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Author Topic: Incorporating the p2pool concept into Bitcoin  (Read 17347 times)
TierNolan
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January 07, 2014, 08:09:11 PM
 #41

Are any pools known to be mining against p2pool at present?

This is the only one I know of.  The admin of the pool commented in the other p2pool thread and his pool thread is here

That stats suggest that nobody is mining bitcoin on it though.  If a miner uses his system, they would only get the same effect as mining using p2pool.

As I said, if p2pool gets more hashing power, the minimum difficulty increases.  Pools like that act as a 2nd buffer.

P2pool has the potential to act as a backbone for lots of small pools (say 0.1% of total hashing power each).  By grouping together, they get low variance without centralising control of the system.

Normally, large pools have an advantage over small pools due to smaller pool variance.

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dperfect
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January 09, 2014, 04:14:13 PM
 #42

It sounds like there may be some interest in bringing p2pool (or a similar concept) closer to the reference Bitcoin implementation (whether that be a change in the protocol, bundling p2pool with the reference client, or simply giving p2pool a stronger online presence in connection with bitcoin.org).

I'd like to try and gauge interest in the various approaches to solving this problem, and perhaps (if it hasn't been done already) formalize some kind of plan of action.

The possible directions I'm seeing are (and these are not mutually exclusive):


  • More discussion leading to a formal BIP submission with changes to the Bitcoin protocol and reference client. Then, I guess we wait and hope that either the core team can get to accepting and implementing that BIP sooner rather than later (understanding that there are numerous accepted BIPs whose priority seem to be uncertain), or someone else can step up to the challenge... makes we wonder though how many developers outside the core team there really are that have the expertise, familiarity with Bitcoin, and incentive to contribute such a fundamental change in the timeline needed.
  • More discussion about improvements to p2pool (as the separate piece of software it is now) attempting to address any technical shortcomings of p2pool (scaling, speed, hardware requirements, etc).
  • More discussion about improving the non-technical issues of p2pool - public awareness, user experience improvements, etc.
  • Discussing ways to add resources/velocity to the speedy development of one or more of the solutions above (in the form of crowdfunding, offering bounties, raising developer awareness, etc).


So my question is: how can we best contribute to this issue being solved effectively in the quickest timeframe possible?

What do the core developers feel is most needed at this point? Can we all try and reach some kind of consensus as to how this should be addressed? I feel like unless we can (most of us anyway) concentrate our efforts on one of these things, we are wasting time and resources by chasing a number of different proposals. In theory (with open-source software like Bitcoin), a number of separate contributing groups can work on different solutions to the same problem, and I suppose the best of many potential solutions would naturally emerge, but in the case of Bitcoin, I get the feeling that the number of developers in a position to make these kinds of changes is somewhat limited, and we don't have the time to wait for a solution to just roll around "naturally".

Any thoughts or opinions on how best to move forward to address this concern?

I'm afraid that if we don't act quickly, these discussions will merely become artifacts of a failed cryptocurrency replaced by something better - all because we couldn't fix these kinds of issues fast enough.
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January 09, 2014, 08:13:21 PM
 #43

The largest problem is probably variance. Miners seem to hate variance which is why we have large pools to begin with. That's kind of a chicken and egg problem though.

Remember that increased usage of p2pool will only increase payout variance to most miners, the opposite dynamic to that of joining a large centralised pool.

It sounds like there may be some interest in bringing p2pool (or a similar concept) closer to the reference Bitcoin implementation (whether that be a change in the protocol, bundling p2pool with the reference client, or simply giving p2pool a stronger online presence in connection with bitcoin.org).

I'd like to try and gauge interest in the various approaches to solving this problem, and perhaps (if it hasn't been done already) formalize some kind of plan of action.

