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Author Topic: Vladimir's essential self-defence guide for Bitcoin Miners  (Read 11955 times)
Vladimir
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August 23, 2011, 01:27:25 AM
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August 23, 2011, 01:51:53 AM
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Quote from: Vladimir
Miner's loyalty should be to his wallet.dat not to some pool.

According to that shouldn't people be pool hopping?
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August 23, 2011, 02:31:05 AM
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Well written...but one forum is enough for me
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August 23, 2011, 04:01:55 AM
 #4

Self defence against hopping? WTF?

Firstly: I don't hop, I will never hop (coz it doesn't change anything), small non-PPS pools should like hoppers (especially if the hoppers would not be present otherwise)

In PPS if the share value is fixed, then hopping makes no difference at all - just find the pool with the highest PPS value Tongue

CAN ANYONE give me a mathematical proof that hopping is any of the following:

1) Bad for a pool that pays out blocks based on share%
2) Advantageous for a hopper in these pools

I can think of no statistical proof at all.

The only mathematical side effect that I can think of is the effect it has on the standard deviation of the pools block finding rate.

But this is obvious:
When the Gh/s rate of a pool is low (e.g. under 100Gh/s) the standard deviation is higher ... and it is not linear.
As the Gh/s drops the probability of failing to find a block in a given time increases more than linearly i.e. when the hoppers leave.
As the Gh/s increases the probability of failing to find a block in a given time decreases more than linearly i.e. when the hoppers arive.
(e.g. check my calculator on that subject in my sig: http://tradebtc.net/bitprob.php )

Everyone who I have asked says "oh it is" - but cannot prove it (coz it is false)

The first step to understanding why people say it is, but it isn't, is to understand this wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy

Now unless someone can apply the Monty Hall Problem to hopping, I cannot even see it as anything but a fallacy.

I would place it under the heading of an attempt at taking control of something for which there is actually no control - and that makes people feel better thinking they have control over something rather than being at the whim of statistics Smiley

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August 23, 2011, 04:05:25 AM
 #5

I can think of no statistical proof at all.

The only mathematical side effect that I can think of is the effect it has on the standard deviation of the pools block finding rate.


http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3165.0
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August 23, 2011, 04:56:56 AM
 #6

I can think of no statistical proof at all.

The only mathematical side effect that I can think of is the effect it has on the standard deviation of the pools block finding rate.


http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3165.0

Again:
Quote
CAN ANYONE give me a mathematical proof that hopping is any of the following:

1) Bad for a pool that pays out blocks based on share%
2) Advantageous for a hopper in these pools

I can think of no statistical proof at all.

The paper at that link seems to be all about PPS.
My questions specifically said "based on share%"

I read the first page and found it matched exactly my two php web pages (yes I was surprised to see similar wording I use for my page "Pool Failure Calculator" page http://tradebtc.net/bitprob.php - he obviously wrote the paper long before I wrote that 2nd PHP page, but I had never seen this paper before today)

In a share% payment, your shares % slowly drops after you quit while mining continues until a block is found ...

My issue is that I see hoppers doing the 43.5% on a share% pool and wonder WTF they are doing?
They clearly do not understand mathematics.

To prove the point I will state the simplest example:
If you mine with a share% of 10% at a site for 50% of the expected time to find a block, then, your shares will be worth on average 5% instead of 10% (since your % will slowly drop, after you leave, to 5% until the block is found)
During this time you can go to another pool with the same hash rate and do the same thing ... and thus get a total of 10% ... which is what you would have got to start with Tongue

Adjusting the numbers actually gives the same results - I just used simple numbers to calculate so that anyone should be able to understand it.

Edit: fixed a wording there that wasn't right (i.e. not what I was thinking Smiley

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August 23, 2011, 05:34:08 AM
 #7

The paper at that link seems to be all about PPS.
My questions specifically said "based on share%"

I'm guessing you didn't actually read through the paper (I had only skimmed before, but went back and read it).  It clearly talks about proportional payout pools, shares are mentioned a lot (I'm guessing that's why you're thinking it's talking about PPS), but it's definitely dealing with prop payout.  The shares are mentioned as being used to pay prop. for shares submitted/total block shares.
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August 23, 2011, 05:37:37 AM
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How about "don't let one miner take over 80% of the hashpower of one pool" vlad?

