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Author Topic: Opportunistic mining in effect for the following pools  (Read 1371 times)
grod
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July 24, 2011, 02:59:05 PM
 #1

Here's a snippet of code from a popular pool hopping piece of software:

#SET THESE
bclc_user  = "FSkyvM"
bclc_pass = "xndzEU"
mtred_user = 'scarium'
mtred_pass = 'x'
eligius_address = '1AofHmwVef5QkamCW6KqiD4cRqEcq5U7hZ'
btcguild_user = 'c00w_test'
btcguild_pass = 'x'
bitclockers_user = 'flargle'
bitclockers_pass = 'x'
mineco_user = 'c00w.test'
mineco_pass = 'x'
#REALLY

Those pools are currently being exploited via opportunistic mining.  How lucrative is this exploit?  Well, here is a quote from another site from a user of this script:

Quote
Today and yesterday were absolutely ridiculous. I add up everything manually to see what I earned for the day at midnight EST usually. Its not even midnight yet and I am already at 1.4962508 for the day. I should be getting .41 btc @ 690Mhash. Still 2.5 hours to go. At 2.45 BTC over the last 45 hours now.

Now I realize the theoretical opportunistic mining payout increase is only about 10% so the above may simply be variance and a whole heaping helping of luck.  But what could be happening here is a subtle interaction between "unexploitable" or pay-per-last-share pools and pay-per-share pools.  Hopping *into* a PPLS pool (e.g., eligius) at the end of the round is far more lucrative than hopping OUT of a PPS pool at 41.3%.  Since all pools switch on an announced solved block pretty much at once that could be exactly what happens when PPS pools are hopped at 41.3% to a PPLS pool.

Oh, and if you are mining in these pools you may consider running that opportunistic mining script to level the playing field and keep up with the top earners in those pools, just in case I'm right.
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July 24, 2011, 03:31:12 PM
 #2

Now I realize the theoretical opportunistic mining payout increase is only about 10%
Huh? For hopping with a single proportional pool the theoretical maximal increase is 28%. For 10 pools it's 156% (x2.56).

While I'm at it, for the slightly suboptimal strategy of always going with the freshest proportional pool even if they're all >43.5%, the speedup factor with n pools is (n ln(n))/(n-1). For n>8 this is virtually the same as having a fallback pool (up to 0.1% difference).

Hopping *into* a PPLS pool (e.g., eligius) at the end of the round is far more lucrative than hopping OUT of a PPS pool at 41.3%.
You don't know when a round will end, so you can't increase your expected payout by hopping into a pool at the end of a round. Also, you hop out of proportional pools, not PPS. I don't know what you mean by pay-per-last-share pools, but if you mean PPLNS then eligius isn't one.

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marvinmartian
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July 24, 2011, 04:04:30 PM
 #3

I don't see how pool hopping helps very much.  But I'm curious to know if/how it might.

Also, how do you tell your miners when to hop?  Based on what?

Personally, I've been very happy with my BTC mining results AND the stability of the pool(s) I've been dealing with.  So I'm cautious to rock the boat.

IE., Not long ago, I think I was losing about 30% to DDoS attacks and other connectivity issues at various pools.

"... and the geeks shall inherit the earth."
grod
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July 24, 2011, 04:37:55 PM
 #4

Huh? For hopping with a single proportional pool the theoretical maximal increase is 28%. For 10 pools it's 156% (x2.56).
I could be wrong on the conclusions on mean/median expected increases relative to maximum theoretical, I'll go back and re-examine the threads.

Quote
You don't know when a round will end, so you can't increase your expected payout by hopping into a pool at the end of a round. Also, you hop out of proportional pools, not PPS. I don't know what you mean by pay-per-last-share pools, but if you mean PPLNS then eligius isn't one.

Since the last submitted work is compensated at a higher rate in the non-proportional pools you get a higher percentage of payout relative to total work submitted if you join such a pool "late."  While it's impossible to determine when the pool will solve the block it is possible to avoid those pools until they searched a large portion of the solution space -- let's say 70%, meaning the solution is guaranteed to be in the remaining 30%.  In order to hop OUT of a PPS pool you need some other pool to hop INTO, and non-proportional pools make the best candidate since solo mining is not practical.

And my mistake, eligius isn't the pay-per-last-(n)-shares in that rotation, mineco is.