The possible directions I'm seeing are (and these are not mutually exclusive):


  • More discussion leading to a formal BIP submission with changes to the Bitcoin protocol and reference client. Then, I guess we wait and hope that either the core team can get to accepting and implementing that BIP sooner rather than later (understanding that there are numerous accepted BIPs whose priority seem to be uncertain), or someone else can step up to the challenge... makes we wonder though how many developers outside the core team there really are that have the expertise, familiarity with Bitcoin, and incentive to contribute such a fundamental change in the timeline needed.
  • More discussion about improvements to p2pool (as the separate piece of software it is now) attempting to address any technical shortcomings of p2pool (scaling, speed, hardware requirements, etc).
  • More discussion about improving the non-technical issues of p2pool - public awareness, user experience improvements, etc.
  • Discussing ways to add resources/velocity to the speedy development of one or more of the solutions above (in the form of crowdfunding, offering bounties, raising developer awareness, etc).


To reiterate, if all miners were forced onto p2pool tomorrow, the share difficulty would be pushed up so high that I suspect many lower hashing rigs would quit due to the uncertainty of getting a payout (people with less than > 1TH/s rigs could be mining for months with zero payout, which is a risk they won't tolerate in an environment with rising block difficulty and 24/7 multi-100 watt electricity usage)

My brief tug of war with Tier Nolan should illustrate one important area of improvement to investigate: hardware design. The current generation of hardware comprises many ASIC chips working in a single unit, interfacing with a low cost computing device to run the mining software that schedules and feeds the work to the chips. Some aspect of these current designs makes it necessary to only return the results of work in batches that last ~30 seconds. Forrestv overhauled the share interval and the length of the PPLNS window that p2pool uses just in order to accommodate this type of hardware. When GPUs and FPGAs were the dominant mining devices available, 10 second share interval spread over 24 hours was fine. This was changed to 30 second share interval spread over 72 hours for the typical ASIC.

Can we get ASIC designers to produce chips or PCB layouts that make <10 second share intervals possible once again? The dust is beginning to settle in the ASIC node geometry wars, so they'll need some different direction to go in if they wish to continue to innovate.

Vires in numeris
dperfect
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January 09, 2014, 08:47:00 PM
Last edit: January 09, 2014, 09:08:49 PM by dperfect
 #44

To reiterate, if all miners were forced onto p2pool tomorrow, the share difficulty would be pushed up so high that I suspect many lower hashing rigs would quit due to the uncertainty of getting a payout (people with less than > 1TH/s rigs could be mining for months with zero payout, which is a risk they won't tolerate in an environment with rising block difficulty and 24/7 multi-100 watt electricity usage)

My brief tug of war with Tier Nolan should illustrate one important area of improvement to investigate: hardware design. The current generation of hardware comprises many ASIC chips working in a single unit, interfacing with a low cost computing device to run the mining software that schedules and feeds the work to the chips. Some aspect of these current designs makes it necessary to only return the results of work in batches that last ~30 seconds. Forrestv overhauled the share interval and the length of the PPLNS window that p2pool uses just in order to accommodate this type of hardware. When GPUs and FPGAs were the dominant mining devices available, 10 second share interval spread over 24 hours was fine. This was changed to 30 second share interval spread over 72 hours for the typical ASIC.

Can we get ASIC designers to produce chips or PCB layouts that make <10 second share intervals possible once again? The dust is beginning to settle in the ASIC node geometry wars, so they'll need some different direction to go in if they wish to continue to innovate.

Sorry for potentially misunderstanding the problem, but why is hardware - in any way - dictating the direction of software development here? Bitcoin itself is built to scale with changing hardware capabilities by automatically adjusting difficulty as needed. What makes a decentralized mining pool so different conceptually?

Why do you worry about forcing out a subset of current miners who will be forced out with time (and increasing difficulty) anyway? If all miners were forced onto p2pool tomorrow and people with less than (as an example) 1TH/s rigs are no longer competitive, would the remainder of the hashing power distribution really be any less diverse in terms of control than the current situation with GHash.IO? It seems to me that with a bit of time, everyone currently mining is going to be "forced out" anyway due to the competitive forces of hardware advancement. If a software change temporarily accelerates that process in an unbiased way for everyone on the network, how is that bad? The only way I can see it mattering significantly is if the % of miners forced out is very high (e.g., a majority of all miners) causing a slightly "unfair" advantage for those with access to the best hardware (since the marginal cost for additional ASIC hardware could buy a slightly bigger piece of the pie than it could previously), but that was true when the first ASIC rigs became available anyway. The market (in my opinion) has and will adjust if there is any such economic advantage for certain classes of mining hardware.
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January 09, 2014, 10:58:51 PM
 #45

Sorry for potentially misunderstanding the problem, but why is hardware - in any way - dictating the direction of software development here? Bitcoin itself is built to scale with changing hardware capabilities by automatically adjusting difficulty as needed. What makes a decentralized mining pool so different conceptually?

