Eligius-Ra to Eligius-Hu Transition
Greetings Eligius Miners,
As you may or may not be aware, Eligius is currently transitioning from Eligius-Ra (CPPSRB, wizstats, etc) to Eligius-Hu (SAPPLNS, new stats, new features, etc). Effective as of block 446827 Eligius-Ra has been shutdown with Eligius-Hu has taking its place. This transition, which has been announced for several months with an indefinite time frame, is finally taking place. I have detailed some key points about this transition below.End of Eligius-Ra
First, some details surrounding the end of Eligius-Ra. (If you're new to Eligius, skip to "Eligius-Hu - The Next Iteration" below.) A final payout was made on 2017-01-06 to all Eligius miners with a balance of at least 1 TBC (0.00065536 BTC). A total of 5,968 Eligius miners were paid across 18 transactions, all of which appear to be confirmed at the time of this writing.
A few outstanding issues remained with payouts for Eligius-Ra. Those were the hold placed on payouts to known MtGox mining addresses (February 2014) and the disposition of payouts held with regard to a block withholding attack (June 2014). Both of these issues have been discussed with legal counsel in depth. Our counsel had diligently reviewed available case law that may have had relevance as well as contacted several authorities in the course of their research in determining a proper course of action for these two issues. There was no perfect solution to these situations and they’ve been handled in manners that best cover any potential liability for Eligius.MtGox
The disposition of the held payouts to miners using addresses associated with MtGox had been researched thoroughly. Eligius’s counsel had reached out to the Trustee of MtGox seeking a method to authenticate and directly pay the owners of record for the MtGox account associated with the Eligius users. Unfortunately this turned out to be unsuccessful. The team handling the MtGox bankruptcy case was unwilling to assist Eligius or the users with this situation. With no way to cryptographically verify ownership of the addresses cousel advised that the only course of action was to release the payouts to their original MtGox wallet addresses. This in fact done in the final payout for Eligius-Ra. In the interest of full disclosure, wizkid057 did personally know one miner who utilized an MtGox wallet for their Eligius mining. In early 2014, prior to the advice of counsel, that payout of approximately 0.4 BTC was manually paid to that miner. Per counsel, the payout to the original MtGox address for that miner must also still be made and was made in the final payout. This error was personally covered by wizkid057.Block Withholding Attack
A potential disposition of funds associated with the admitted June 2014 block withholding attack was also researched extensively by counsel. The initial resolution was to distribute the funds to the shelved shares during the time period associated with miners who would have potentially been affected by the withholding attack. This was investigated, and the CPPSRB share log for that time period was analyzed extensively. It was concluded that the pool’s reward system had already earned enough as a result of short term luck to cover the vast majority of shelved shares that would have potentially been affected by the attack. Further analysis showed that the majority of the addresses from that time period actually had no shelved shares that would have otherwise been paid had the attack not happened. Any that did still have any shelved share deficit that could be linked to the attack were either no longer active on the pool or blockchain since that time and/or, if awarded a calculated potential deficit, would be under the 2 TBC low-balance donation cut off balance after such an award was made. Only a very small number of miners did not fit into these categories as it appears that miner turnover was quite high since then.
General morals coincided with the advice of counsel in this case. It would not be right to utilize a distribution method that disproportionately benefited the pool itself (in the form of hundreds of low-balance donations) and instead actual miners should be awarded.
The distribution of these funds went as follows, as approved by legal counsel:
Miners from the time period that were no longer active at Eligius nor had a balance but had a potential reward deficit of more than 2 TBC (0.00131072 BTC) had those shelved CPPSRB shares awarded.
Miners from the time period that were either still active at Eligius and/or had an outstanding balance such that awarding their shelved shares from the time period would bring their balance to 2 TBC (0.00131072 BTC) had those shelved CPPSRB shares awarded.
The above only helped less than 0.5% of miners in the final Eligius-Ra payout and left over 98% of the block withholding attack related funds unrewarded.
The remaining funds were awarded to shares starting at the top of the CPPSRB share log. This had the effect of rewarding a large number of shelved shares of miners who have been active at Eligius over the past half-year or more.
The end result was that these funds were awarded to Eligius miners in a fashion where no miner had an unfair advantage, and, perhaps most importantly, 100% of the funds went to Eligius miners.Eligius-Ra Final Payout Notes
After all of the above was handled, a final payout was computed. Normally any payout less than 2 TBC (0.00131072 BTC) would be donated to Eligius after 60 days, however this policy was never actually implemented. Instead, miners with a balance of less than 1 TBC (0.00065536 BTC) were culled from the final payout. Those addresses were then removed from the share log and the sum of culled funds were awarded to the share log and another final payout was computed. This repeated until there were no more payouts below 1 TBC. Long story short, instead of low balances being donated to Eligius they were instead distributed to other miners who had been actively supporting the pool.
