Looks like one of the older pools in the bitcoin mining space BTC Guild is calling it quits after getting started back in 2011.
BTC Guild will stop all business on January 31st, 2015 after giving a three-month warning effective today. All user registrations are also disabled and no new users will be able to join the mining pool. The mining servers will continue to run until November 30th, 2014 at which time they will be brought offline. Users will have until 11:59pm PST on January 31st, 2015 to withdraw any remaining balances they might have.
The website has been updated to say this and states that the timelines could change if the site is sold.
BTC Guild is closing due to the costs and risks of a potential hacking attempt and because of the current regulatory environment in the United States. Concerns that regulations could prompt pool owners to begin collecting personally identifiable information in the future is just something that BTC Guild is unwilling to do.
In the event that the site is sold to a new outfit the user data of mining history or withdrawal history will not be given to the new owner to be sure that users don’t risk of losing what they have earned to date on the pool.
The current operator eleuthria shared the following closing words on the BTC Guild website and bitcoin talk:
When I got into Bitcoin back in March of 2011, I never expected anything that we’ve seen over the last 3 and a half years. I had never built a computer before, never run a server beyond a Gentoo PC in a spare bedroom, and never setup a website that experienced even 0.1% of the traffic BTC Guild gets on an average day.
Bitcoin and BTC Guild have both radically changed my life. While I am closing BTC Guild, I still plan to remain a part of the Bitcoin community. I do believe, even in the face of over-regulation, that Bitcoin will continue to grow and become more useful and usable. I just feel that it is time to move on from BTC Guild, and take pride in the fact that BTC Guild’s closure can show that not all Bitcoin businesses end with somebody stealing funds from their users, either by “getting hacked” or outright theft.
Good luck in your new adventures eleuthria!