Well, I'm not lying to you when I say that the p2pool developer changed the system to make it possible to use the type of hardware design that the first ASICs used. People tried using AsicMiner blades and Avalons on p2pool when they first came out in Spring 2013, and they didn't work. Forrestv changed the share interval and it's overall period to allow for it. So there's one way that hardware has dictated the direction of p2pool's design. Kind of pretty significant really, there was a lengthy hand-off period between the old scheme and the new scheme, after which the nodes running the old scheme were cut off from everyone running the 30sec/72 hour version.

The current range of hardware can only perform with the characteristics that it has been designed with, and I'm not sure to what extent that was to simplify the development, the design, or to help conform to standards in the protocol (the mining protocol changed shortly before ASICs, to enable their efficient usage of network bandwidth, and I believe we have two standards to replace the old CPU and GPU proficient standard)

What the challenges are with changing the hardware to send and return solution attempts in shorter batches, I'm not entirely clear on. So I'm putting it out there.

Why do you worry about forcing out a subset of current miners who will be forced out with time (and increasing difficulty) anyway? If all miners were forced onto p2pool tomorrow and people with less than (as an example) 1TH/s rigs are no longer competitive, would the remainder of the hashing power distribution really be any less diverse in terms of control than the current situation with GHash.IO? It seems to me that with a bit of time, everyone currently mining is going to be "forced out" anyway due to the competitive forces of hardware advancement. If a software change temporarily accelerates that process in an unbiased way for everyone on the network, how is that bad? The only way I can see it mattering significantly is if the % of miners forced out is very high (e.g., a majority of all miners) causing a slightly "unfair" advantage for those with access to the best hardware (since the marginal cost for additional ASIC hardware could buy a slightly bigger piece of the pie than it could previously), but that was true when the first ASIC rigs became available anyway. The market (in my opinion) has and will adjust if there is any such economic advantage for certain classes of mining hardware.

When you think about the health of the mining network overall, you've got to consider the influence the players have. The big centralised pools get consulted to secure their cooperation with any issues on the network that require emergency measures (blockchain rollbacks, emergency patches being the issues that come to mind). Forcing small players out of the network to "decentralise" may only end up further consolidating the influence of the big players. In the growing climate for big private mining firms, both now and in the near future, protecting the share of the small players is important. What you're suggesting decreases the incentive to mining hardware manufacturers for attempting to produce anything but the most dense and voluminous concentration of hashing power in a unit. What if all mining devices ended up requiring 240 volt electricity supplies, and thousands of watts of heat exhaustion? So much for vires in numeris.

We should do all we can to diversify the mining network to keep everybody pulling in the same direction, as the mining network is such a fundamental part of bitcoin's security and integrity. A small number of large firms with self run mega-mines puts too much decision making power in too few hands. There are many potential scenarios for that kind of situation to cause setbacks and imbalances. We should be aiming to make the network with a low barrier to entry, so that even very small players can have a stake in the gains and the rules that create the supply of this money. Promoting an environment that allows large firms to corner the market could put us all in a position not unlike the way money has been issued in the past. I became involved with cryptocurrency in part because it represented  an opportunity to change that situation for the better.

Vires in numeris
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January 10, 2014, 01:04:50 AM
 #46

Sorry for potentially misunderstanding the problem, but why is hardware - in any way - dictating the direction of software development here? Bitcoin itself is built to scale with changing hardware capabilities by automatically adjusting difficulty as needed. What makes a decentralized mining pool so different conceptually?

Well, I'm not lying to you when I say that the p2pool developer changed the system to make it possible to use the type of hardware design that the first ASICs used. People tried using AsicMiner blades and Avalons on p2pool when they first came out in Spring 2013, and they didn't work. Forrestv changed the share interval and it's overall period to allow for it. So there's one way that hardware has dictated the direction of p2pool's design. Kind of pretty significant really, there was a lengthy hand-off period between the old scheme and the new scheme, after which the nodes running the old scheme were cut off from everyone running the 30sec/72 hour version.