The final payout went to 5,698 addresses in the following transactions:
As a result, all miners have been paid and Eligius holds no additional miner funds. Eligius-Ra is shutdown.Eligius-Hu - The Next Iteration
Eligius has had several different reward systems over its many years of operation. In that time the mining landscape has changed significantly. For example, when Eligius was founded the network difficulty was a mere fraction of a percentage of what is today and the number of miners has increased just as much. Eligius has always been hard at work improving to provide the best pool with the lowest possible fee: none, 0%.
Eligius-Hu is the next generation of these improvements.New Reward System
Eligius-Hu has moved away from CPPSRB and on to a partly new reward system which I’ve tenatively dubbed SAPPLNS. This stands for Share Assignment, Pay Per Last N Shares. Like other iterations before it, Eligius-Hu will also utilize a robust coinbase payout system, directly paying miners from the blocks found by the pool. The pool pays 100% of the block reward, including transaction fees, to miners. There are no still no mining fees at Eligius!
Now you’re probably familiar with the “PPLNS” portion of that. Many pools today use this system. However, as always Eligius stands out from the crowd. Eligius-Hu’s underlying reward system is true PPLNS with N=diff*8. There are no shifts. A full share log is kept, and when a block is found shares are rewarded accordingly. While this may seem difficult to keep such a large share log, keep in mind that this work was already mostly done when CPPSRB was created: its share log had no limit on size. With PPLNS, as you probably know, shares can be awarded to miners multiple times during periods of high luck, potentially resulting in a short term payout higher than 100% PPS (conversely, shares may be discarded during periods of low luck).
Since the N chosen is large (to lower miner variance) the top of the Eligius-Ra CPPSRB share log (after the final payout) was used as a starting point to fill in the initial PPLNS log for Eligius-Hu.Share Assignments
The “SA” portion of this system is where Eligius once again stands apart from the competition. Under this reward system a miner is permitted to reassign any share that has been accepted and is in the share log. What this means is that miners can sell shares they have submitted to Eligius to other people/miners/etc.
For example, in a hypothetical situation let’s say on average at your hash rate you tend to have 1000 shares in the share log that get rewarded per block, and on average this earns you 1 BTC. Well, you decide to put your shares up for sale at 1.05x their expected value because you desire a lower variance and potentially higher overall reward for your mining. Someone can then purchase a number of your shares from you. You get paid your asking price, and the buyer is then awarded by those shares each time a block is found from then on just as if they had mined them instead of you. This person then gets a generated payout from Eligius for their earnings just as if they were a regular miner. Due to variance, that buyer may be rewarded more or less than they paid for the shares, on average tending towards 100% PPS.
A shortened summary is that miners can set a price that they want to earn for their shares and either they will be awarded by the pool normally for those shares (not reassigned) or they will be paid their asking price (reassigned). It’s a win-win for everyone. Miners can potentially earn more for their shares, and buyers can get generated coins from Eligius as if they were Eligius miners themselves.
Additionally, miners may choose to put their shares for sale for less than their expected value. For example, you could sell your shares for 98% of expected value. The result would basically be you accepting a small cut in payouts, on average, in exchange for less payout variance. Buyers then can assume that variance and, on average, gain a 2% profit (in this example). In my private discussions with others during development this was a very well received point of the system.
The owner of a share can let it stay in the share log and be awarded by blocks or they can choose to sell it again if they like.
Shares near the extreme end of the share log (soon to be discarded) will not be able to be sold. Generally newer shares will have more value than older shares as they have the highest chance of being awarded by blocks as many times as possible. The market will have some generic probability calculations available for sellers to use in pricing.
While shares are for sale but unsold/not reassigned the miner is awarded for the shares as per normal.Share Market
To make the share assignment system possible, Eligius will be opening a share market where miners can sell their shares to either other miners or general buyers on either a per share basis or automated based on a portion of their shares submitted and a set calculated price.
What will set Eligius above the competition is the fact that all transactions on the share market will be public and will be cryptographically verifiable. When a miner puts a set of shares up on the market they must sign a message that is associated with their actual mining devices in order to place that sell order. Then, when a buyer purchases the shares, depending on the seller’s preferences the buyer can potentially pay the seller directly with no financial involvement from Eligius. Eligius’s market will then track the payout and reassign the shares once the payout is observed on the network.
