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Author Topic: Can of worms  (Read 690 times)
zeb00
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October 19, 2012, 01:14:06 PM
 #1

I really hope this thread can remain civil as so may like it turn out badly

I have been thinking about the advice that is given on this site to all noobs is to "forget about solo just join a pool"

i have no arguments about the fact that economically that makes sense as with rising difficulty dropping block rewards and high efficiency devices like asic's you would be a very long time before you see any reward solo if ever. (there are plenty of other places to argue this anyone fells the need again)

my interest is more one the value to the network of small (<1Ghs) operators solo or pool

if you are statistically unlikely to ever solve a block before you kill your gpu is there any value to you mining in the first place
solo mining you are very unlikely to solve a block so there will be no net benefit to the network of you existence. but of course there is the small chance that you will and therefor help to decentralise the network.
pool mining (you may make a few coins along the way but thats not the point of this post) you are very unlikely to solve a block so there will be no net benefit to the network of you existence.

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RodeoX
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October 19, 2012, 01:48:39 PM
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I would add that if you solo mine you will likely not solve a block, however you do strengthen the network. Just leaving the client on without mining is also strengthening the network.

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zeb00
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October 19, 2012, 02:11:53 PM
 #3

a very good point
is that only the case if you have your bitcoind port open for external connections.
i would guess that the ratio of machines which can be connected to externally to the ones that are outgoing connections only is quite low.
and with the heavy use of nat and slow uptake of ipv6 which would ease the pressures on address space utilization this will not change any time soon.
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October 19, 2012, 10:39:59 PM
 #4

Forget about mining for a moment and think about the lottery. As you know (or ought to know), it is statistically almost impossible for any given individual to win the lottery, however, with millions of people playing, it is statistically almost certain that somebody will win. Mining works the same way. Even though if the chances of you solving a block are extremely slim, with a huge number of people mining, some of them are are sure to solve some number of blocks before anyone else, which slightly decreases the average time between blocks, which in turn slightly increases the difficulty, increasing the amount of work needed to attack the network.

Or, to look at it another way, each small-time miner is a piece of straw on the back of the attacker's camel.

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Inaba
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October 19, 2012, 10:46:42 PM
 #5

The only "strengthening" of the network happening during mining is when you solve a block.  Mining without solving a block does nothing for the network.  Leaving the client on, without mining, does help, but just mining and never solving a block is the same as never mining.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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October 19, 2012, 11:05:24 PM
 #6

The only "strengthening" of the network happening during mining is when you solve a block.  Mining without solving a block does nothing for the network.  Leaving the client on, without mining, does help, but just mining and never solving a block is the same as never mining.
It most definitely is not the same thing, if you have a small but non-zero chance of solving a block and many other people are doing the same thing. You can point to any member of this group and say "You're never going to solve a block, you're not doing anything for the network, so why even bother trying?", and you would be right most of the time. But some members of the group will manage to solve blocks against the odds, and this does help the network. Pooled mining actively encourages this behaviour by paying out based on the probability of solving a block, however small that probability is. Most blocks are in fact solved by pools, not by solo miners, so there's clearly something to this strategy.

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October 19, 2012, 11:09:10 PM
 #7

I'm speaking from a technical standpoint, not a statistical standpoint. 

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
josephliton
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November 09, 2012, 11:28:05 AM
 #8

if you actually want to make Bitcoin (money), you probably need to join a pool.

Bengt Bedrup
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November 09, 2012, 11:43:20 AM
 #9

Theoretically it is better for you to mine solo, as pool owners generally take a share of the mining revenue or similar meaning that you get less out of it. The big advantage of joining a pool is that it gives you a relatively steady stream, unlike mining on your own where you will have spikes of income followed by large periods of nothing.
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