The current range of hardware can only perform with the characteristics that it has been designed with, and I'm not sure to what extent that was to simplify the development, the design, or to help conform to standards in the protocol (the mining protocol changed shortly before ASICs, to enable their efficient usage of network bandwidth, and I believe we have two standards to replace the old CPU and GPU proficient standard)

What the challenges are with changing the hardware to send and return solution attempts in shorter batches, I'm not entirely clear on. So I'm putting it out there.

Why do you worry about forcing out a subset of current miners who will be forced out with time (and increasing difficulty) anyway? If all miners were forced onto p2pool tomorrow and people with less than (as an example) 1TH/s rigs are no longer competitive, would the remainder of the hashing power distribution really be any less diverse in terms of control than the current situation with GHash.IO? It seems to me that with a bit of time, everyone currently mining is going to be "forced out" anyway due to the competitive forces of hardware advancement. If a software change temporarily accelerates that process in an unbiased way for everyone on the network, how is that bad? The only way I can see it mattering significantly is if the % of miners forced out is very high (e.g., a majority of all miners) causing a slightly "unfair" advantage for those with access to the best hardware (since the marginal cost for additional ASIC hardware could buy a slightly bigger piece of the pie than it could previously), but that was true when the first ASIC rigs became available anyway. The market (in my opinion) has and will adjust if there is any such economic advantage for certain classes of mining hardware.

When you think about the health of the mining network overall, you've got to consider the influence the players have. The big centralised pools get consulted to secure their cooperation with any issues on the network that require emergency measures (blockchain rollbacks, emergency patches being the issues that come to mind). Forcing small players out of the network to "decentralise" may only end up further consolidating the influence of the big players. In the growing climate for big private mining firms, both now and in the near future, protecting the share of the small players is important. What you're suggesting decreases the incentive to mining hardware manufacturers for attempting to produce anything but the most dense and voluminous concentration of hashing power in a unit. What if all mining devices ended up requiring 240 volt electricity supplies, and thousands of watts of heat exhaustion? So much for vires in numeris.

We should do all we can to diversify the mining network to keep everybody pulling in the same direction, as the mining network is such a fundamental part of bitcoin's security and integrity. A small number of large firms with self run mega-mines puts too much decision making power in too few hands. There are many potential scenarios for that kind of situation to cause setbacks and imbalances. We should be aiming to make the network with a low barrier to entry, so that even very small players can have a stake in the gains and the rules that create the supply of this money. Promoting an environment that allows large firms to corner the market could put us all in a position not unlike the way money has been issued in the past. I became involved with cryptocurrency in part because it represented  an opportunity to change that situation for the better.


I guess all I can do is echo gmaxwell's sentiment:

The smallest mining device that I'm aware of that you can currently buy which is within a factor of ten of the best $/GH devices (e.g. remotely competitive at all) costs about $2000.  Why is a ~$2 bottom of the end cellphone/stb microprocessor your target device for controlling thousands of dollars of hardware? Doesn't this seem more than a little ridiculous?  Especially when the consequence is an abdication of control which undermines the security assumptions of the Bitcoin system and which— if exploited— could leave your hardware and the Bitcoin previously produced by it worthless?


In your mind, mining can only either be controlled by a $2 microprocessor, or "the most dense and voluminous concentration of hashing power in a unit... requiring 240 volt electricity supplies, and thousands of watts of heat exhaustion"? Really, nothing in between?

I find it difficult to comprehend how someone could make a case for delaying or hindering adoption of a critical, network-saving change just for the sake of ridiculous hardware constraints like that mentioned above... unless there is a conflict of interest involved or some kind of financial incentive to profit from the deployment of such devices.

I... simply don't have the words to describe my dismay at this kind of flawed reasoning. If the only thing standing between Bitcoin's success and failure are a bunch of overpriced machines controlled by Raspberry Pis (engineered, by the way, to be underpowered and save *pennies* for the sake of bringing technology education to the less fortunate), then I'm sorry, Bitcoin is dead. End of story. We're talking about securing a global decentralized cryptocurrency, not learning to type "print('Hello, World!')".
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January 10, 2014, 02:41:34 AM
 #47

In your mind, mining can only either be controlled by a $2 microprocessor, or "the most dense and voluminous concentration of hashing power in a unit... requiring 240 volt electricity supplies, and thousands of watts of heat exhaustion"? Really, nothing in between?

