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Author Topic: why do people use pools with fees when the cost to switch is nil?  (Read 1717 times)
nazgulnarsil
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May 31, 2011, 08:02:04 PM
 #1

free market principles say this shouldn't happen unless there is significant information asymmetry.
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mewantsbitcoins
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May 31, 2011, 08:06:56 PM
 #2

Uptime
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Illusion they are getting more
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May 31, 2011, 08:07:58 PM
 #3

because they like less variance. or the same reason why people use internet explorer.

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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May 31, 2011, 08:08:35 PM
 #4

I think hurr durr is a proper answer.

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May 31, 2011, 08:08:41 PM
 #5

- Reliability can be an issue with free pools
- Free pools often have lower numbers of users (for whatever reason), so increased variance in day-to-day mining collections
- Pools with fees often have better user support and user interfaces.  For instance, I much prefer the deepbit interface to the BTCMine interface.
- Free pools often have lengthy payout periods.  It takes me a good 24 hours to get the bitcoins from my BTCMine account, whereas I can ask for an instant payout on deepbit and get my coins transferred on the next block found by deepbit.

That said, I've switched to free-pooling for now.  With deepbit having reliability issues from a DDOS attack, I'm not real confident that it is a better option than a smaller free pool anymore.
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May 31, 2011, 08:29:40 PM
 #6

Trust. (which has in some cases been earned many times over)

I can say that slush has worked through some real world challenges over a long period of time.

I voluntarily pay btcmine.com the same 2 percent as slush has in his pool.  I feel 2 percent is fair.

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May 31, 2011, 08:55:58 PM
 #7

- Reliability can be an issue with free pools

Not really. There are a few free pools that have been around long enough to know they are reliable. This remark is more relevant to new vs old pools rather than free vs pay pools. Also, it makes much more sense to attack big pools first if you intent to disrupt the network. Since we know the profit expectable from a full blown attack on the network is orders of magnitude less than the price of the attack, it is expect that the majority of attacks will be motivated by trolling/stupidity/politics/hatred for the project, so the bigger pools will definitely be a prime target. And somehow #1 and #2 pools in the network are pay pools, so...

Quote
- Free pools often have lower numbers of users (for whatever reason), so increased variance in day-to-day mining collections

That's only relevant to the people in DeepBit to move the f*** out to a cheaper pool. I can't fathom why, with the explicit motive of making money, one presented with the choice of equivalently yielding processes, only distinguished by usage fee, would pick the more expensive solution.

Quote
- Pools with fees often have better user support and user interfaces.  For instance, I much prefer the deepbit interface to the BTCMine interface.

That's cuz you like it ghetto. I like my pool with instant stats, round times, shares submitted, miners top, email alerts and all the fancy shit.

Quote
- Free pools often have lengthy payout periods.  It takes me a good 24 hours to get the bitcoins from my BTCMine account, whereas I can ask for an instant payout on deepbit and get my coins transferred on the next block found by deepbit.

That's purely cosmetic, and I would discuss the underlying motive of being in such hurry one would want to instantly cash out amounts around 1 BTC and lower several times a day.

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May 31, 2011, 09:01:51 PM
 #8

- Reliability can be an issue with free pools

Not really. There are a few free pools that have been around long enough to know they are reliable. This remark is more relevant to new vs old pools rather than free vs pay pools. Also, it makes much more sense to attack big pools first if you intent to disrupt the network. Since we know the profit expectable from a full blown attack on the network is orders of magnitude less than the price of the attack, it is expect that the majority of attacks will be motivated by trolling/stupidity/politics/hatred for the project, so the bigger pools will definitely be a prime target. And somehow #1 and #2 pools in the network are pay pools, so...

Quote
- Free pools often have lower numbers of users (for whatever reason), so increased variance in day-to-day mining collections

That's only relevant to the people in DeepBit to move the f*** out to a cheaper pool. I can't fathom why, with the explicit motive of making money, one presented with the choice of equivalently yielding processes, only distinguished by usage fee, would pick the more expensive solution.

Quote
- Pools with fees often have better user support and user interfaces.  For instance, I much prefer the deepbit interface to the BTCMine interface.

That's cuz you like it ghetto. I like my pool with instant stats, round times, shares submitted, miners top, email alerts and all the fancy shit.

Quote
- Free pools often have lengthy payout periods.  It takes me a good 24 hours to get the bitcoins from my BTCMine account, whereas I can ask for an instant payout on deepbit and get my coins transferred on the next block found by deepbit.

That's purely cosmetic, and I would discuss the underlying motive of being in such hurry one would want to instantly cash out amounts around 1 BTC and lower several times a day.
Well, whether you agree with them or not, those are 4 very real reasons that prevented me from switching from deepbit before the recent downtime.

The thing that annoys me with the BTCmine interface is that I cannot easily see how much BTC I made in the last 24 hours.  The best I will be able to do on that front is take an average of the payouts I've had vs the time it took to get them, but that isn't going to be exact for a 24 hour period.
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May 31, 2011, 09:17:10 PM
 #9

Well, whether you agree with them or not, those are 4 very real reasons that prevented me from switching from deepbit before the recent downtime.

