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Question: Is pool hopping ethical?
Yes, I do it - 54 (23.1%)
Yes, but I don't do it - 56 (23.9%)
Yes, no comment if I do it - 12 (5.1%)
No, but I do it - 11 (4.7%)
No, and I don't do it - 96 (41%)
No, no comment if I do it - 5 (2.1%)
Total Voters: 233

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Author Topic: Pool hopping... ethical or not?  (Read 22998 times)
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July 26, 2011, 02:13:38 AM
 #101

@ muyoso, CanaryInTheMine:

Wait, what? That was a pro mining argument...
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July 26, 2011, 02:18:36 AM
 #102

I like the BK analogy though, and here's a modification you might enjoy:
A person buys a hamburger in McDonalds, strolls in to BK with that McDonalds bag in hand, and asks for fries.  then goes across the street to Starbucks to eat both and maybe orders a cup of coffee there...  BK, McD and Sturbuks HATE to see this and some manager of Starbucks might actually ask you to leave... Is this ethical on either part?  You spent money at all places!

There are establishments that clearly state: no outside food or drink permitted.  Is it ethical to bring your own pop corn or say a bottle of water?
Maybe yes, maybe no. But the big difference between these examples and pool hopping is that in these examples, you aren't harming other people. Pool hopping decreases other miner's average return per block.

doesn't additional hashing power in a pool "harm" existing miners anyways?  If so, then why not ban all additional power/users anyway?

Quote
Some stores have particular items at a deep discount. They hope that people will buy the more expensive items as well. In this case, there's no implied agreement not to buy only the discounted items -- the store takes the risk that smart shoppers will get a very good deal. But the smart shoppers don't hurt the other people shopping in the store, and the stores don't try to find and kick out the smart shoppers. A store is not a cooperative.

is that why you see something like limit x per customer?
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Pool operators should clearly state if they don't want pool hoppers and then discourage them (payout methods, banning etc...) if they want.
Sure they should. But that has nothing to do with the ethics of pool hopping. Primarily, pool hopping is unethical because it abuses the other miners.

I'm sorry, but I've yet to hear ONE logical argument that proves that pool hopping is unethical.  I don't like it, but it doesn't mean it's unethical if pool's rules aren't violated.
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I don't think people who hop see it the way you present (BTW, personally, I don't disagree with you).  Hoppers do not believe they are entering an agreement.
I don't believe that. I think you are giving them an undeserved benefit of the doubt. I strongly suspect that they know perfectly well that they are entering into an implied agreement with the other miners. In any event, if they don't know that, it's likely due to their willful blindness, not the fact that no such agreement exists.


They are doing what's best for them.  So what?  If the pool does not care about hoppers, where's the ethicality issue?
If the users of the pool, but not the pool owner have an issue, then they should pettition the owner to spell out the rules.  or they can switch pools.

Another thought, is this really about ethics or envy because someone decides to pool hop? Answer that honestly to yourself, not me.

Consider if everyone was to start pool hoping, do you still believe that this is an ethics issue or just growing pains of the bitcoin network?

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July 26, 2011, 02:25:21 AM
 #103

@ muyoso, CanaryInTheMine:

Wait, what? That was a pro mining argument...

I could read it either way, now that you mention it...
However, your example is about stealing and breaking the law... so whether it's pro or against, it's not a good one...

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July 26, 2011, 02:25:51 AM
 #104

Anti-pool hoppers, I ask again, clearly delineate why pool hopping and only pool hopping is immoral/unethical/whatever.

Just say it's stealing isn't good enough. It's a mathematical algorithm implemented to maximize returns on shares submitted. Why is that different than say, finding a more efficient hashing method that boosts your hash/second? The same physical hardware is now returning more bitcoin at the expense of others. (I've heard that it doesn't contribute more "real work" so somehow that makes it less worthy, but that still isn't an ethical argument unless your ethos is that only work is ethical).

Or taken a look at another way, many people arguing against pool hopping engaged in coin hopping. When difficulty dropped and it was more profitable to mine namecoins you hopped over to those, raped the crap out of the difficulty and then hopped away when 2016 blocks were up, leaving a huge difficulty in your wake to be sorted out, effectively damaging namecoin and all those who support it. Why are you not immoral scumbags for doing that, when pool hoppers are? Because you did it manually instead of with a program? Over a longer time frame?

Specify what factors EXCLUSIVE to pool hopping are what make it unethical, and no more stupid analogies.
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July 26, 2011, 02:36:27 AM
 #105

Anti-pool hoppers, I ask again, clearly delineate why pool hopping and only pool hopping is immoral/unethical/whatever.