Er, you're kind of comparing apples to oranges there. I'm not sure that I made any case for using anything but the most basic device as a controller. Comparing a cheap controller with the amount of hashing per unit is missing the point.

I find it difficult to comprehend how someone could make a case for delaying or hindering adoption of a critical, network-saving change just for the sake of ridiculous hardware constraints like that mentioned above... unless there is a conflict of interest involved or some kind of financial incentive to profit from the deployment of such devices.

I... simply don't have the words to describe my dismay at this kind of flawed reasoning. If the only thing standing between Bitcoin's success and failure are a bunch of overpriced machines controlled by Raspberry Pis (engineered, by the way, to be underpowered and save *pennies* for the sake of bringing technology education to the less fortunate), then I'm sorry, Bitcoin is dead. End of story. We're talking about securing a global decentralized cryptocurrency, not learning to type "print('Hello, World!')".

You're making a strangely exaggerated argument. Which is it to be, that we should have low priced miners, overpriced miners, or that bitcoin is dead?

There is twisty logic mayhem in your post. I'm not convinced you understand mining or miner hardware too well.

Vires in numeris
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January 10, 2014, 04:02:54 AM
 #48


Er, you're kind of comparing apples to oranges there. I'm not sure that I made any case for using anything but the most basic device as a controller. Comparing a cheap controller with the amount of hashing per unit is missing the point.

...You're making a strangely exaggerated argument. Which is it to be, that we should have low priced miners, overpriced miners, or that bitcoin is dead?

There is twisty logic mayhem in your post. I'm not convinced you understand mining or miner hardware too well.

Yes, I understand the difference between a controller (which admittedly can run on very low-end hardware) and hashing power. My point is, if you were using a $35 piece of hardware to control a nuclear reactor (yes, I'm exaggerating a bit to make a point), and the reactor - or rather the entire energy grid - were at risk of meltdown without a very minor, known-working hardware upgrade (compared to the reactor) for the controller to support the software fix, would you be wasting time trying to figure out how to somehow re-architect the software to run on the old hardware just to save a couple of bucks?

Do you really think that forcing/encouraging that minimal upgrade would disrupt the current (non-existent) "balance of power" on the network?

No, I don't think that's comparing apples to oranges. If anything, I think the current mining situation is even more ridiculous given the fact that (assuming the network survives), all of the current hashing power mining behind those cheap controllers is going to become worthless in a year (or less) anyway.

Go ahead and spin your wheels trying to save a small subset of current mining hardware while you watch the network crash as all those ignorant miners  who purchased pi-controlled ASICs point their hashing power at "benevolent" centralized pools who would NEVER do anything harmful (because the miners don't know better and/or they can't run something better on their controllers). Don't complain that we didn't have enough time/resources to fix the problem. Talk about missing the forest for the trees...
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January 10, 2014, 05:37:02 AM
Last edit: January 10, 2014, 05:51:39 AM by dperfect
 #49

To put it another way, let's fast forward 10 years to a time when (if Bitcoin is still around) all of the mining hardware you're referring to is completely useless for any kind of profitable mining. The state-of-the-art mining rigs dwarf all of today's machines in comparison. Are you going to be fighting the same battle then, arguing that since some miners from years ago relied on obsolete microcontrollers for controlling their mining hardware, development should still cater to those as a least common denominator?

Because, as you put it earlier, "more overall hashrate is better." Apparently that assertion trumps all other concerns.

How could the network possibly deal with those people shutting down obsolete mining rigs? /sarcasm

(I honestly don't mean any personal disrespect in this conversation - I'm just finding it difficult to understand the rationale for catering to any specific hardware configuration, especially a hardware configuration that seems so… misguided and cheap).
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January 10, 2014, 04:29:41 PM
 #50

People will use marginally profitable hardware while the exchange rate keeps it that way. A 100% p2pool network would give more than just the marginally profitable too much variance to tolerate, I think I quoted > 1TH/s.