Forget that one?  Ooops Smiley
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August 23, 2011, 05:54:23 AM
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The paper at that link seems to be all about PPS.
My questions specifically said "based on share%"

I'm guessing you didn't actually read through the paper (I had only skimmed before, but went back and read it).  It clearly talks about proportional payout pools, shares are mentioned a lot (I'm guessing that's why you're thinking it's talking about PPS), but it's definitely dealing with prop payout.  The shares are mentioned as being used to pay prop. for shares submitted/total block shares.
No I said it based on the mathematics.
Yes I've already written two PHP pages that use the same mathematics at that first page coz it is very simple maths.

I'd not bother with a PHP page like the 2nd page coz the maths is just about PPS or it's wrong.

Again read my simple example.
In the paper he says that any % will work, so I've given a 50% example that DOESN'T work.
So clearly either it is only about PPS or it's wrong.
(I can see how it would work with PPS)

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August 23, 2011, 07:52:22 AM
 #10

Part 2.

Make sure you do not pay the homage to pool hoppers.

Don't I remember you being (personally) pro hopper at some point? I can't find the post so I could be wrong.

The paper at that link seems to be all about PPS.
My questions specifically said "based on share%"

I'm guessing you didn't actually read through the paper (I had only skimmed before, but went back and read it).  It clearly talks about proportional payout pools, shares are mentioned a lot (I'm guessing that's why you're thinking it's talking about PPS), but it's definitely dealing with prop payout.  The shares are mentioned as being used to pay prop. for shares submitted/total block shares.
No I said it based on the mathematics.
Yes I've already written two PHP pages that use the same mathematics at that first page coz it is very simple maths.

I'd not bother with a PHP page like the 2nd page coz the maths is just about PPS or it's wrong.

Again read my simple example.
In the paper he says that any % will work, so I've given a 50% example that DOESN'T work.
So clearly either it is only about PPS or it's wrong.
(I can see how it would work with PPS)

Mind posting your proof? With chart porn if you please. I'd like to see what you have that proves hopping isn't an issue. Might be able to use it in some arguements with prop pool ops.

I'm especially interested in you showing me how it's possible to hop PPS, and why prop hopping won't work.

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August 23, 2011, 10:05:56 AM
 #11

Part 2.

Make sure you do not pay the homage to pool hoppers.

Don't I remember you being (personally) pro hopper at some point? I can't find the post so I could be wrong.

You remember incorrectly. I am not personally or professionally "pro hopper", never was.

I am neutral.



Apologies then, Vladimir.

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August 23, 2011, 10:12:54 AM
 #12

kano, I will not be providing any mathematical proofs. This has been done many times already on this very forum, use search.

Moreover, simple common sense should be enough.

With reference to a hoppers being good so a small pool. I must agree it is good for such small pool. However this "good" is at expence of ethical miners. In other words hopping friendly small pool effectively conspire with hoppers to rip off 24/7 miners mining in such a pool. I cannot understand how this is not obvious to everyone.

In a hoppable pool if you do not know who the patsy is it is you. Let me assure you that there both pool operator and hoppers know exactly who will be ripped of there.

Good call. Full time miners have to remember that hoppers do not cost the pool any money (unless the hoppers come down on an unprepared  pool like a very small ddos attack). In fact pool ops can benefit from the increased hashrate at the start of a round by using that hashrate for advertising.

Full time miners do however make proportionally less than hoppers and with hash rate decreasing once hoppers leave, they get increased variance too.


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organofcorti
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August 23, 2011, 11:13:03 AM
 #13

Note that some pools actually accept money to allow hoppers hop and it is dutifully documented by hoppers.

In the real world such actions done by a pool would be classified as fraud or worse, I think. Imagine a bank, where you could pay to the bank 10$ to be able to take out of your neighbour account 100$ and for 20$ they would give you a master key from some customers safe deposit boxes.

Some pools are considering a hoppers fee and redistributing the whole fee to their full time miners. With full disclosure, and extra coins every round, full time miners at these pools might start wondering where the money is coming from.

Another point is that pools often stay prop because their members demand it. Maybe your thread might reverse the trend.

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August 23, 2011, 12:15:13 PM
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Full time miners have to remember that hoppers do not cost the pool any money..
This is untrue. This is like those disseminating anti-global warming or anti-evolution information, there is little doubt in the scientific community, but it serves to create a perception that there is even another side besides the one based on fact-finding.

I will post pretty pictures for those who need it. These were done by forum user (and poclbm-autohop creator) Aexoden (not me, conspiracy theorists), who has run simulations here of different payout systems for full-time miners, on a 200ghash pool vs. a 200ghash pool + 100ghash of hoppers. Blue line is what you make.