Just say it's stealing isn't good enough. It's a mathematical algorithm implemented to maximize returns on shares submitted. Why is that different than say, finding a more efficient hashing method that boosts your hash/second? The same physical hardware is now returning more bitcoin at the expense of others.

Or taken a look at another way, many people arguing against pool hopping engaged in coin hopping. When difficulty dropped and it was more profitable to mine namecoins you hopped over to those, raped the crap out of the difficulty and then hopped away when 2016 blocks were up, leaving a huge difficulty in your wake to be sorted out, effectively damaging namecoin and all those who support it. Why are you not immoral scumbags for doing that, when pool hoppers are? Because you did it manually instead of with a program? Over a longer time frame?

Specify what factors EXCLUSIVE to pool hopping are what make it unethical, and no more stupid analogies.

There are none.  They don't exist.  All these attempts at debating that it's unethical is a bunch bull feces.  If even a single universal and logical argument existed to prove that it's unethical, it would extend to every aspect of life and to do what's best for you would become unethical...  See the problem?  Then if it's unethical to better yourself, you would need to stop existing.  End of debate.

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July 26, 2011, 02:43:16 AM
 #106

@ muyoso, CanaryInTheMine:

Wait, what? That was a pro mining argument...

I could read it either way, now that you mention it...
However, your example is about stealing and breaking the law... so whether it's pro or against, it's not a good one...

The whole point was that even in this example people would say that doing it was the right thing to do.


btw @ CanaryInTheMine:

Adding additional hashing power to a pool (constantly) reduces the time to find a block while leaving the (average) payout per share constant. Pool hopping however shifts average payouts from continous users to hoppers. Please don't get that mixed up. Also, I encourage you to get your math straight. There are still huge misconceptions about the principles governing pool hopping.

Also, at your latest post: there is so much wrong about this, I don't even know where to start. As an introduction you might want to check out http://www.justiceharvard.org/.

@ bcpokey:

Coin hopping is essentially the same as pool hopping.
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July 26, 2011, 02:53:22 AM
 #107

How can you post on page 6 of a meta discussion about pool hopping while not understanding the probabilistic principles of pool hopping?
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July 26, 2011, 03:05:10 AM
 #108

If you think this method doesn't hurt the less-smart shoppers then you obviously haven't thought it through enough. For every PS3 that Best Buy sells at or near cost they're hoping to sell an extra controller, monster HDMI cable, etc. at steep markups. If they fail to make these kinds of sales then they make no profit and go out of business. In order to make up for the deal they offer me, they have to rape the next six customers in line - and that's not my choice or my fault, its the store's pricing policies to blame. You and I know not to buy the $80 HDMI cable, that's just silly, but the next guy behind us probably won't and you can't blame me for not hanging around Best Buy all day warning people off of them.
(Emphasis added)

Therein is the difference. While people who only buy the discounted items may put pricing pressure on the merchant to raise prices on goods other people buy, it is the merchant that sets the prices. It is not just the merchant's scheme that pressures them to raise prices, but the merchants themselves who actually raise prices in response.

If pool hoppers only harmed other miners indirectly by forcing pool operators to change their payouts, it would be a completely different situation. But pool hoppers harm the other miners directly with no action on the part of the pool operators required.

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July 26, 2011, 03:09:58 AM
 #109

@ muyoso, CanaryInTheMine:

Wait, what? That was a pro mining argument...

I could read it either way, now that you mention it...
However, your example is about stealing and breaking the law... so whether it's pro or against, it's not a good one...

The whole point was that even in this example people would say that doing it was the right thing to do.


btw @ CanaryInTheMine:

Adding additional hashing power to a pool (constantly) reduces the time to find a block while leaving the (average) payout per share constant. Pool hopping however shifts average payouts from continous users to hoppers. Please don't get that mixed up. Also, I encourage you to get your math straight. There are still huge misconceptions about the principles governing pool hopping.

Also, at your latest post: there is so much wrong about this, I don't even know where to start. As an introduction you might want to check out http://www.justiceharvard.org/.

@ bcpokey:

Coin hopping is essentially the same as pool hopping.

You're right!  I did get that mixed up...  

As far as your link:  I am absolutely aware of it and what you are referring to, but doing what's best for you ethically vs. situations that present conundrums and paradoxes in a moral dilemma situations are different from ethics.  Morals and ethics sometimes are used interchangeably, but these concepts are not the same thing.

Deciding to pool hop (without violating pool's rules) is not the same as starving to death and stealing food (unethical?) to survive if no other option exists (but not immoral) for example...

Side note: if you are starving to death because you can't take your eyes of your mining operation, well, then you need a shrink.  not a morals lecture.