Vires in numeris
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January 10, 2014, 06:24:39 PM
Last edit: January 10, 2014, 07:54:21 PM by TierNolan
 #51

I was discussing the issues with incorporating sub-pools into the protocol with Riclas.

The problem with having sub-pools is how to manage trust.

When a sub-pool connects to the network, it gets paid all the block rewards.  The pool operator is then responsible for actually making the payout.

This could be handled by a complex system of reputation tokens and fraud proofs.

But, a simple way of finding reliable nodes would be to do a few tests.  There would be some risk initially.

The miner connects to a random sub-pool and does 0.01BTC worth of mining.  If the node sends him the 0.01BTC, then he does another 0.01BTC worth of mining for that node.

The miner could do solo mining for any additional hash rate it had.

The payment channels system could be used here too.  The server puts 0.001BTC in a channel and then uses it to pay the miner as hashes arrive.

The channel size could be expanded as the miner does more work.

The rule could be that nodes which are hitting a share more than once an hour act just mine directly.  Nodes which are hitting less than one share per hour would search for super-nodes.  Nodes could indicate if they are super-nodes on connect and maybe include it in any address messages.

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January 10, 2014, 07:08:29 PM
 #52

I envision p2pool being hierarchical for it to succeed: sharechain > sub-pools > nodes > miners
randomly connecting to nodes/sub-pools solves the high variance problem of bitcoin. Miners are no longer incentivized to join a pool/node with the most hashrate, since they should be automatically balanced.
However, doing so raises the trust issue that TierNolan described and to which he proposes an incremental trust level solution.
I believe this is the way to go for p2pool to go mainstream. People just access the network, start mining, no cares given unless they want to.

Buying and selling Bitcoin through National, SEPA and MBWAY bank transfer: https://localbitcoins.com/accounts/profile/riclas/?ch=4mm6
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January 10, 2014, 10:53:52 PM
 #53

People will use marginally profitable hardware while the exchange rate keeps it that way. A 100% p2pool network would give more than just the marginally profitable too much variance to tolerate, I think I quoted > 1TH/s.

I understand what you're saying. If we're just talking about variance, then yes, I agree variance is a problem, especially if it forces a large percentage of miners to discontinue mining. But when it comes to controller hardware/software considerations, I don't think the variance argument really applies, because if tomorrow the protocol/software necessitated a slight upgrade in controller hardware in order to keep current mining hardware functional, I believe most would upgrade very quickly (if the choice is between turning your mining investment into a paperweight and spending a few bucks to upgrade the controller hardware, it's not a tough decision). The cost of controller hardware is and likely always will be a tiny fraction of the total cost of a competitive mining rig. For that reason, I still believe that the solution should not necessarily cater to any specific hardware configuration.
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January 10, 2014, 11:40:56 PM
 #54

People will use marginally profitable hardware while the exchange rate keeps it that way. A 100% p2pool network would give more than just the marginally profitable too much variance to tolerate, I think I quoted > 1TH/s.

I understand what you're saying. If we're just talking about variance, then yes, I agree variance is a problem, especially if it forces a large percentage of miners to discontinue mining. But when it comes to controller hardware/software considerations, I don't think the variance argument really applies, because if tomorrow the protocol/software necessitated a slight upgrade in controller hardware in order to keep current mining hardware functional, I believe most would upgrade very quickly (if the choice is between turning your mining investment into a paperweight and spending a few bucks to upgrade the controller hardware, it's not a tough decision). The cost of controller hardware is and likely always will be a tiny fraction of the total cost of a competitive mining rig. For that reason, I still believe that the solution should not necessarily cater to any specific hardware configuration.

I don't think you understood what I was talking about wrt hardware changes. I wasn't suggesting a change to the controllers at all.

Vires in numeris
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January 11, 2014, 12:19:10 AM
Last edit: January 11, 2014, 02:24:52 AM by dperfect
 #55

I don't think you understood what I was talking about wrt hardware changes. I wasn't suggesting a change to the controllers at all.

