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Question: Remove "generate bitcoins" from standard client? Too many people expecting it to generate coins.
Remove it - 61 (45.5%)
Leave it - 11 (8.2%)
Add a clear warning that you probably won't generate a coin in years - 62 (46.3%)
Total Voters: 133

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Author Topic: Remove "generate bitcoins" from standard client?  (Read 16988 times)
khal
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March 29, 2011, 11:27:09 AM
 #61

In case of network hashing attack, having a miner available from the default client that can (be) activate(d) in case of need may be usefull.
Even if hash rate is small, multiply it by all bitcoin users in the world, that are using bitcoin like a money and not for mining, and i guess it is significant.
Miner could be CPU or GPU, be i think there should be one available simply, whatever name it has, integrated or binary independant.

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March 29, 2011, 11:46:32 AM
 #62

I'd normally be in favor of a large warning, but we are talking about preparing for an onslaught of average clueless users here.  The average user is not going to read a warning of the length that would be required to sufficiently describe why it's a bad idea, so they'll click OK and still get angry when they don't generate anything.  Thus, keep the text of the menu option but make it pop up a very short message.  Something like "You are unlikely to generate a block in any realistic amount of time on a standard CPU.  If you do still wish to enable generation, download the separate mining client at www.example.com"

Personally I've mostly stopped mining entirely.  The difficulty is so high that even with a pool, using my GPU and both CPU cores, it would take multiple days to earn 0.20 BTC.  Even when my electricity is free, that's not worth the additional strain on my computer's components.

I agree. Personally my thought on leaving the code in there, perhaps as an option through the CLI/RPC is that others are right about other block chains but, also, a reference implementation of mining is not a bad idea to keep around.

I was thinking, the client has the current difficulty, and it knows how many hashes/s its generating, why not have it tell you how long it is likely to be between blocks on average for you?

That should be unambiguous. Then add a little warning popup that has a link to some contrived forum post or even a FAQ about mining and CPU vs GPU and that there are other clients out there for mining etc.

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March 31, 2011, 06:39:38 PM
 #63

A priori you are helping even with the smallest amount of hashing power, since on average your expected number of blocks found is higher than zero (even though it may be 0.001/year).

A posteriori, if you haven't found anything (the most likely case), you have wasted your power. That doesn't mean it was meaningless, since you always had a chance to find something.

I'm just trying to debunk that it isn't true that having a very large chance for not finding anything necessarily implies completely wasted power.
Their contribution to network security is dwarfed by their damage to the environment, and the electric bill required would be orders of magnitude more effective if contributed elsewhere.

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MoonShadow
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March 31, 2011, 10:13:43 PM
 #64

A priori you are helping even with the smallest amount of hashing power, since on average your expected number of blocks found is higher than zero (even though it may be 0.001/year).

A posteriori, if you haven't found anything (the most likely case), you have wasted your power. That doesn't mean it was meaningless, since you always had a chance to find something.

I'm just trying to debunk that it isn't true that having a very large chance for not finding anything necessarily implies completely wasted power.
Their contribution to network security is dwarfed by their damage to the environment, and the electric bill required would be orders of magnitude more effective if contributed elsewhere.

Nonesense.  Most of the individual miners use the waste heat to contribute to their home heating, and many would be contributing to Folding@Home or SETI if they were not running Bitcoin. 

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
Meni Rosenfeld
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April 01, 2011, 07:08:10 AM
 #65

A priori you are helping even with the smallest amount of hashing power, since on average your expected number of blocks found is higher than zero (even though it may be 0.001/year).

A posteriori, if you haven't found anything (the most likely case), you have wasted your power. That doesn't mean it was meaningless, since you always had a chance to find something.

I'm just trying to debunk that it isn't true that having a very large chance for not finding anything necessarily implies completely wasted power.
Their contribution to network security is dwarfed by their damage to the environment, and the electric bill required would be orders of magnitude more effective if contributed elsewhere.