Getting into mining is essentially deciding to do some work.  this would be the construct or the realm under which ethics and morals could be explored regarding bitcoin.  it's hard to come up with a dilemma arising within bitcoin mining because you can always stop mining.  
You can not stop starving out of free will in certain situations (like where you absolutely can not obtain food ethically).  I can not come up with any situations where you could absolutely not stop mining.

But this is way off topic...

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July 26, 2011, 03:20:44 AM
 #110

If you think this method doesn't hurt the less-smart shoppers then you obviously haven't thought it through enough. For every PS3 that Best Buy sells at or near cost they're hoping to sell an extra controller, monster HDMI cable, etc. at steep markups. If they fail to make these kinds of sales then they make no profit and go out of business. In order to make up for the deal they offer me, they have to rape the next six customers in line - and that's not my choice or my fault, its the store's pricing policies to blame. You and I know not to buy the $80 HDMI cable, that's just silly, but the next guy behind us probably won't and you can't blame me for not hanging around Best Buy all day warning people off of them.
(Emphasis added)

Therein is the difference. While people who only buy the discounted items may put pricing pressure on the merchant to raise prices on goods other people buy, it is the merchant that sets the prices. It is not just the merchant's scheme that pressures them to raise prices, but the merchants themselves who actually raise prices in response.

If pool hoppers only harmed other miners indirectly by forcing pool operators to change their payouts, it would be a completely different situation. But pool hoppers harm the other miners directly with no action on the part of the pool operators required.


There's a story in the Bible about an owner of a vineyard hiring workers at different times of the day and the wage they receive.  Now, this is the closest example I can think of that is "old" in terms of time.  Mentioning it here, is not to offend those who will twitch at the mere mention of the word Bible, it is just that, a VERY OLD example of a similar situation.  If you have other examples from other books and/or religions, please share and DO NOT concentrate on the Bible reference and get offended, that's not my intent.  But if you Google the story and read a synopsis by your favorite philosopher/atheist/priest/whatever you might be surprised how close the issues are.

Bottom line is that the owner sets the rules.  no rules = wild west

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July 26, 2011, 03:22:54 AM
 #111

There's a story in the Bible about an owner of a vineyard hiring workers at different times of the day and the wage they receive.  Now, this is the closest example I can think of that is "old" in terms of time.
The point of that story was that none of the workers benefited at the expense of the others and therefore they had no right to complain. A pool hopper does benefit at the expense of other miners.

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July 26, 2011, 03:27:37 AM
 #112

Yes, the story of the laborers in the vineyard was about how the workers who worked longer (all day long) were envious because those who worked only 1 hour got the same unit of pay.

But that extra pay was from the vineyard owner's generosity -- that was the point. "Are you envious, because I am generous?"

The extra pay did NOT come from the other laborers, or they would have been an injustice committed, and they would have had every reason to complain.
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July 26, 2011, 03:36:03 AM
 #113

Yes, the story of the laborers in the vineyard was about how the workers who worked longer (all day long) were envious because those who worked only 1 hour got the same unit of pay.

But that extra pay was from the vineyard owner's generosity -- that was the point. "Are you envious, because I am generous?"

The extra pay did NOT come from the other laborers, or they would have been an injustice committed, and they would have had every reason to complain.

Yep. Change the story a little bit:

A vineyard owner needs some vines cleared out. He asks some guys if they'd like the job. They ask how much it pays. The owner says, "I'm willing to pay $30 to get it done." The two guys agree to do the job. A few hours later, the owner decides he wants the job done faster, so he adds a third guy to the team, and then insists that the two guys who originally agreed to do the work accept $10 each, even though they did more than 1/3 of the $30 job.

Now that the person getting paid the same but working less has his bonus coming right out of the other guys paychecks, it seems a bit different, doesn't it?

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July 26, 2011, 03:36:17 AM
 #114

There's a story in the Bible about an owner of a vineyard hiring workers at different times of the day and the wage they receive.  Now, this is the closest example I can think of that is "old" in terms of time.
The point of that story was that none of the workers benefited at the expense of the others and therefore they had no right to complain. A pool hopper does benefit at the expense of other miners.

But the all day workers were complaining....  aren't non-hoppers complaining too here?
The owner sets the rules is my takeaway from it.  Let the pools set the rules.

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July 26, 2011, 03:37:54 AM
 #115

But the all day workers were complaining....  aren't non-hoppers complaining too here? The owner sets the rules is my takeaway from it.  Let the pools set the rules.
The pools do set the rules between the pool and each individual miner. But that has nothing to do with whether there is or isn't an implied agreement between miners in the same pool. (See my example rebutting the vineyard workers example.)

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July 26, 2011, 03:39:32 AM
 #116

Yes, the story of the laborers in the vineyard was about how the workers who worked longer (all day long) were envious because those who worked only 1 hour got the same unit of pay.

