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Author Topic: Why would you mine with anything BUT a PPS pool?  (Read 5418 times)
st4rdust
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August 21, 2011, 07:07:14 PM
 #1

I was trying some different pools this week for analysis on payout totals and came to realize that my PPS pool blew the others away by a significant amount. Proportional and score-based pools whose names I won't mention seemed to max out my reward per round at about 0.3BTC. While I would reach the max relatively quickly, a couple of hours at the most, I found that each round had a tendency to go on for several days at a time. For my hash rate, an average of 0.1BTC per day was not what I was expecting. Then I spent some time in a PPS pool, running the same hardware at the same hash rates and this consistently produced slightly over 1BTC per day. Very impressive, compared to what I was used to getting from other style pools. The PPS pool has a very desirable setup in terms of its fee and the account features it offers.

As far as mining with a prop/score based pool, I can't speak for others with hash rates different from my own, but wouldn't this ring true for everybody? The only way I could think of where these pools would be competitive is if each round finished up within under 8 hours, and, as you all know, the time it takes for a round to finish up is completely unpredictable, even for the bigger pools.

So based on my findings, I'm curious what type of pool works best for others. I'm interested to know if anybody has a similar experience to my own, or if anyone has found their results to be different than the one I wrote about.

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st4rdust
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August 21, 2011, 07:31:12 PM
 #2

Good point about pool hopping. I didn't mention that in my post because I don't understand how to do it and I don't care to know. I assume that pool hopping can be more profitable than pure PPS if you do it right but I'm the type of miner who leaves his miners alone and lets them run 24/7. I just prefer to let them go that way rather than sit and change them around all day. I should also mention that I mine solely for profit, which is the idea that I based my comparison on.

Also, I didn't mean to knock pools with different payouts than pure PPS. Obviously it is important to both the BTC community and the currency itself to have a diverse base of followers and means of generating BTCs.

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gentakin
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August 21, 2011, 08:04:01 PM
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[..] I'm the type of miner who leaves his miners alone and lets them run 24/7. I just prefer to let them go that way rather than sit and change them around all day.

This is a common misunderstanding. Pool hopping usually is automated. So you just leave the pool hopping software alone and let it run 24/7.

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Stephen Gornick
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August 21, 2011, 08:43:00 PM
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A directory of pools:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools

Sukrim
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August 22, 2011, 12:37:02 PM
 #5

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Why would you mine with anything BUT a PPS pool?
Because you can earn more than that using pool hopping for example.

If you don't hop, I agree that the lowest possible variability is the most desirable option --> PPS is the way to go (by the way: SMPPS etc. are not pure PPS!).

Reasons that might drive one to another pool:
The PPS pool operator is not trustworthy.
The PPS pool is badly connected to the internet and/or the Bitcoin P2P network, resulting in orphan blocks + stale shares.
Lower fees elsewhere.
Some other gimmicks (some people seem to mine at some pools just because the statistics are prettier!)

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Jack of Diamonds
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August 22, 2011, 02:43:06 PM
 #6

Because you can earn more than that using pool hopping for example.

Pool hopping is direct theft from people who stick with the pool at all times.
I don't know why people actually advocate this as a viable reward method rather than an age-old vulnerability which should be fixed by every pool operator.

Pool hopping is destructive towards the proportional pool & only benefits the person profiting from other people's work.

If everyone practiced hopping the prop. scheme would collapse. Rounds past 43rd percentile probability would never finish & you'd have nowhere to switch to.
Maybe someone ought to release an easy-to-use hopping script or program in public so that the last remaining pools would fix this due to everyone doing it

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Luke-Jr
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August 22, 2011, 02:51:47 PM
 #7

PPS is the way to go (by the way: SMPPS etc. are not pure PPS!).
Yeah, SMPPS etc are better than pure PPS Wink
Pool hopping is direct theft from people who stick with the pool at all times.
No, pool hopping is not theft at all, it is simply smart mining. Miners have no obligation to stick to one pool at all times, and have no reason to stick to a pool that is offering to pay them less per-share than its market value. "Pool hopping" is simply working for the highest bidder.