Anyhoo, I'm now convinced either way.  If your rigorous math is correct it could be a big win, if my uninformed guesswork is on the right track it's also a (much smaller) win.  I see very little downside in switching to opportunistic mining.
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July 24, 2011, 04:46:39 PM
 #5

Here's a snippet of code from a popular pool hopping piece of software:

#SET THESE
bclc_user  = "FSkyvM"
bclc_pass = "xndzEU"
mtred_user = 'scarium'
mtred_pass = 'x'
eligius_address = '1AofHmwVef5QkamCW6KqiD4cRqEcq5U7hZ'
btcguild_user = 'c00w_test'
btcguild_pass = 'x'
bitclockers_user = 'flargle'
bitclockers_pass = 'x'
mineco_user = 'c00w.test'
mineco_pass = 'x'
#REALLY

Those pools are currently being exploited via opportunistic mining.  How lucrative is this exploit?  Well, here is a quote from another site from a user of this script:

Quote
Today and yesterday were absolutely ridiculous. I add up everything manually to see what I earned for the day at midnight EST usually. Its not even midnight yet and I am already at 1.4962508 for the day. I should be getting .41 btc @ 690Mhash. Still 2.5 hours to go. At 2.45 BTC over the last 45 hours now.

Now I realize the theoretical opportunistic mining payout increase is only about 10% so the above may simply be variance and a whole heaping helping of luck.  But what could be happening here is a subtle interaction between "unexploitable" or pay-per-last-share pools and pay-per-share pools.  Hopping *into* a PPLS pool (e.g., eligius) at the end of the round is far more lucrative than hopping OUT of a PPS pool at 41.3%.  Since all pools switch on an announced solved block pretty much at once that could be exactly what happens when PPS pools are hopped at 41.3% to a PPLS pool.

Oh, and if you are mining in these pools you may consider running that opportunistic mining script to level the playing field and keep up with the top earners in those pools, just in case I'm right.


Well done at misquoting something totally unrelated to bitcoin pool hopping.

The quote you showed for increased earnings were from namecoin mining at the low difficulty it had up till last night. Everyone (not just pool hoppers) earned well over 2x the same bitcoin earnings by mining namecoins and selling for bitcoins.

...In the land of the stale, the man with one share is king... >> Clipse

We pay miners at 130% PPS | Signup here : Bonus PPS Pool (Please read OP to understand the current process)
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July 24, 2011, 05:47:04 PM
 #6

While it's impossible to determine when the pool will solve the block it is possible to avoid those pools until they searched a large portion of the solution space -- let's say 70%, meaning the solution is guaranteed to be in the remaining 30%.
That's not how it works. The solution space is virtually infinite, block finding is memoryless. If the pool spent 10 days trying to find a block it isn't any closer than it was in the beginning.

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Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems (thread, summary)  |   PureMining - Infinite-term, deterministic mining bond
grod
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July 24, 2011, 06:02:29 PM
 #7


Well done at misquoting something totally unrelated to bitcoin pool hopping.

The quote you showed for increased earnings were from namecoin mining at the low difficulty it had up till last night. Everyone (not just pool hoppers) earned well over 2x the same bitcoin earnings by mining namecoins and selling for bitcoins.

Incorrect.  The context was indeed pool hopping.  You're welcome to read through the thread yourself -- you can find earlier posts by that user re: pool hopping and increased payout that were before the namecoin mining bonanza earlier thursday->saturday.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2167303&page=68

grod
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July 24, 2011, 06:14:11 PM
 #8

That's not how it works. The solution space is virtually infinite, block finding is memoryless. If the pool spent 10 days trying to find a block it isn't any closer than it was in the beginning.

And yet large pools find solutions in very finite time.  Because a pool *should* find a solution some time between average and average * 2 time far more often than never finding a solution at all still seems like jumping in once reward per share increases (after expected share #s are contributed) would increase total reward relative to everyone else in the pool.  Just like jumping out of a proportional pool.

I was under the impression that difficulty somehow relates to solution space size.  Some other pool finding a solution and causing the pool to start work on a new block shouldn't matter for large enough pools.