Nonesense.  Most of the individual miners use the waste heat to contribute to their home heating, and many would be contributing to Folding@Home or SETI if they were not running Bitcoin. 
In most cases, A/C requires less power for a given level of heating.
If CPU folding/seti is worthwhile, people shouldn't mine instead. If it's not, people should be educated that CPU folding/seti is a waste of power which is an entirely different issue.
Even if edge cases exist where CPU mining is a positive net good, it is so small as to not be worth the effort.

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fetokun
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April 01, 2011, 07:23:39 AM
 #66

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The thing I'm most worried about is that people will start mining just because they think they're helping the network, and this unprofitable mining will push more efficient and competent miners out of the market.

I'm ashamed to say that I was one of the people thinking this until right now.
I was leaving my client generating in a "help the network and maybe get luck" kind of attitude.
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April 01, 2011, 07:35:05 AM
 #67

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The thing I'm most worried about is that people will start mining just because they think they're helping the network, and this unprofitable mining will push more efficient and competent miners out of the market.

I'm ashamed to say that I was one of the people thinking this until right now.
I was leaving my client generating in a "help the network and maybe get luck" kind of attitude.
Don't feel bad. Now you'll be much more motivated to help Bitcoin for real!

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MoonShadow
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April 01, 2011, 01:24:07 PM
 #68

A priori you are helping even with the smallest amount of hashing power, since on average your expected number of blocks found is higher than zero (even though it may be 0.001/year).

A posteriori, if you haven't found anything (the most likely case), you have wasted your power. That doesn't mean it was meaningless, since you always had a chance to find something.

I'm just trying to debunk that it isn't true that having a very large chance for not finding anything necessarily implies completely wasted power.
Their contribution to network security is dwarfed by their damage to the environment, and the electric bill required would be orders of magnitude more effective if contributed elsewhere.

Nonesense.  Most of the individual miners use the waste heat to contribute to their home heating, and many would be contributing to Folding@Home or SETI if they were not running Bitcoin. 
In most cases, A/C requires less power for a given level of heating.
If CPU folding/seti is worthwhile, people shouldn't mine instead. If it's not, people should be educated that CPU folding/seti is a waste of power which is an entirely different issue.
Even if edge cases exist where CPU mining is a positive net good, it is so small as to not be worth the effort.

I've lived in many places, and have never had an apartment that was not heated by baseboard electro-resistive heating.  The only alternatives that I've ever had was in single family homes I've owned.  I'm sure that I'm not an anomaly.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
nanotube
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April 01, 2011, 01:37:53 PM
 #69

i'd suggest to leave it in for 'just in case' or for historical reasons or whatever... but take it off the main menu, and stick the option somewhere far in advanced preferences. and instead of calling it 'generate coins' call it something else, like 'generate blocks' or 'process blocks', and make a note that it's unlikely to net you any coin.

this should pretty much solve the problem of people coming in and saying "omg i've been generating for 3 days and don't have any coins".

though i guess i won't be against removing it completely, either.

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April 04, 2011, 09:50:21 PM
 #70

i'd suggest to leave it in for 'just in case' or for historical reasons or whatever... but take it off the main menu, and stick the option somewhere far in advanced preferences. and instead of calling it 'generate coins' call it something else, like 'generate blocks' or 'process blocks', and make a note that it's unlikely to net you any coin.

this should pretty much solve the problem of people coming in and saying "omg i've been generating for 3 days and don't have any coins".

though i guess i won't be against removing it completely, either.

Also make sure they know coins come when you solve a block and you get 50btc or none because a lot of people are expecting them to trickle in.

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barbarousrelic
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April 05, 2011, 12:47:41 AM
 #71

i'd suggest to leave it in for 'just in case' or for historical reasons or whatever... but take it off the main menu, and stick the option somewhere far in advanced preferences. and instead of calling it 'generate coins' call it something else, like 'generate blocks' or 'process blocks', and make a note that it's unlikely to net you any coin.

this should pretty much solve the problem of people coming in and saying "omg i've been generating for 3 days and don't have any coins".

though i guess i won't be against removing it completely, either.

Also make sure they know coins come when you solve a block and you get 50btc or none because a lot of people are expecting them to trickle in.

They probably get that impression from here:

Quote
So your wealth is determined by the amount of CPU power you have?