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August 24, 2011, 04:01:44 PM
 #8

I don't like any PPS derivatives because the EV of mining at one is lower:

if the pool has bad luck you get lower payouts or slower payouts or a combination of both
if the pool has good luck you just get paid normally and the pool operator keeps a bigger buffer - so you don't benefit

Jack of Diamonds
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August 24, 2011, 04:40:18 PM
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I don't like any PPS derivatives because the EV of mining at one is lower:

if the pool has bad luck you get lower payouts or slower payouts or a combination of both
if the pool has good luck you just get paid normally and the pool operator keeps a bigger buffer - so you don't benefit

Pure PPS is independent of luck. You do not get paid based on blocks. Every single share has a value of 0.00002769 BTc.

According to Eligius 14 day live analysis pure PPS has the highest EV of any payment method.
Every two weeks you are not mining in a pure PPS pool you are losing about 0.5 to 1.5 BTC on average (with 800 mhash of power)

http://eligius.st/~luke-jr/samples/800MH-3/



As you can see, 24/7 prop. mining is the worst method in existence.

Since there are 0% pure PPS pools like abcpool.co and btcpool24.com,
I assume miners want to voluntarily lose money to hoppers and inferior payment methods by favouring other types of pools.

Bottom line: Every day you do not mine at pure PPS pools (or exploit prop. pools by hopping) you lose money.

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BombaUcigasa
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August 24, 2011, 08:18:17 PM
 #10

Bottom line: Every day you do not mine at pure PPS pools (or exploit prop. pools by hopping) you lose money.
This shit aint logical. Communism is wrong, right?!

I think PPS is better now because of current network conditions. If the network is GROWING in hashrate, you get more rewards as proportional (blocks accelerate in speed, and you acquire more bitcoin). So while you advocate for PPS NOW, it could become a losing choice in the near or far future.

Not only proportional works better when the network hashrate is growing, but also when you join a pool that is experiencing increasing total hashrate power. Part of the problem is that some pools are vulnerable to hopping, making fair proportional miners lose bitcoin, while giving hoppers an advantage. To put it in your words... every day you do not mine at pure pool hopping you lose money.

Someone should track what p2pool is doing in regards to centralized models.
Sukrim
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August 24, 2011, 09:57:30 PM
 #11

According to Eligius 14 day live analysis pure PPS has the highest EV of any payment method.
Every two weeks you are not mining in a pure PPS pool you are losing about 0.5 to 1.5 BTC on average (with 800 mhash of power)
This is purely wrong as it is NOT live data! The example shows an extreme case of bad luck and I can only speculate why Luke forged it that way. Maybe to show the differences in payout systems in a bad luck situation?!

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Jack of Diamonds
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August 24, 2011, 11:04:19 PM
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Quote from: Sukrim
I can only speculate why Luke forged it that way. Maybe to show the differences in payout systems in a bad luck situation?!

He wouldn't benefit from forging as his own pool uses SMPPS which doesn't do that well in the comparison chart.

It could also be based on what people would earn in *his* pool, were each of those methods were available during that 14 day span.
Of course it isn't live 24/7, in that aspect you are correct. The sample was taken about a month ago. But it's also too precise to be a simulation.

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Sukrim
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August 25, 2011, 12:46:55 AM
 #13

The sample was taken about a month ago. But it's also too precise to be a simulation.
As I said: This is NOT an unmodified sample from any pool.

Why should it be impossible to just simulate a 800 MH/s miner + some randomly distributed blocks by the way? I can do this even in Excel within a few minutes...

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Jack of Diamonds
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August 25, 2011, 02:05:46 AM
 #14


If you hover the mouse over a chart it shows both an estimate, and the actual reward at any time during the 14 day span.
Even if it was simulated it wouldn't make the charts any less valid

Still I would like to hear your explanation why other payment methods are viable when 0% PPS exists.
It's the purest and safest form of mining that exists for the miner.

The Eligius chart shows estimated 24/7 prop. mining earnings nearly 1BTC less per week than PPS [@800mhash] which is significant
(And unlike proportional, hoppers can't benefit from PPS pools, their early shares are treated the same as later shares)

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Sukrim
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August 25, 2011, 02:18:20 AM
 #15

You can simulate not only found blocks but also found shares - then just take different payout models and plot them.

