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Author Topic: Getting rid of pools: Proof of Collaborative Work  (Read 1424 times)
danda
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July 21, 2018, 02:29:07 PM
 #101

To be precise you should think abstract.
Abstractly speaking, efficiency of a device is a matter of algorithm and the machine which runs it. As long as you keep hashing algorithm unchanged, you can't change the distribution of  efficiency.

This proposal, does not cover ASIC problem that makes commodity devices uncompetitive. What it tries to fix is the mining scale effects on devices with same efficiency (hundreds of thousands of ASICs distributed unevenly in different scales).

yes, I get that.  And I don't expect cell phone mining to ever be really profitable vs asics, gpus, botnets or whatever.  Even against only other cell phones each one would only have like a 1/billionth share.  Fundamentally, I'm just thinking of an ideal algo that is provably fair, ie pays out according to work performed, and each device added actually provides more security to the network.   Given such a system, more people might mine altruistically, and perhaps people could use it to generate some micro-tokens for participation in the network without having to visit an exchange of some type.  Like 21, inc used to talk about:  bootstrapping towards internet of value/things. 

Stated another way:   today I could turn on a dusty old laptop and start it mining to give me warm fuzzies that it is helping secure the blockchain.  But I know that it isn't really achieving anything because it would not find a block in my lifetime and those cycles/elec have been wasted due to winner-take-all.  But if I knew that my tiny contribution was actually additive with everyone else's tiny contribution each block, and also we together are providing resistance to consensus rule changes, then I would probably do it, even if not profitable.

From my initial read of your proposal, I understood the work to be additive, not winner-take-all, and thus would give me the warm fuzzies with my dusty old laptop or my cell phone mining.  is that not so?   could it be made so?

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aliashraf
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July 21, 2018, 04:11:40 PM
 #102

To be precise you should think abstract.
Abstractly speaking, efficiency of a device is a matter of algorithm and the machine which runs it. As long as you keep hashing algorithm unchanged, you can't change the distribution of  efficiency.

This proposal, does not cover ASIC problem that makes commodity devices uncompetitive. What it tries to fix is the mining scale effects on devices with same efficiency (hundreds of thousands of ASICs distributed unevenly in different scales).

yes, I get that.  And I don't expect cell phone mining to ever be really profitable vs asics, gpus, botnets or whatever.  
Well, you should! Without incentive and profitability, it doesn't make sense to participate in network security, altruism is not a good foundation for a system.

My next version of this proposal, as I've mentioned previously, includes a solution for your problem: contribute to PoW whenever you have a transaction to relay. Incentives? Miners would take advantage of your difficult-to-generate transactions as an additive factor to pass their shares/blocks easier and this way you can cover the transaction fee partially/completely.

I didn't mean to go through details but it may be very interesting for you that wallets don't contribute by the same algorithm as miners, it is supposed to be safe against parallelism.

The only way to have your idea practically implemented would be releasing a coin totally mined with such an algorithm.

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... today I could turn on a dusty old laptop and start it mining to give me warm fuzzies that it is helping,  secure the blockchain.  But I know that it isn't really achieving anything because it would not find a block in my lifetime and those cycles/elec have been wasted due to winner-take-all.  But if I knew that my tiny contribution was actually additive with everyone else's tiny contribution each block, and also we together are providing resistance to consensus rule changes, then I would probably do it, even if not profitable.

From my initial read of your proposal, I understood the work to be additive, not winner-take-all, and thus would give me the warm fuzzies with my dusty old laptop or my cell phone mining.  is that not so?   could it be made so?
No it is not so as long as we are stuck with current sha2 algorithm in bitcoin or even with Ethash in Ethereum.

It is because we have to set a minimum difficulty threshold on mining shares to keep network uncongested for bitcoin my suggestion is like 0.00001 difficulty which gives a S9 an opportunity to hit a share every 30 minutes with current network hashrate. A commodity cpu based device will hit almost one million times worse, obviously not a practical option.

As I said, you need to use a different hashing algorithm to support like tens of millions of small devices mining directly and hit shares every few hours, I suppose.
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July 22, 2018, 08:20:13 PM
 #103

Well that sounds good to get rid of pools for mining crypto in order to promote individual or small scale mining where areas mining earning would achieve an optimal profit. Shared mining profit will favored on mining team developers and for the actual miners will get a percentage on it. We should promote and create a mining opportunity that will be able to take the miners a good profit in doing it.
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August 28, 2018, 07:17:38 AM
 #104

bump.  any updates on this?    code or design wise...

