Since mining started to become industrialized, the crypto ecosystem fretted about where mining devices were physically located (most often China) and, soon afterward, how much mining power was concentrated in however few pools.
But the Lumerin team understood early on that the issue wasn’t so much the location of the hashpower, but the control of that hashpower. This created the need for a decentralized marketplace for what is possibly crypto’s most illiquid commodity.
“If this was easy, it would’ve already been done,” Lumerin lead Ryan Condron laughs. Since originally presenting his vision for tokenized hashpower contracts in 2019, Lumerin’s engineers have been building the Lumerin Hashpower Marketplace — wallet, proxy node, smart contracts, user interface, and other components.
The core design rule that Condron enforced from the beginning: no centralized servers within the Lumerin ecosystem. While marketplaces for hashpower have existed for some time, they too often rely on a central entity — precisely the market structure that crypto likes to avoid.
Condron argues it can be difficult to see such centralization due to a common confusion: mistaking wider geographical mining distribution for decentralization. While data centers are scattered around the world, they remain under the direction of too few players.
A peer-to-peer hashpower market is a way to wrest centralized control from data centers. Lumerin, then, is the first marketplace to buy and sell a digital commodity that actually streams in real time.
Lumerin Testnet: Real Contracts, Real Bitcoin
This week, the Lumerin team will open limited functionality to its Lumerin Hashpower Marketplace to beta testers, with Lumerin Explorers getting the earliest look. There, testers will be able to purchase hashrate contracts using test tokens, point that hashrate at their preferred pool, and potentially earn real, new bitcoin from that contract. (Worth repeating: This opens up a new way for people to earn brand-new bitcoin.)
A decentralized hashpower marketplace makes cartelization harder — exponentially more difficult if not impossibly futile. This opens up mining to a generation poised to give Bitcoin a serious look during a period of financial history that might be on par with 2008’s fateful birth of the decentralized digital money revolution itself.
Advanced users can participate in the testnet starting April 27. The team has a detailed post outlining the testing program, as well as documentation.