NEW YORK -- The Bitcoin digital currency is in danger of losing its credibility as an independent payment system because of the growing power of a group that runs some of the computers behind it.
In recent weeks, a British-based "mining pool" called GHash has amassed nearly half of the Bitcoin computing power and has briefly gone over 50 percent. Miners operate the computers that keep track of bitcoins and create additional coins.
If GHash amasses more than half of the computing power devoted to Bitcoin, it could in theory control the flow of transactions, freeze people out of the network and keep all future bitcoins for itself.
Although GHash says it's committed to preserving Bitcoin as a trustable technology, the mere fact that one player can amass majority control could undermine trust.