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August 28, 2018, 03:08:12 PM
 #105

@danda

Yes, both are underway. Many design issues have been reconsidered/improved and new features have been included:
  • Wallets now are able to take part in consensus and proof of work and compensate for fees (partly/totally) by doing work
  • An infrastructure for a conservative version of sharding is included
  • The whole proposal is revised and improved

I'm all on my own in this project for now, appreciate any contribution.
Thanks for the interest, by the way. Smiley
empty[g]
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September 04, 2018, 09:09:14 AM
 #106

OP
i can understand why you say in POCW small miners can mine without pool pressure explained at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4687032.msg42296802#msg42296802
maybe it was right if it was the first cryptocurrency ever as there would be no need in making a pool in first place.
but now we already witnessing more than 50% of network in hands of 3 pools. if we change the network protocol now, pools (with already so many ppl in them that may not even care or find out about changes in network) would mine in new network and selfish-mining now would be a problem as big pools and probably anyone working and mining for them (who may use the program that pools write for this matter) would not transmitting other pools or even solo miners shares.
actually selfish-mining in POCW with already existence of pools may be a bigger problem than it is now as there is so many more shares to transmitting and not transmitting them really means something.
aliashraf
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September 04, 2018, 01:02:55 PM
 #107

@empty[g]

Pooling will be de-incentivized with PoCW because miners with very low hashrate can survive solo mining, there will be no reason for a small miner with few S9s to give up with his sovereignty by joining a pool and paying fees for this at the same time.

As of selfish mining by big farms, I've discussed it up-thread with @anonymint but I haven't checked whether after his ban and the removal of his posts and the ones which has quoted them, the selfish mining related discussions are still comprehensive enough or not. So let's briefly take a look at this problem once more:

First of all, selfish mining in its essence should not be categorized as a flaw even in legacy PoW.
A miner with any power can choose to keep his mined blocks private (and putting them in the risk of becoming orphan) hoping to find next block(s). Traditional winner-takes-all approach in bitcoin correctly assumes that for miners such a trade off won't be encouraging enough but many authors have tried to find a justification for miners with a large hash rate share (> 30%) to take advantage of selfish mining.

Although Sirer et all classical analysis suggests feasibility of such an attack* on bitcoin and we have now at least one  pool with such a large share (BTC.com) and historically Slush pool reached to even higher thresholds temporarily, there is no sign of a selfish mining attack on bitcoin blockchain, ever.

Such an attack would cause an unexpected increase in orphan rate, trivially detectable. If Sirer is correct(which I doubt it), it should be probably because a large pool/farm with up to 30% network share has long term interests in keeping system secure rather than seeking a few percent more profits.


Now that we have a more precise understanding of this threat in PoW, it is time to do a comparative analysis for PoCW:

1- PoCW de-incentivizes joining pools, so selfish mining should be committed by a farm rather than a pool. But a mining farm  with 30%+ network hash power is many times harder to be established compared to a pool.

2- A pool operator has less risk factors than a farm owner involved. A pool operator is gambling with his 1-2% shares but a farm owner is risking total block's reward.

3- In PoW, winner-takes-all implies both large risks and large rewards to be gambled, in PoCW miners should decide about every single share they generate gradually during each round. It would be easily provable that there is no advantage in keeping shares private in the first stages of contribution phase and it would yield little advantage in the latest stages because the selfish miner will have almost nothing more than a 3% reward incentive to start finalization phase earlier.

The 3rd argument above is of much importance and you should carefully consider the protocol details to grab it:
Suppose the network is already converged to a prepared block and its Merkle tree consequently. At first when shares are starting to accumulate, it is in the best interests of both regular and selfish miners to publish a share because no matter who finalizes the block, it would be included with a high probability.

As the shares accumulate more and more, in a critical threshold (90%+ ), a selfish miner with very large hashrate, may start to consider the possibility of keeping his (frequently generating) shares private to be more profitable.

Just like the case with PoW, a trade off should be made between the risk of losing both privately kept shares and the 3% reward of generating a finalized block on one hand and guaranteeing one's own shares to be included ( as there is always a chance for a share no to be included because a miner who manages to finalize a block puts his shares in prority) and gaining the 3% on the other hand.

I think an exact mathematical analysis is needed here but let's assume a miner with a very large share would find it more profitable to go selfish in the last stages, still the network would be like 95% contributive because the selfish miner needs to include most of the shares to prove his finalized block.  

It is worth mentioning here that I have made an improvement in the protocol that allows Prepared blocks to freely use any of the n (n not being so large) older blocks as their parent for other reasons but one side effect of this improvement would be neutralizing any effort to keep Finalized blocks private and deceiving network to generate stall shares. It is why I deliberately ignored this scenario, but even without such an improvement a same analysis would supportively show how better is the situation with PoCW compared to traditional PoW.



*I have doubts in Sirer's work's integrity, because from a pure mathematical point of view it implies that a long range attack on bitcoin network is possible by less than 50% network share which is false because a far more rigorous mathematical analysis would show you need 50%+1 power for such an attack. If Sirer's analysis was correct, a selfish miner with 30%  power would be able to keep his chain private for more than just few blocks and show up with a longer alternative chain which is practically impossible with just 30% share of the network's total power.



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