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Author Topic: [CLOSED] BTC Guild - Pays TxFees+NMC, Stratum, VarDiff, Private Servers  (Read 829195 times)
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May 06, 2014, 12:25:04 AM
 #6821

It reminds me of how Deepbit disappeared from the pools list.
It's no wonder [Tycho], and others, have disappeared from these forums.  Let's accuse everyone else, with NO evidence, of malfeasance as well so that we have no responsible people left in the community.
Great idea.
Well, seeing how things get removed from this thread, why bother?
let the data over time speak loudly on this one
Approximate Pool Luck* (24H / 3D / 1W / 2W / 1M / 3M / All Time): 57.525% / 66.081% / 76.537% / 80.554% / 84.873% / 90.909% / 98.545%
just a bad streak.. seems legit
Pool is below 7.5 P now :{
Perhaps that the actually size of the pool for a while.   Is it not possible that 15% of the HR rate (the same 15% of miners) were consistently unlucky?   I believe in variance but at some point you have to ask if there are not some free riders on this bus.

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May 06, 2014, 12:29:46 AM
 #6822

It reminds me of how Deepbit disappeared from the pools list.
It's no wonder [Tycho], and others, have disappeared from these forums.  Let's accuse everyone else, with NO evidence, of malfeasance as well so that we have no responsible people left in the community.
Great idea.
Well, seeing how things get removed from this thread, why bother?
let the data over time speak loudly on this one
Approximate Pool Luck* (24H / 3D / 1W / 2W / 1M / 3M / All Time): 57.525% / 66.081% / 76.537% / 80.554% / 84.873% / 90.909% / 98.545%
just a bad streak.. seems legit
Pool is below 7.5 P now :{
Perhaps that the actually size of the pool for a while.   Is it not possible that 15% of the HR rate (the same 15% of miners) were consistently unlucky?   I believe in variance but at some point you have to ask if there are not some free riders on this bus.

That's an interesting concept. Perhaps there is some sort of pool bug that is providing some miners with duplicate or useless work and counting shares that should not be counted? I do trust eleuthria and think he is an honest pool operator, but people are human and humans make mistakes.

Did the bad luck start around the time of all the backend pool changes and rollout of scrypt guild?

There also have been cases of pool users being re-directed to other pools via man-in-the-middle attacks recently, so perhaps some attackers figured out how to steal a small number of solved blocks for themselves.

We're all just speculating here, and the only one that can really look into this and know for sure is eleuthria.
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May 06, 2014, 12:35:33 AM
 #6823

It reminds me of how Deepbit disappeared from the pools list.
It's no wonder [Tycho], and others, have disappeared from these forums.  Let's accuse everyone else, with NO evidence, of malfeasance as well so that we have no responsible people left in the community.
Great idea.
Well, seeing how things get removed from this thread, why bother?
let the data over time speak loudly on this one
Approximate Pool Luck* (24H / 3D / 1W / 2W / 1M / 3M / All Time): 57.525% / 66.081% / 76.537% / 80.554% / 84.873% / 90.909% / 98.545%
just a bad streak.. seems legit
Pool is below 7.5 P now :{
Perhaps that the actually size of the pool for a while.   Is it not possible that 15% of the HR rate (the same 15% of miners) were consistently unlucky?   I believe in variance but at some point you have to ask if there are not some free riders on this bus.

That's an interesting concept. Perhaps there is some sort of pool bug that is providing some miners with duplicate or useless work and counting shares that should not be counted? I do trust eleuthria and think he is an honest pool operator, but people are human and humans make mistakes.

Did the bad luck start around the time of all the backend pool changes and rollout of scrypt guild?

There also have been cases of pool users being re-directed to other pools via man-in-the-middle attacks recently, so perhaps some attackers figured out how to steal a small amount of solved blocks for themselves.

We're all just speculating here, and the only one that can really look into this and know for sure is eleuthria.


Didnt pps pool 50btc have this issue back in October?
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May 06, 2014, 12:41:03 AM
 #6824


That's an interesting concept. Perhaps there is some sort of pool bug that is providing some miners with duplicate or useless work and counting shares that should not be counted? I do trust eleuthria and think he is an honest pool operator, but people are human and humans make mistakes.

