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Author Topic: How to identify miners / pools  (Read 1119 times)
valrama
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December 22, 2015, 03:18:09 AM
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Can someone explain how charts like this are built: https://blockchain.info/pools Specifically, how a mined block is attributed to a miner / pool, and what the margin of error is likely to be?
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bitsolutions
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December 22, 2015, 06:52:26 AM
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It is generated from this list of known coinbase signatures and generation addresses, in practice it is usually quite reliable once you have the generation address for a pool, you can find these by decoding stratum templates from public pools.

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jonnybravo0311
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December 22, 2015, 02:58:46 PM
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That list is pretty up to date, too.  For example, my pool's been around for less than a month and it's on the list.  I used that list when I wrote some of my own blockchain data mining code.  It came in quite handy.

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fevirfevir
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December 31, 2015, 10:18:24 AM
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I was wondering the same as valrama, though the answer given raises two more questions:

-Can a pool 'hide' behind for example Tor, as in, change it's IP-address each time a valid block is broadcasted, and obtain a new Bitcoin address, too?

-So we have a pretty good idea of the hashing power of registered pools, but there's no insight in private (e.g. government backed) pools, or just a miner with a very large amount of hashing power (and money for mining hardware), both being able to change their Bitcoin address for each new coinbase transaction?

The 'concern' I'm having is that there's no way to find out if a miner obtains near 50% of the total hashing power. Though it's not likely to happen considering the costs, I'm curious if we'd be able to detect such a case, where a mining pool puts effort in remaining anonymous.
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January 01, 2016, 01:50:19 AM
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It would seem quite possible for an entity to hide it's mining power, just as it could hide it's total stash of Bitcoins among multiple wallets.

I personally have little fear of  the "51% attack scenario". There is zero economic incentive for somebody to try and crash or double spend Bitcoin. While it might seem that it would be swell to do so, if there is a small whiff among folks that the Blockchain has been compromised in some way, it's value will plummet. I don't mean like cut in half, I mean like nearly evaporate. If you held a lot of Bitcoins and initiated the attack, you would decimate your holdings. Even if you didn't hold much in in Bitcoins, your investment in SHA-256 hardware would likewise be decimated. Who would would want to own  500PH of specialized ASIC mining hardware and infrastructure, with nothing to use it for? Your hardware would literally sell for pennies on the dollar, since there is essentially no other use for such specialized hardware.

It seems to me that Bitcoins has at least one of the major risks of any currency, lack of confidence. If/when a significant number of folks lose confidence in the "money" they promptly try and trade it in for some other kind of "money" that they think is safer. And by another kind of "money" I don't mean Litecoin. the flight will NOT be to another crypto currency, but rather an established fiat (e.g. US Dollars).
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