Anyway, guess I have a lot more learning to do.  Obviously I'm not a mathematician or statistician -- but it just seems like there must be some way to take advantage of increasing payouts in PPLNS pools.
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July 24, 2011, 06:21:19 PM
 #9

You know, pool hopping is cheating, plain and simple.

You're stealing from the honest miners who participate in those pools.

Pools are a zero-sum game. Your gain is someone else's loss. And since you haven't done anything positive to help find a block -- quite the opposite -- you're stealing the extra, not earning it.

And don't tell me you're using "math skills" to earn more money -- thieves and con men work at their trade as well. It's still theft.

Matthew
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July 24, 2011, 06:34:56 PM
 #10

That's not how it works. The solution space is virtually infinite, block finding is memoryless. If the pool spent 10 days trying to find a block it isn't any closer than it was in the beginning.

And yet large pools find solutions in very finite time.  Because a pool *should* find a solution some time between average and average * 2 time far more often than never finding a solution at all still seems like jumping in once reward per share increases (after expected share #s are contributed) would increase total reward relative to everyone else in the pool.  Just like jumping out of a proportional pool.

I was under the impression that difficulty somehow relates to solution space size.  Some other pool finding a solution and causing the pool to start work on a new block shouldn't matter for large enough pools.

Anyway, guess I have a lot more learning to do.  Obviously I'm not a mathematician or statistician -- but it just seems like there must be some way to take advantage of increasing payouts in PPLNS pools.
Read up on memorylessness and Poisson process. And no, what you're suggesting is impossible.

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July 24, 2011, 07:06:29 PM
 #11

You know, pool hopping is cheating, plain and simple.

You're stealing from the honest miners who participate in those pools.

Pools are a zero-sum game. Your gain is someone else's loss. And since you haven't done anything positive to help find a block -- quite the opposite -- you're stealing the extra, not earning it.

And don't tell me you're using "math skills" to earn more money -- thieves and con men work at their trade as well. It's still theft.

Matthew
You are right, pool-hopping is cheating.

And it is perfectly fine to pool-hop, because:

1. Miners have been warned for ages about the dangers of proportional pools.

2. Viable hopping-proof scoring methods have been devised and implemented.

3. The only way to destroy the corrupt proportional pools is by publicly hopping en masse.

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Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems (thread, summary)  |   PureMining - Infinite-term, deterministic mining bond
Artefact2
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July 24, 2011, 07:12:09 PM
 #12

You are right, pool-hopping is cheating.

I agree, except the part I quoted. It's not cheating.

A pool-biased blockchain representation, by me: pident (WTFPL)
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July 24, 2011, 07:20:08 PM
 #13

You are right, pool-hopping is cheating.

I agree, except the part I quoted. It's not cheating.
Of course it is. Pooled mining means - everyone contributes, and gets a portion of the loot in proportion to his contribution.

With pool hopping, you get a larger part of the reward without a larger contribution, on the expense of others. This is cheating according to the standard usage of the word.

The fact that the proportional scoring method is defective by design and makes it easy to do doesn't mean it's not cheating, it just means we should stop using proportional.

By analogy, someone who leaves his house unattended with an open door and expensive jewelry inside, has only himself to blame if it gets stolen. But whoever stole it is still a thief.

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Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems (thread, summary)  |   PureMining - Infinite-term, deterministic mining bond
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July 24, 2011, 08:13:18 PM
 #14

You are right, pool-hopping is cheating.

I agree, except the part I quoted. It's not cheating.
Of course it is. Pooled mining means - everyone contributes, and gets a portion of the loot in proportion to his contribution.

With pool hopping, you get a larger part of the reward without a larger contribution, on the expense of others. This is cheating according to the standard usage of the word.

The fact that the proportional scoring method is defective by design and makes it easy to do doesn't mean it's not cheating, it just means we should stop using proportional.

By analogy, someone who leaves his house unattended with an open door and expensive jewelry inside, has only himself to blame if it gets stolen. But whoever stole it is still a thief.

It's more like leaving your expensive jewelry out on the curb with the trash, telling everyone it's there, and expecting nobody to touch it.

15UFyv6kfWgq83Pp3yhXPr8rknv9m6581W
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July 24, 2011, 08:14:07 PM
 #15

By analogy, someone who leaves his house unattended with an open door and expensive jewelry inside, has only himself to blame if it gets stolen. But whoever stole it is still a thief.

Well stated, sir
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