Did the bad luck start around the time of all the backend pool changes and rollout of scrypt guild?

We're all just speculating here, and the only one that can really look into this and know for sure is eleuthria.
I prefer the more tinfoil hat theory of someone spending $1MM to make a chip and boards and like everyone who made ASICs, they have a few flaws.   They work great on the test set, and maybe even worked great for a while on real work, but because of some screwup they just never return solutions for work higher than difficulty xxxx (insert your own paranoid number here).   At some point the people that made these miners figured it out and thought (oh shit, we are solo mining and our best share is NEVER above 3,000,000,000, but we have invested all this money).   What do they do?    They would have to point the miners at pools right?    And they could not point them at small pools because they might get noticed.   So, they make accounts at the largest pools and produce a ton of work (but never above a certain difficulty because of the flaw in their miner) and get a proportionate share of the blocks mined.

Is that just too crazy?   Maybe.  I know most people would assume those people would just stop mining and write off their investment right? 

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May 06, 2014, 12:45:05 AM
 #6825

1) That's an interesting concept. Perhaps there is some sort of pool bug that is providing some miners with duplicate or useless work and counting shares that should not be counted? I do trust eleuthria and think he is an honest pool operator, but people are human and humans make mistakes.

2) Did the bad luck start around the time of all the backend pool changes and rollout of scrypt guild?

3) There also have been cases of pool users being re-directed to other pools via man-in-the-middle attacks recently, so perhaps some attackers figured out how to steal a small number of solved blocks for themselves.

We're all just speculating here, and the only one that can really look into this and know for sure is eleuthria.

1) Dupe work is impossible.  Every share you've submitted for the current block is held in memory and compared against to determine if you've submitted a dupe.  It can't be done across multiple accounts because each account has an independent ExtraNonce1, making work for one account not valid for another.

1b)  As stan258 mentioned, 50BTC had a problem with over-crediting work.  That's because they completely screwed up user definable difficulty and didn't realize the most obvious exploit available for doing that.

2)  There have been no backend changes for ScryptGuild.  There have been no changes to the backends period in the last 9 months.  6 of those months were positive on luck.  The last 2 were not.  The 9th month isn't available since luck only started being tracked across multiple difficulties 8 months ago (prior to that it only showed the most recent shifts of the current difficulty).

3) The MITM attacks are not MITM.  They're a flaw at the end user, clearly identified by the fact that the same users get hit repeatedly on multiple pools, even though the vast majority of users are never hit.  However, assuming it was a MITM, it would not be possible to steal a block for yourself.  A hash/share is only valid if it pays to the pool wallet.  If you try to change the destination the work is immediately worthless because it will not produce the same result on a different payment address.



This is not an isolated incident.  Eligius has had low luck in the last 3 months as well, which is roughly when Guild's luck took a turn for the worse.  So is p2pool, though they're so small it's very hard to call a line between normal variance and abnormal when comparing it to Eligius/BTC Guild which are significantly larger.  Most of the long term pools (BTC Guild, Eligius, BitMinter, Ozcoin, triplemining) have operators which communicate regularly, and we have been discussing this recent swing in downward luck.  This isn't something I'm brushing off or ignoring, but it's also completely out of my control, thus the anger/short temper when it comes to people bitching about it.  It may be a problem in firmware/hardware of ASICs which have been released in the last few months.  It may be a coincidence.  It may be an actual withholding attack in the wild, though this is unlikely because doing a withholding attack on a fee-charging PPLNS pool makes no economic sense.  You'd essentially be paying a fee twice, because you lose income from the pool fee *and* even more income in the form of withholding blocks from the pool.

One thing it isn't, without any doubt, is a backend problem.  There has been only one change to the backend in the last 8 months that even brushes against the share processing.  That change was updating how it stores difficulty (moving from a 32-bit integer to a double).  This doesn't actually affect how the server treats the share though, it's purely a display value used in internal reporting.  Aside from that, the share processing side of BTC Guild has been untouched since the day stratum was launched.

