New China-based mining pool Lubian accounts for 5.15% of the total Bitcoin (BTC) hash rate, just three weeks after processing its first block. The pool was originally spotted by BlockBeats, a Chinese blockchain news outlet, on May 12. 

Lubian is currently the sixth-largest mining pool, with a 6.30 EH/s hash rate, data obtained from shows. The operation first surfaced on April 24, when it found block #627,441.

According to Dovey Wan, Primitive Ventures’ founding partner and industry commentator, Lubian could be an ex-private pool that has recently gone public. She tweeted:

“It must be a private pool before now reveals itself to be public as hashrate didn’t see a pop.”

Wan also noted that Lubian is picking up pace at an “interesting time,” since the Bitcoin halving happened yesterday. “Whoever owns the pool, must have owns the bootstrapping hashrate to start with as other pools didn’t see a major drop off,” she wrote. 

Mining industry expects major changes

The mining sector is poised for major changes due to the Bitcoin halving, which has cut miner rewards from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. 

Most miners operating older equipment are expected to leave the network, which in turn could lead to a 30% drop in the total hash rate. However, a new generation of mining devices, which will be shipped starting mid-May, could potentially drive the metric back to its previous levels and above. 

Earlier in April, Chinese mining company Valarhash, which runs Bytepool and 1THash pools, suddenly dropped out of the BTC mining race in favor of altcoins.

Cointelegraph reached out to Lubian for additional details, but received no response as of press time.