It's been a busy week for GAW Miners' CEO Josh, as there have been two major announcements. First was the $1 million purchase of BTC.com, which could pay off in a big way over the coming years -- or if nothing else, he could probably sell it during the next BTC bubble for two or three times what he paid on Monday! Today's announcement is perhaps a bit less of a shock, but GAW has acquired a controlling equity in ZenMiner. It's a good fit, considering most of the current GAW purchases are ending up there.
While BTC.com is more of a long-term play, taking control of ZenMiner has more immediate ramifications. Josh is teasing people with a pre-announcement of big new features, and some of the first changes should roll out by the morning. In the near-term, he's also promising some big changes: pool monitoring that automatically switches your pools to the the highest ROI targets in ream-time, instant miner activation, and the ability to buy/sell/exchange mining hardware. Some of those sound a bit like what you can already do on CEX.io, which isn't a bad thing for GAW considering how much money CEX.io has made over the past year or so.
Update: I'm not sure if everyone that was an existing customer received the same gift, but my ZenMiner account now has an "Appreciation Fury" ASIC added to the list. The Fury is a 45W 1.3MH ASIC from GAW Miners that normally costs $50, and as long is it stays active I'm making an extra $0.25 per day. I suspect there are a lot of extra Fury miners floating around at this point, but it's still a nice little extra so I won't complain.
On the other hand, some of these announcements might be a bit alarming. Bitcoin mining (which in turn secures the block chain) has become increasingly centralized over the past year, with large ASIC farms now accounting for much of the global hash rate. ZenMiner is yet one more large mining farm to add to the list, and if GAW continues on their current path to Scrypt mining domination with their Vaultbreaker ASIC, they'll only get bigger.
But is all of this bad for cryptocurrencies? I don't think so. There are many libertarians and anarchists that love the idea of a decentralized cryptocurrency, but when push comes to shove Bitcoin is really worth something because the big fish (and lots of little fish like me) have taken an interest. If your dream is to see cryptocurrencies stay free and unfettered, sure, this isn't the way you want to see things go. But anything successful will always attract attention from big business. In the words of Mr. Smith: "That is the sound of inevitability."
I for one welcome our new cryptocurrency overlords.