Zero confirmation payouts to third parties? That’s crazy right? Well, no not really. Keep in mind Eligius is a mining pool and can choose which transactions to include in its blocks, and also that shares are not awarded until the pool finds a block. So, when a buyer submits a payment to a seller directly Eligius will ensure that this payment is included in its next block (provided it meets all the criteria specified and no anomalies occur before confirmation). Assuming it is, or the payment received confirmation before this, the shares will be reassigned for that block and the buyer appropriately awarded. If for whatever reason the payout is not confirmed when Eligius finds a block (either through a double-spend attempt or other issue with the payout) the shares are simply retained by the seller. This was actually pretty non-trivial to do, and is still undergoing final testing (see deployment section below). However, in all cases shares are never reassigned unless a seller is paid in a transaction that is confirmed by a block in the chain Eligius is mining on.
Shares that are reassigned are tagged as such in the share log. When a share that has been sold/reassigned is awards by a block Eligius finds, Eligius will collect a 1% fee on the reward amount. This is not cumulative per sale and is only collected if and when a share is awarded by a block. Shares that are mined normally by miners still incur no fee. The market will make this clear so that buyers and sellers are aware of this provision so they can calculate accordingly.
Disclaimer: The Eligius share market is NOT a bitcoin exchange or any other type of system in which Eligius is a financial service. The Eligius share market simply facilitates the interactions of buyers and sellers. Funds related to these interactions do not pass through Eligius’s wallets and are instead handled directly between seller and buyer. Eligius is not responsible for any losses or any other damages incurred related to the use of the Eligius share market.Share Market Security and Accounts
The share market brings about something new to Eligius: accounts. Accounts are still in no way required for mining at Eligius, but are required for participating in the share market.
In order to facilitate the share market and assigned shares, Eligius miners wishing to participate in sales on the share market must create an account for the market. Accounts and transactions on the market are authenticated using PGP (GPG) signatures. You must submit a public key to the market website in order to create an account. At that time you can set a payout address for your account and change your miners’ usernames to a new value provided by the market site (essentially your key fingerprint). This proves ownership of the hash power and shares being submitted and put up for sale in as cryptographically verifiable a manner as possible.
When shares are put up for sale, the account owner must sign a message with their key and submit the signed message to the market.
All transactions on the market are public and anyone can utilize the market APIs to verify any transaction or sale order. The PGP/GPG keys used for the market are also public, so plan accordingly. You may want to use a key specific for the Eligius share market if privacy is a concern.
(Do not change miner usernames at this time, see below)Deployment Timeline
As of now Eligius-Hu is active and has taken over share processing at Eligius. Blocks found from this point will be rewarded under SAPPLNS.
Currently the payout system is in standby mode. Blocks will currently be paid to Eligius’s cold wallet, and then manually distributed to miners once the block confirms. The calculated coinbase rewards will be verified for the next few blocks to ensure that everything is operating as designed on mainnet before enabling automated coinbase payouts. This policy will remain for at least the next three blocks.
A new stats page and Eligius home Page are being finalized. These are expected to be online before end of the week in their initial form. Tweaks and improvements will be made constantly from that point on to ensure smooth operation. Until then, please disregard the existing stats and home pages. Existing Eligius stats will be archived after launch of the updated pages.
The share market will be the last piece to come online and will do so in a fully opt-in manner. Once launched, the share market should be considered to be in beta until otherwise noted. There will be a place to report any issues. The target date for the share market launch is within 48 hours of the launch of the updated stats and home pages.
Eligius is currently running a segwit compatible bitcoind, however the pool side updates have not caught up yet. Eligius will have full segwit support in the same time frame as the above.
That should cover everything. I’m sure there will be tons of comments and questions, so feel free to ask, contact me directly, or submit a ticket. The best way to contact Eligius is generally via our IRC channel, #eligius on Freenode.
I will also be making a new thread here on bitcointalk once some of Eligius-Hu's front end is publicly operational. I will also be posting this writeup on Eligius's website. Please excuse any typos in the above. Been a long day!
As a note, mining is still being counted and shares are being processed by the new reward system, so keep on mining!
TL;DR Version: Eligius-Ra (CPPSRB) has been discontinued and a final payout made. Eligius-Hu is online (new reward system based on pure PPLNS wo/shifts) and all mining is towards this system now. New web-based features (stats, share market) launching over the next week.