These are cosmetic reasons. The goal of my arguments was to invalidate the logic reasons. Now if you think the cosmetics are worth 2-3% of your daily payout, go ahead, it's a free network. But don't come telling me it's "better", it's not quite the same as "I like it better".

Quote
The thing that annoys me with the BTCmine interface is that I cannot easily see how much BTC I made in the last 24 hours.  The best I will be able to do on that front is take an average of the payouts I've had vs the time it took to get them, but that isn't going to be exact for a 24 hour period.

You can opt to receive a daily email with your mining stats. Not quite as a good as on-site daily reward, but at least there's something about it. You can also petition the official thread to try and get the feature added. Surprisingly, it works most of the time.

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stakhanov
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May 31, 2011, 09:38:42 PM
 #10

free market principles say this shouldn't happen unless there is significant information asymmetry.

"Free market principles" assume people are rational, which is why they fail most of the time in practice.
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May 31, 2011, 10:09:19 PM
 #11

Well, whether you agree with them or not, those are 4 very real reasons that prevented me from switching from deepbit before the recent downtime.

These are cosmetic reasons. The goal of my arguments was to invalidate the logic reasons. Now if you think the cosmetics are worth 2-3% of your daily payout, go ahead, it's a free network. But don't come telling me it's "better", it's not quite the same as "I like it better".
I never said it was better.  I was answering the OP's question, which asked "why do people use pools with fees when the cost to switch is nil?"  Those are four real reasons why.  I don't care if they are logical/reasonable, they are reasons nonetheless.  The arguments that you came up with can be just as easily rebuttaled, but I am not here to argue the merits of them, I was just here to answer the OP's question.
Quote
Quote
The thing that annoys me with the BTCmine interface is that I cannot easily see how much BTC I made in the last 24 hours.  The best I will be able to do on that front is take an average of the payouts I've had vs the time it took to get them, but that isn't going to be exact for a 24 hour period.

You can opt to receive a daily email with your mining stats. Not quite as a good as on-site daily reward, but at least there's something about it. You can also petition the official thread to try and get the feature added. Surprisingly, it works most of the time.
Good point - I'll go make a petition in the thread now.
Horkabork
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May 31, 2011, 10:12:15 PM
 #12

From a purely selfish point of view, calculating only what makes me the most money, I still often use a fee-based pool because of the following:

--The pool might have SMS alerts if a miner is down. Yeah, I can run my own program to do this, but the computer that runs that program and also mines needs to have a remote, preferably pool-side alert system regarding it's miner. The fees of the pool, easily, could be less money than the money I would lose due to unnoticed downtime. This is especially true for miners behind shitty internet connections and routers or modems that need perpetual reboots.

--The server's traffic volume, geographic location and it's long-polling settings contribute to the amount of rejected results that a miner gets. A no-fee pool that gives me 4% stales results in less earnings than a pool with a 2% fee and less than 1% stales (or that pays for stales).

--Because, right now, the market is bullish, a 3% fee with an instant payout could benefit me if I believe that the exchange rate will increase more than 3% in the payout time difference between that pool and another, delayed one.

--Knowing that pool-hoppers are out there, possibly gaining 90% more income while screwing everyone else over of, say, 2-10%, a pool that has a fee but is not a good pool-hopping target could potentially be more profitable for me, as I don't hop pools.

--A pool with a fee, but that provides good statistics can help me optimize miners, especially if they are on remote machines.

Depending on your priorities, there are many reasons to use a pool with a fee even if you act out of pure self-interest for your mining income. I often use one pool for one miner and one pool for others just because their needs are different.

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Ulysses
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May 31, 2011, 11:10:59 PM
 #13

You can't be sure you are getting more from 0% fee pool than from 2% fee pool without comparison on a lengthy intervals. The pool operator can skim blocks (there is no free launch :), pool operator can implement protocol inefficiently and give identical getworks to multiple clients, pool can get a lot of invalid blocks due to bad connection to bitcoin network, pool can get a lot of stale shares.

Unfortunately, to this time nobody did a proper comparison of pools according to their published statistic, so you can only use your intuition to choose one.
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May 31, 2011, 11:14:05 PM
 #14

You can't be sure you are getting more from 0% fee pool than from 2% fee pool without comparison on a lengthy intervals. The pool operator can skim blocks (there is no free launch Smiley, pool operator can implement protocol inefficiently and give identical getworks to multiple clients, pool can get a lot of invalid blocks due to bad connection to bitcoin network, pool can get a lot of stale shares.

Unfortunately, to this time nobody did a proper comparison of pools according to their published statistic, so you can only use your intuition to choose one.
This is a good point as well, and something I have considered to a great extent.  It's another reason I like the larger pools.  Less variance means you can more easily compare daily BTC rates.
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