically takes your bitcoin address and gives you a unique stratum connection mining to your own address. If you find a block, 98% of the block reward plus transaction fees get generated directly at your bitcoin address! There is no need to worry about passwords, logins, withdrawals, authentication, or pool wallet hacks. You remain anonymous apart from your BTC address,” the pool website states.