Other payment methods are viable because 0% PPS bears the risk of the pool operator going bankrupt and/or being attacked with a "withholding winning shares" attack, resulting in him loosing money.

Don't you read my posts? The Eligius chart is showing an extreme case of bad luck over a full month! If I presented you the same chart with the opposite amount of luck, all PPS versions/variants would be the bottom line with any other payout system floating on top, as nearly all SMPPS etc. variants are capped at pure PPS level when the pool is lucky.

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Graet
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August 25, 2011, 08:58:45 AM
 #16

Why would you mine with anything BUT a PPS pool?

That depends on one's point of view.

A mining analogy. I once lived in a gold mining town.

There were basiaclly 2 types of miners
Type A: worked as an employee of a company, gets paid a wage. -no variance
Type B: prospected on their own or in groups. -high variance

Type:A were divided into full time and casual,
Type:A1 full time worked at the same mine every day for the same pay/hour,
Type:A2 casual moved from mine to mine getting paid a slightly higher rate but didnt get work every day,

Type:B worked in groups or on their own. so
Type:B1 can be solo prospectors
Type:B2 can be group or co-operative prospectors

Type: A1 miners get same $/hour day in day out
Type: A2 miners move from mine to mine at various payrates (usually higher) and get some "days off" with no pay sometimes.

Type: B1 has long periods of no income but when they do find a few nuggets of gold they have a good payday
Type: B2 has shorter periods of no income but as all "finds" are shared on a value_of_find/%work_done they would have smaller more regular payouts than Type: B1

Now each of these miners chose, depending on lots of variables their preffered method of making income - some need stability of income, some could not work in the same hole in the ground on the same machine day in day out, some are looking to "strike it lucky" - who is to say who is right or wrong in thier choice?
I didnt work on the mines, I was a furniture removalist, it suited my lifestyle better, was I wrong?

Are the "casual workers" "evil" for moving between mines and roles? Or are they trying to increase thier income? (not always succeding)

Yes there are some major differences between real gold mining and Bitcoin mining. In Bitcoin mining, income over time can be expected to equalise given 0 fee pools, low stale share rate etc.

In Bitcoin mining
Type:A1 = pool miner on PPS pool
Type:A2 = hopper or B2 on a dry streak
Type:B1 = solo miner
Type: B2 = pool miner on proportional pool
Is how I see it.



Why would you mine on a PPS pool?

When some proportional pools pay 50BTC+TXNs included in block and charge no fee. It is only small now, but already deepbit has had a block with 16BTC txn fees included. On the pool I mine on that would be 66BTC with 0fee shared among miners for that block, how does PPS share value match that?

Actually as TXNs in blocks become large what is the plan for PPS pools to share that? Or is that just a bonus for PPS poolops?

Then there is the PPS pool mining namecoin but paying BTC PPS - in the forum thread the owner has stated he cant afford to pay out a 8,000,000 share round, does this mean he's warning miners to leave at 7,500,000 shares or risk not getting paid for work done?

One pps poolop I know of "hops" his pool to reduce his variance. The pool has only found one block (as of 2 days ago) and that block went invalid. Sustainable?

One PPS variant pool has gone from a positive buffer to a negative buffer in 10 days after 3 larger than 10,000,000 share rounds.
Another pool had 284BTC worth of shares accumulate over a single longblock.

Then there are the PPS variants where poolops will pay some new and some old shares now and some later in more and more complex ways that make it hard for non-mathematician miners know they are getting paid fairly and when.

On proportional at the end of payout there is no "held" funds. No need for a buffer. No risk of not getting paid.No wondering when or if the shars you do today will get paid.
My risk is paying server costs and putting some of my BTC in for rewards.