(edit: I do see something I don't like in these graphs, rounds longer than 1/2 difficulty should be shorter by a .14 difficulty factor, since we assume the first dif*.43 of a round had 50% more hashrate. If the X coordinate is time (not shares), that should result in a subtle skew to the left. Perhaps I will do my own Mathematica simulation, since I know how to generate an accurate "hashes before blockfind" distribution, but then again I don't care that much..)


(edit again: I guess the expected skew is there, in the "with pool hoppers" example, the pool has solved two more blocks by the end.)

Why, I even asked Google  Tongue:








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August 23, 2011, 12:44:06 PM
 #15

Yes, they do cost non-intelligent miners money - but not the pool itself! The pool actually gains, if it swings from occassionally 260GH/s to 60 GH/s sustained vs. only 60 GH/s all the time.

As pool operators charge fees based on income percentages (instead of just fixed fees, like 5 BTC or 50 USD in BTC or whatever per week) they do earn more, the more hash rate they have. Pool hoppers provide hash rate, so they increase the income of operators.


@Vlad:
Doing statistical analysis is also only useful to a certain degree, since a pool operator can do that as well and just configure his share stealing to be within error rates. Also anything displayed on a website can be faked, and if a pool launders it's newly found blocks before paying them out to it's miners, there's nearly no way for users to find out which pool has found which block for sure.

Bottom line is that you have to trust your pool operator. A lot. There are a lot more ways to cheat your users as pool operator and if you do it carefully, it's also maybe detectable, but not provable (if you stay within certain limits). It is for example possible to just mark shares as "stale" at will for the operator and there's no way to dispute this for miners.

Watch your operator(s) closely, pay them reasonable fees (ideally fixed per week/month, NOT percentages of found blocks, as it might make them greedy/desperate) and try to invent/improve new things, like P2Ppool did.

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August 23, 2011, 12:44:44 PM
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Quote
Full time miners have to remember that hoppers do not cost the pool any money..

Read it again carefully... i think he really does mean to say they dont cost the POOL any money.  They do however cost the miners IN the pool money.
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August 23, 2011, 12:49:03 PM
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Full time miners have to remember that hoppers do not cost the pool any money..
This is untrue. This is like those disseminating anti-global warming or anti-evolution information, there is little doubt in the scientific community, but it serves to create a perception that there is even another side besides the one based on fact-finding.
Please read the part i bolded. Actually, perhaps you should just read things properly the first time. You do have a tendency tend to fly off the handle a bit without reading things properly, deepceleron.







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August 23, 2011, 01:07:14 PM
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Quote
Full time miners have to remember that hoppers do not cost the pool any money..

Read it again carefully... i think he really does mean to say they dont cost the POOL any money.  They do however cost the miners IN the pool money.

Even if it doesn't cost the pool directly it will cost indirectly as their 24/7 miners wise up and leave for a hop-proof pool.

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August 23, 2011, 01:18:49 PM
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If this happens, the pool can still switch and maybe win these miners back.

What I meant by fixed amounts was that currently mining is on operator side in any case a game of luck, there's no "PPS" for pools themselves. If this variance is too high for pool operators to bear, this might lead to problems. If you however design a pool that for example only pays out (automatically) once a week, you can then deduct fixed fees transparently from everything mined during that week and distribute the rest. Depending on how hight your expenses + pool luck are, this might shift the effective percentage taken a bit, but allows for more sustainable planning and expansion and might also lead to less accusations of greed/cheating (there is for example NO way to tell for sure if [Tycho] is manipulating stats/mining every 1000th block for himself/doing other evil things as this would all just go down in noise - again, I'm NOT saying he is doing any of these things, just using him as an example). With fixed fees you could be sure that the pool operator always gets what he needs - not more, not less. With just a fixed percentage it's a bit tricky: Is 1% enough? Would 0.95% also be enough? What about 0.94321%? What about the time the Block reward halves? Double the percentage?

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August 23, 2011, 01:37:42 PM
 #20

you've kind of just pointed one of the more insidious potential effect of hopping.  For many small pools switching to PPS is simply not an option due the much higher variance risk they have to bear.  Only last week we saw a small pool shutdown for just that reason.  The endgame is that small pools will gradually lose 24/7 miners to pool large enough to handle PPS.  Leaving them with only hoppers... When they have no 24/7 miners left to leech off the hoppers won't have any advantage and will move onto the next pool.

It's currently very hard for small pools to break in a get a reasonable market share but continue to above scenario to it's logical conclusion and you won't have any more small pools.  Competition and innovation will be seriously damaged.

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