R.I.P. BTC Guild, 2011 - 2015.
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May 06, 2014, 12:51:55 AM
 #6826

My hardware was split between BTC Guild and Ghash evenly. I am way underperforming daily now there as well.
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May 06, 2014, 12:54:34 AM
 #6827

My hardware was split between BTC Guild and Ghash evenly. I am way underperforming daily now there as well.

I refrained from mentioning GHash and Discus Fish because they don't have publicly available historical stats, at least that I was able to find.  Eligius has a CSV export for it's block history, and p2pool has a 3-month luck chart which is reported in the same way BTC Guild reports luck (% compared to expected earnings, rather than CDF).  Whether or not they have had good luck, neutral luck, or similar bad luck is a mystery to me, so I only report on the comparable pools that I'm aware of.

R.I.P. BTC Guild, 2011 - 2015.
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May 06, 2014, 01:05:26 AM
 #6828

My hardware was split between BTC Guild and Ghash evenly. I am way underperforming daily now there as well.

I refrained from mentioning GHash and Discus Fish because they don't have publicly available historical stats, at least that I was able to find.  Eligius has a CSV export for it's block history, and p2pool has a 3-month luck chart which is reported in the same way BTC Guild reports luck (% compared to expected earnings, rather than CDF).  Whether or not they have had good luck, neutral luck, or similar bad luck is a mystery to me, so I only report on the comparable pools that I'm aware of.

Sorry no offense.. I have taken down power Hungary rigs.  Getting some newer stuff hopefully put together in a few days and going to aim it at the pool. Good luck everybody
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May 06, 2014, 01:06:48 AM
 #6829

Thanks eleuthria. I do think you are an honest pool operator, and hope the bad luck streak turns around soon but understand that it is out of your control.

On a positive note, the next difficulty increase looks like it may be in the single digits for the first time since May of 2013, so that's a very good thing! Perhaps the difficulty is finally starting to level out!
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May 06, 2014, 01:10:26 AM
 #6830

I am not attacking or bitching or accusing BTCGuild in anyway, I believe it is a group of bad (defective) miners.
Since we solo mined, we know it is not Avalon's, KNC Juipters nor Cointerras as they have all performed to expectations.   But that leaves a lot of other hardware out there and also leaves open the possibility of it just being a dark miner who made their own chips.   I am sure someone could audit each miner very quickly if they had them available.

It is not likely that every large pool is having "bad luck" without someone being the beneficiary.   Some group of miners is running good luck in a large way or else blocks would be averaging 12-13 minutes.    Doesn't that mean it is likely some portion of the pool is only solving low difficulty work and can never produce a solution that solves a block?   
That would mean the one safe mining would be at small pools (where the free riders could be seen), solo mining (need more than 600TH/s right now) or pools that do some sort of "work audit" on chronically unlucky miners or brand new miners (by sending them recently solved work and see if they send back the correct result).

Sorry for the distraction and this is the last I will post about it here, but that is how I feel.

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May 06, 2014, 01:18:37 AM
 #6831

I am not attacking or bitching or accusing BTCGuild in anyway, I believe it is a group of bad (defective) miners.
Since we solo mined, we know it is not Avalon's, KNC Juipters nor Cointerras as they have all performed to expectations.   But that leaves a lot of other hardware out there and also leaves open the possibility of it just being a dark miner who made their own chips.   I am sure someone could audit each miner very quickly if they had them available.

It is not likely that every large pool is having "bad luck" without someone being the beneficiary.   Some group of miners is running good luck in a large way or else blocks would be averaging 12-13 minutes.    Doesn't that mean it is likely some portion of the pool is only solving low difficulty work and can never produce a solution that solves a block?  
That would mean the one safe mining would be at small pools (where the free riders could be seen), solo mining (need more than 600TH/s right now) or pools that do some sort of "work audit" on chronically unlucky miners or brand new miners (by sending them recently solved work and see if they send back the correct result).

Sorry for the distraction and this is the last I will post about it here, but that is how I feel.

Luck is not a zero sum game.  The difficulty can continue to rise even if the entire network was having bad luck, as long as the growth of new speed is greater than the deficit caused by poor luck.  Work audits are not possible with stratum, since each user has an independent ExtraNonce1, meaning their nonces will create radically different results than another user's, given the same template and ntime.  Additionally, a truly malicious withholding attack of large size is unblockable since they could simply make new accounts.  If they have enough speed to cause noticeable harm to a pool's production, and enough money to literally throw it away (since doing a withholding attack against PPLNS is costing them money for every block they withhold) they have more than enough money to proxy that attack through new IP ranges and accounts.