But that extra pay was from the vineyard owner's generosity -- that was the point. "Are you envious, because I am generous?"

The extra pay did NOT come from the other laborers, or they would have been an injustice committed, and they would have had every reason to complain.

Yep. Change the story a little bit:

A vineyard owner needs some vines cleared out. He asks some guys if they'd like the job. They ask how much it pays. The owner says, "I'm willing to pay $30 to get it done." The two guys agree to do the job. A few hours later, the owner decides he wants the job done faster, so he adds a third guy to the team, and then insists that the two guys who originally agreed to do the work accept $10 each, even though they did more than 1/3 of the $30 job.

Now that the person getting paid the same but working less has his bonus coming right out of the other guys paychecks, it seems a bit different, doesn't it?

Except that the pool's payout scheme is known 100% and not changed at the end of a round.

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July 26, 2011, 03:43:18 AM
 #117

Yes, the story of the laborers in the vineyard was about how the workers who worked longer (all day long) were envious because those who worked only 1 hour got the same unit of pay.

But that extra pay was from the vineyard owner's generosity -- that was the point. "Are you envious, because I am generous?"

The extra pay did NOT come from the other laborers, or they would have been an injustice committed, and they would have had every reason to complain.

Yep. Change the story a little bit:

A vineyard owner needs some vines cleared out. He asks some guys if they'd like the job. They ask how much it pays. The owner says, "I'm willing to pay $30 to get it done." The two guys agree to do the job. A few hours later, the owner decides he wants the job done faster, so he adds a third guy to the team, and then insists that the two guys who originally agreed to do the work accept $10 each, even though they did more than 1/3 of the $30 job.

Now that the person getting paid the same but working less has his bonus coming right out of the other guys paychecks, it seems a bit different, doesn't it?

I've been explaining pool hopping on multiple threads, bragging of my efficiencies, telling miners at pool threads that they're losing out because I'm pool hopping. I've tried really hard (in some cases successfully) to get full time miners to get their pools to change.

I've helped pools change and for brand new prop pools pointed out the importance of not being on prop because it will cost full time miners. I've posted this on their public threads where all their miners can read it.

If someone reads a post like that from me and doesn't care, then he is giving tacit but knowing approval for pool hopping.

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July 26, 2011, 03:43:30 AM
 #118

But the all day workers were complaining....  aren't non-hoppers complaining too here? The owner sets the rules is my takeaway from it.  Let the pools set the rules.
The pools do set the rules between the pool and each individual miner. But that has nothing to do with whether there is or isn't an implied agreement between miners in the same pool. (See my example rebutting the vineyard workers example.)

What is the implied agreement here?  I bet you for every miner you will have another version.  If 100% of pool users don't agree with it, then there is no such agreement.  only what is present here, debates about it.  As opposed to a pool operator creating an agreement for all to abide by...

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July 26, 2011, 03:46:23 AM
 #119

Yes, the story of the laborers in the vineyard was about how the workers who worked longer (all day long) were envious because those who worked only 1 hour got the same unit of pay.

But that extra pay was from the vineyard owner's generosity -- that was the point. "Are you envious, because I am generous?"

The extra pay did NOT come from the other laborers, or they would have been an injustice committed, and they would have had every reason to complain.

Yep. Change the story a little bit:

A vineyard owner needs some vines cleared out. He asks some guys if they'd like the job. They ask how much it pays. The owner says, "I'm willing to pay $30 to get it done." The two guys agree to do the job. A few hours later, the owner decides he wants the job done faster, so he adds a third guy to the team, and then insists that the two guys who originally agreed to do the work accept $10 each, even though they did more than 1/3 of the $30 job.

Now that the person getting paid the same but working less has his bonus coming right out of the other guys paychecks, it seems a bit different, doesn't it?

I've been explaining pool hopping on multiple threads, bragging of my efficiencies, telling miners at pool threads that they're losing out because I'm pool hopping. I've tried really hard (in some cases successfully) to get full time miners to get their pools to change.

I've helped pools change and for brand new prop pools pointed out the importance of not being on prop because it will cost full time miners. I've posted this on their public threads where all their miners can read it.

If someone reads a post like that from me and doesn't care, then he is giving tacit but knowing approval for pool hopping.


OMG!!! Are they implicitly agreeing to let you pool-hop? Well then, you have got youself an implied agreement!!
Oh wait, that's circular, isn't it? Crap... Opps...

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July 26, 2011, 03:48:44 AM
 #120

If pool hoppers only harmed other miners indirectly by forcing pool operators to change their payouts, it would be a completely different situation. But pool hoppers harm the other miners directly with no action on the part of the pool operators required.

This is wrong.


@ organofcorti:

Yes, yes, here's your absolution already. Now feel better.


Also, there are no implied agreements.
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