Thanks - my bad. I confused your point about the challenge (or benefits) of integrating p2pool into the reference client ("…these cheap machines would still be out of the question… The main client really struggles on the 512Mb RAM raspberry pi") with your separate/main point regarding variance. Thanks for being patient with me as I become more familiar with the details of p2pool and the mining landscape.

It sounds like there are some good discussions happening among people who know a lot more about this than I, so I'm happy about that. I'm just hoping that an effective solution can be engineered, deployed, and adopted before it's too late Smiley
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January 11, 2014, 01:41:07 PM
 #56

I envision p2pool being hierarchical for it to succeed: sharechain > sub-pools > nodes > miners
randomly connecting to nodes/sub-pools solves the high variance problem of bitcoin. Miners are no longer incentivized to join a pool/node with the most hashrate, since they should be automatically balanced.
However, doing so raises the trust issue that TierNolan described and to which he proposes an incremental trust level solution.
I believe this is the way to go for p2pool to go mainstream. People just access the network, start mining, no cares given unless they want to.

+1

How about..

Main p2pool share-chain. (Or a blockchain that ran on a 1024 PPLNS system by default)

Then 1024 sub-p2pools, each mining the main p2pool chain.

When you connect to the network you always connect to one of the sub-pools. Basically the weakest one in terms of hashrate.

You reconnect/re-organise your miner every 24hrs/Some amount of blocks. To keep the sub pool hash rates even.

Repeat.

The goal would be 1024 p2pools with ~0.1% total hashrate each. Not that it would matter that much if one pool was a few percent more powerful than another. Your payouts would be of the same amount, just different variance.

All done automagically.. No need for user to worry about it. Just connect and go!
  

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spartacusrex
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January 11, 2014, 03:40:05 PM
 #57

Actually, thinking about it..

How does a p2pool sub pool get paid by the p2pool main chain 1 level up ?

There could be, let's say 1000 outputs on the coinbase txn of the sub pool, and then in the p2pool main chain there could be 1000 shares from the various subpools.

This would mean having literally a million payouts in the coinbase txn..

err.. not sure now..

You can have the top level p2pool, but then you need the regular centralised pools as the sub pools, otherwise as I said, the coinbase becomes toooo large..

 Huh


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January 11, 2014, 07:04:52 PM
 #58

This would mean having literally a million payouts in the coinbase txn..

There would need to be a payout threshold.  At the moment, fees are 0.0001 per tx.

Centralised pools generally have a payout threshold that is larger than that too.

Even if you get a share, you don't get paid until you have increased your "balance" sufficiently.

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January 11, 2014, 08:05:17 PM
Last edit: January 29, 2014, 07:08:53 PM by blockgenesis
 #59

If you want to work on fixing this, IMHO the right place to start is by improving the bitcoin.org website. Create a section for miners and put best practices and advice there, make videos showing how to configure p2pool, heck, as p2pool screwed up their own website why not give it a section of bitcoin.org and work with Forrest to make that the official website? There are no other competing decentralised pools after all.

I just opened a pull request to recommend smaller pools / P2Pool / pools with GBT in the "Support Bitcoin" page on bitcoin.org, in case anyone is interested:
Pull req : https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.org/pull/296

IMO, it would be nice to have a similar recommendation on bitcoinmining.com:
http://www.bitcoinmining.com/bitcoin-mining-pools/

And I would be happy to help forrestv to make his own website a little more readable:
http://p2pool.in/

FWIW, I think it is more suitable for P2Pool to remain on a dedicated domain. Serving it on bitcoin.org would just bury it under a lot of unrelevant information and make it harder to find. The website would also be managed by people with no involvement with P2Pool, which I think isn't the logical next step.

I agree that promoting P2Pool is only a small part of the solution. Yet, still much better than not doing it.

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spartacusrex
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January 12, 2014, 04:52:06 PM
 #60

Question..

If you were running a 10 second share chain, like p2pool, is it even possible to run a pool on that ?

The chain would be too fast to have another pool trying to find smaller shares, say every 1 second ?

The messages just wouldn't have time to propagate across the network.

Is that correct?

You would need a different mechanism. Maybe one based on sending different miners a range of nonce values they should try, so that no 2 miners search the same space, and then when someone finds a valid block just publish it with payouts made to all.. Seems like 'trust' would need to be involved for that to work though.



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