R.I.P. BTC Guild, 2011 - 2015.
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May 06, 2014, 01:49:03 AM
 #6832

People keep mentioning "low difficulty" as if this made a difference? I was under the impression that the difficulty of a particular hash does not have bearing on whether it is the "solve" for block hash or not, that even a GPU still has the slightest chance of catching the correct timing and submitting the block solving hash, however unlikely it may be.
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May 06, 2014, 01:55:49 AM
 #6833

People keep mentioning "low difficulty" as if this made a difference? I was under the impression that the difficulty of a particular hash does not have bearing on whether it is the "solve" for block hash or not, that even a GPU still has the slightest chance of catching the correct timing and submitting the block solving hash, however unlikely it may be.

Don't recall seeing "low difficulty" anywhere.  The miner side difficulty has no influence on whether or not their hash will solve a block.


EDIT:  NVM, saw it.  My point above still stands.

R.I.P. BTC Guild, 2011 - 2015.
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May 06, 2014, 03:19:06 AM
 #6834

People keep mentioning "low difficulty" as if this made a difference? I was under the impression that the difficulty of a particular hash does not have bearing on whether it is the "solve" for block hash or not, that even a GPU still has the slightest chance of catching the correct timing and submitting the block solving hash, however unlikely it may be.
I think you might have misunderstood my point.   I probably am not expressing myself clearly.
 I do not mean the difficulty you are referring to. 
I do not mean a malicious withholding attack (that is not in the attacker's financial interest).
I am referring to a machine that was made but has errors either in the chip or the firmware that means it gives valid solutions to work UP TO A CERTAIN POINT.   So, when you run tests on it on OLD blocks, it solves them.   But, it has some flaw that prevents it from solving blocks as difficulty increased.   So, it essence it is now USELESS but still produces valid work (but the best share it sends is substantially below the current difficulty -- so it never solves a block).    This would be very much like what entropy referred to as a 46 card deck (when you are expecting to see 4 kings every 52 cards).

Is that clearer?   So, not some purposed withholding of solutions just incompetence.   Think of the people who have made miners (BFL, Avalon, Hashfast, KNC, Cointerra).   They have all had huge time constraints and failures.    Is it so far fetched that one of them (or someone else) made 3-10 PH/s of miners that "work" but do not solve blocks at these levels?

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May 06, 2014, 03:38:18 AM
 #6835

People keep mentioning "low difficulty" as if this made a difference? I was under the impression that the difficulty of a particular hash does not have bearing on whether it is the "solve" for block hash or not, that even a GPU still has the slightest chance of catching the correct timing and submitting the block solving hash, however unlikely it may be.
I think you might have misunderstood my point.   I probably am not expressing myself clearly.
 I do not mean the difficulty you are referring to.  
I do not mean a malicious withholding attack (that is not in the attacker's financial interest).
I am referring to a machine that was made but has errors either in the chip or the firmware that means it gives valid solutions to work UP TO A CERTAIN POINT.   So, when you run tests on it on OLD blocks, it solves them.   But, it has some flaw that prevents it from solving blocks as difficulty increased.   So, it essence it is now USELESS but still produces valid work (but the best share it sends is substantially below the current difficulty -- so it never solves a block).    This would be very much like what entropy referred to as a 46 card deck (when you are expecting to see 4 kings every 52 cards).

Is that clearer?   So, not some purposed withholding of solutions just incompetence.   Think of the people who have made miners (BFL, Avalon, Hashfast, KNC, Cointerra).   They have all had huge time constraints and failures.    Is it so far fetched that one of them (or someone else) made 3-10 PH/s of miners that "work" but do not solve blocks at these levels?

