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Author Topic: The fallacious efforts of mining pools!  (Read 106 times)
Stedsm
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October 05, 2018, 10:24:44 AM
 #1

As and when we know that mining pools have been the core (heart) of all this process where we need someone to run the network in order to validate our transactions, we are also aware of the fact that they get some precious rewards in BTC for doing it. Now, the problem I see here is, mining pools are making hell lots of money without processing transactions (empty blocks) that are meant to be accepted in that block based on fee and timestamp, but they don't. All the reward goes to the mining pool which doesn't even broadcast the transactions to their miners they've been working on, making the network see new empty blocks and getting money for wasting our time. This could give rise to a monopolistic situation that I've earlier discussed in my thread over 51% attack. What can really be done to stop these empty blocks' miners from wasting the whole network's time and get on track?

An exciting article I've found on this:
https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/spy-mining-pools-making-millions-of-dollars-by-mining-empty-blocks/

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Gabrics
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October 05, 2018, 04:48:27 PM
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Two things come to my mind:

1) Pay more transaction fees (hence they will include)
2) Change the consensus to not allow empty blocks (no point IMHO as a pool still can use some of its own free transaction to fill the block with crap)

I think until transaction fees are low incentives are low too.
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October 05, 2018, 05:19:51 PM
 #3

Two things come to my mind:

1) Pay more transaction fees (hence they will include)
2) Change the consensus to not allow empty blocks (no point IMHO as a pool still can use some of its own free transaction to fill the block with crap)

I think until transaction fees are low incentives are low too.

Aren't 12.5 BTC enough for these mining pools to pay their miners as well as management? I don't believe this, because those who are in this business since long time with big hash numbers, they've been in profits since and I think that this is more than enough even at this price ($6500) per BTC, so what's the point of discussing whether they're getting sufficient fee to add a transaction to their found blocks?

Beforehand, they disrupted the network by increasing the fees and we were helpless to pay those bucks to them during BTC's bullish days to get our transaction confirmed, it looked like a race was going on between everyone in order to get served first by paying more. Now, they've been doing this empty blocks thing to disrupt the network again, but in a different way.

tim-bc
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October 05, 2018, 08:33:15 PM
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 #4

Miners are free to mine with whichever pool they choose, and pools are free to mine (confirm) any transactions they would like, or even none at all.

It makes more sense economically to include transactions in the block you are trying to mine since you will receive the transaction fees, but this is not required. They are not "wasting your time" in the sense that all of the other miners are still hashing at the same speed to try to confirm your transaction. Worst case scenario is a slight increase in difficulty from empty blocks.

Plus, by increasing the height of the main chain, empty blocks still provide additional confirmation for transactions that were mined previously.

If you hate the thought of mining empty blocks, don't mine with antpool, f2pool, etc. CKpool and kano both seem to do a great job of mining full blocks.

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kano
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October 06, 2018, 12:22:41 AM
 #5

There is no side effect on difficulty due to mining empty blocks.

The simplest way to understand this, is that pools that do mine empty blocks do not have higher luck than pools that don't mine empty blocks.
Mining empty blocks does not increase your luck and conversely, NOT mining empty blocks does not decrease your luck.
If a pool didn't get a certain block due to do NOT mining empty blocks, it doesn't mean they get less blocks, it simply means they get 'other' blocks instead.
Block finding luck has no predictable effect from the transactions you put in a block.

The two, and obvious, side effects are:

1) Less reward
Less reward is the obvious one: the pools that don't mine empty blocks will get more reward in the blocks they find shortly after a network block change.
As the block reward halving makes the block rewards smaller, the effect of mining empty blocks becomes worse for those mining empty blocks.
Early in the year, when block rewards were very high, pools mining empty blocks where throwing away a large % of the possible BTC they could get in each empty block they mined.
In the last 60 blocks right now, I see 6 blocks by Antpool that are empty.
Clearly the people that mine there have no idea about this or really don't care Wink

2) Longer confirm times
Longer confirms are a result of: those transactions that should have been included in the next, but empty, block are delayed at least an extra block.
The amount this affects the Bitcoin network depends on how full blocks are.
For the past few months blocks haven't really been all that full, so the side effect has been minimal.
Again, early in the year, when blocks rewards where very high due to lots of transactions, the transaction backlog was noticeably affected by empty block mining - each empty block meant thousands of extra transactions delayed due to no new transactions being confirmed in those empty blocks.

But the bottom line is that most people who mine are either ignorant of the situation (and typically ignorant of a very large part of what Bitcoin is all about and how it works) or don't care that they make less.
All the largest pools mine empty blocks: Antpool, Slush, BTC.com, BTC.TOP, ViaBTC, F2Pool, Poolin etc.

Fortunately, as the block reward gets smaller, it becomes more apparent, and some of those who actually prefer to be rewarded more, will shift away from these crappy pools that mine empty blocks.

However, most wont, since they are truly ignorant of their situation or don't care do anything about it if they do know, they simply see the $ they make, not the $ they're losing due to their stupidity.
This is clearly apparent due to the fact that most of these large pools charge MUCH higher fees, yet the miners don't mind paying these MUCH higher fees.

Pool: https://kano.is Here on Bitcointalk: Forum BTC: 1KanoPb8cKYqNrswjaA8cRDk4FAS9eDMLU
FreeNode IRC: irc.freenode.net channel #kano.is Majority developer of the ckpool code
Help keep Bitcoin secure by mining on pools with full block verification on all blocks - and NO empty blocks!
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