Some things to consider when choosing a pool:
Have a proven record
Do they communicate important info re sceduled downtime to all members well in advance, or tell them about it after it has happened?
If hardware or other failure is encountered does the pool "dissapear" for a few days or does the poolop tell his IRC chan, post in forums or in other ways inform miners about unexpected downtime as soon as possible?
Honest open operator
Active support by irc, email or forum
Is the pool a registered entity in the country it is trading in? Or the pool operator may be breaking local tax laws.
Is the payout system not only "fair" but transparent and sustainable?
Fee level
Are transaction fees that come with blocks paid to the miners or withheld by the pool?
How are invalid blocks handled by the pool? Wipe submitted shares and start new round, pay for invalids or pay from one valid block to the next valid block thus ignoring invalid blocks and paying for every valid share submitted to the pool?
Does the pool operator do anything to publicise or advance the cause of Bitcoin in the wider community or just run a pool?
Is the poolop planning to change random data in the blockheaders - an if so what to?
Does the poolop actually know how Bitcoin mining works, I saw one poolop claiming to be "building" a block and "it would be finished soon"!
and finally
Is the poolop an anonymous nick?
Does the payout system suit your lifestyle and do you actually understand how it works?


My thoughts

Graeme Tee
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August 25, 2011, 11:09:05 AM
 #17

Even if it was simulated it wouldn't make the charts any less valid

Still I would like to hear your explanation why other payment methods are viable when 0% PPS exists.
It's the purest and safest form of mining that exists for the miner.
Actually it would. An example is increasing networks speed and mining in a proportional pool. Since the difficulty remains low until the retarget, you obtain more rounds, thus the PPS reward will always be smaller. This has been observed in a day where the blocks almost doubled in frequency, and a majority of pools got extraordinarily "lucky". Not only do you get bigger rewards if you are in the "lucky" pool with proportional, but the other pools benefited because their rounds were shorter or at least not longer.

Getting paid according to theoretical average PPS, when the network speed is increasing, will result in lower rewards.
Getting paid according to theoretical average PPS, when the network speed is decreasing, will result in better rewards.
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August 26, 2011, 02:22:11 AM
 #18

I like my earnings to go up when the pool is lucky, and I accept them going down when it's unlucky.

PPS rewards are based on a completely neutral 50% luck, but several other payout schemes also average the same over a long enough period where luck averages out. Prop suffers from unfairness (i.e. not averaging the same as PPS), and I think some *SMPPS variants give miners the shaft when their money buffer has run out and they're getting long rounds.

I do think pool hoppers are a cancer that's leeching off all the non-hoppers. If everyone was a hopper, every prop pool would grind to a halt on the first non-short round. So yeah, I hope prop pools move to other reward schemes.

Since PPS carries a risk for the pool owner, you as a miner risk losing your last payout if the pool goes bankrupt. Granted, that's not a big sum typically - configure your auto-payouts!

PPS is also the most vulnerable to withholding winning shares. If you're a miner, there's really no incentive to submit the winning shares - you keep earning the same no matter what. Sure, a withholder is hurting the pool owner, but he's also helping himself by driving down the network difficulty, however slightly. If that advantage is worth more than the price of 1 share, any sociopath would choose to do it Smiley But in some other reward schemes, a withholder also hurts himself by preventing his submitted shares from getting paid from the withheld block, so they make withholding unprofitable.
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August 26, 2011, 02:33:08 PM
 #19



As you can see, 24/7 prop. mining is the worst method in existence.

Since there are 0% pure PPS pools like abcpool.co and btcpool24.com,
I assume miners want to voluntarily lose money to hoppers and inferior payment methods by favouring other types of pools.

Bottom line: Every day you do not mine at pure PPS pools (or exploit prop. pools by hopping) you lose money.

*MPPS pools are not being hopped, your pics are invalid...

I don't advice mining pure PPS pools because sooner or later they will not pay their last round(s) because they were too unlucky...

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August 26, 2011, 04:08:16 PM
 #20

*MPPS pools are not being hopped, your pics are invalid...

I don't advice mining pure PPS pools because sooner or later they will not pay their last round(s) because they were too unlucky...

That's not my pic, that's from Eligius pool owner's chart.
http://eligius.st/~luke-jr/samples/800MH-3/

Also PPS is still not dependent on rounds found.

Go to http://abcpool.co and you will see there is not even a round history in existence.
Miners are getting paid for submitted shares & not found blocks.

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