This is one of the things I've been discussing with the other pool operators.  The bad luck trend for BTC Guild and Eligius seemed to start around the time difficulty crossed 2.1b.  This is the limit of a signed 32-bit integer, one of the most common numeric variables used for programmers.  It's quite rare that people need > 2.1b (4.2b for unsigned).  The difficulty, growing exponentially, ramped up to this number extremely quickly.  I realized that BTC Guild's internal reporting used a signed 32-bit int for displaying difficulty on a status screen.  I wasn't sure if the program would crash or simply loop around, so I did server maintenance around ~1b diff to update it to use a double variable instead.

The problem here is that we've been unable to identify any hardware that is broken in this manner so far.  It doesn't make sense that such an error would even happen at the hardware level, and most ASICs use cgminer/bfgminer, which we know is not the source if there is a problem of this nature.

R.I.P. BTC Guild, 2011 - 2015.
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May 06, 2014, 03:54:27 AM
 #6836

Is that clearer?   So, not some purposed withholding of solutions just incompetence.   Think of the people who have made miners (BFL, Avalon, Hashfast, KNC, Cointerra).   They have all had huge time constraints and failures.    Is it so far fetched that one of them (or someone else) made 3-10 PH/s of miners that "work" but do not solve blocks at these levels?
There's nothing different about hashes that end up being high difficulty or low at the hardware level. You have to actively look for them and remove them to differentiate them which is quite doable but is an active act of malice, not incompetence.

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May 06, 2014, 03:58:00 AM
 #6837

People keep mentioning "low difficulty" as if this made a difference? I was under the impression that the difficulty of a particular hash does not have bearing on whether it is the "solve" for block hash or not, that even a GPU still has the slightest chance of catching the correct timing and submitting the block solving hash, however unlikely it may be.
I think you might have misunderstood my point.   I probably am not expressing myself clearly.
 I do not mean the difficulty you are referring to.  
I do not mean a malicious withholding attack (that is not in the attacker's financial interest).
I am referring to a machine that was made but has errors either in the chip or the firmware that means it gives valid solutions to work UP TO A CERTAIN POINT.   So, when you run tests on it on OLD blocks, it solves them.   But, it has some flaw that prevents it from solving blocks as difficulty increased.   So, it essence it is now USELESS but still produces valid work (but the best share it sends is substantially below the current difficulty -- so it never solves a block).    This would be very much like what entropy referred to as a 46 card deck (when you are expecting to see 4 kings every 52 cards).

Is that clearer?   So, not some purposed withholding of solutions just incompetence.   Think of the people who have made miners (BFL, Avalon, Hashfast, KNC, Cointerra).   They have all had huge time constraints and failures.    Is it so far fetched that one of them (or someone else) made 3-10 PH/s of miners that "work" but do not solve blocks at these levels?

This is one of the things I've been discussing with the other pool operators.  The bad luck trend for BTC Guild and Eligius seemed to start around the time difficulty crossed 2.1b.  This is the limit of a signed 32-bit integer, one of the most common numeric variables used for programmers.  It's quite rare that people need > 2.1b (4.2b for unsigned).  The difficulty, growing exponentially, ramped up to this number extremely quickly.  I realized that BTC Guild's internal reporting used a signed 32-bit int for displaying difficulty on a status screen.  I wasn't sure if the program would crash or simply loop around, so I did server maintenance around ~1b diff to update it to use a double variable instead.

The problem here is that we've been unable to identify any hardware that is broken in this manner so far.  It doesn't make sense that such an error would even happen at the hardware level, and most ASICs use cgminer/bfgminer, which we know is not the source if there is a problem of this nature.
So does this mean that there's an extremely rare chance we might be able to improve our luck ?

Which if we do, would you share it with the other pools heh

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May 06, 2014, 05:43:53 AM
 #6838

At what point would you consider it to definitely not be a bad luck streak and that something else is wrong?
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May 06, 2014, 12:38:32 PM
 #6839

At what point would you consider it to definitely not be a bad luck streak and that something else is wrong?

The longer the time period, the less likely it is that good or bad luck will persist.

For example, it's a lot easier to flip a coin and have it come up heads twice in a row than it is to have it come up heads ten times in a row.
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May 06, 2014, 12:43:08 PM
 #6840

Not to hijack the thread, but relating to luck, the scryptguild pool seems to have not hit any blocks for any coins in hours. 
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