No. There's a constant average rate of new Bitcoins created, and that amount is divided among the nodes by the CPU power they supply.

http://www.bitcoin.org/faq#So_your_wealth_is_determined_by_the_amount_of_CPU_power_you_have

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April 05, 2011, 01:31:13 AM
 #72

I wrote an article about this particular topic and my solution to it.

http://thedailybitcoin.blogspot.com/2011/04/cpu-mining-no-longer-viable-option.html

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April 05, 2011, 02:12:52 AM
 #73

I wrote an article about this particular topic and my solution to it.

http://thedailybitcoin.blogspot.com/2011/04/cpu-mining-no-longer-viable-option.html

GPU mining will not be added to the bitcoin client...  too many annoying dependencies.


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April 05, 2011, 02:35:17 AM
 #74

I wrote an article about this particular topic and my solution to it.

http://thedailybitcoin.blogspot.com/2011/04/cpu-mining-no-longer-viable-option.html

GPU mining will not be added to the bitcoin client...  too many annoying dependencies.


Dependencies?  On a windows machine, the OpenCL drivers would be set up already when you put in a new card.  The GPU miners that exist right now require very little work, in fact Kiv's GUI miner requires almost none.  It seems like all you would be doing would be combining the libraries for the GPU miner into the package for the Bitcoin standard miner.  It might be a slightly larger file, but it would have much more functionality.

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April 05, 2011, 02:38:52 AM
 #75

Dependencies?  On a windows machine, the OpenCL drivers would be set up already when you put in a new card.  The GPU miners that exist right now require very little work, in fact Kiv's GUI miner requires almost none.  It seems like all you would be doing would be combining the libraries for the GPU miner into the package for the Bitcoin standard miner.  It might be a slightly larger file, but it would have much more functionality.

It's definitely not that easy Smiley


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April 05, 2011, 02:39:55 AM
 #76

Dependencies?  On a windows machine, the OpenCL drivers would be set up already when you put in a new card.  The GPU miners that exist right now require very little work, in fact Kiv's GUI miner requires almost none.  It seems like all you would be doing would be combining the libraries for the GPU miner into the package for the Bitcoin standard miner.  It might be a slightly larger file, but it would have much more functionality.

It's definitely not that easy Smiley


Definitely not easy, but also not impossible. 

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error
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April 05, 2011, 02:45:37 AM
 #77

Dependencies?  On a windows machine, the OpenCL drivers would be set up already when you put in a new card.  The GPU miners that exist right now require very little work, in fact Kiv's GUI miner requires almost none.  It seems like all you would be doing would be combining the libraries for the GPU miner into the package for the Bitcoin standard miner.  It might be a slightly larger file, but it would have much more functionality.

It's definitely not that easy Smiley


Definitely not easy, but also not impossible. 

OK, let's see your pull request.

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Jim Hyslop
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April 05, 2011, 04:19:37 AM
 #78

Dependencies?  On a windows machine[...]
What about the other platforms that Bitcoin supports? You can't focus on one operating system.

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April 06, 2011, 06:36:38 PM
 #79

I think it's time to remove the generate bitcoins option from the standard client or at least put a strong warning on it.

We've had quite a few people say something like "I've run the btc miner for 3 months 6 months or whatever and haven't gotten anything"
I would say for every person that posts and tries to find an answer 10 or more just give up / think it's a scam.

At this point CPU mining is almost pointless. The amount of time it takes to get a block makes the chances of getting one so low.

What do you guys think? Obviously have a client available to CPU mine if for some reason someone wants to.

I just booted up a new computer the other day and it's CPU was getting close the 30 MegaHash/s

Of course it would be unwise for the average joe to leave his computer running for 140 days straight just to get 50 bitcoins, I do not think it is up to us to determine exactly what the public's acceptable level of tradeoff should be in this situation.
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April 06, 2011, 08:37:52 PM
 #80

It's also important to keep the ability to mine via cpu's in the vanilla client, should there ever come a day when the system is attacked, and the userbase is called upon to mine at a loss in order to defend against an ongoing blockchain attack.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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