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Author Topic: Point to mining with 500khash/s ? Does it help or hurt the network?  (Read 4066 times)
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April 12, 2011, 04:25:41 AM
 #1

Anyway, I've got about 500khash/s on my little old laptop. I realise that the chances of me finding a block are probably basically zero. The question is, does it help or hurt the network having me generate? Or is it pointless?

I don't mind, the 'lectricity is free for me. (Not interested in getting another computer, or anything, I'm only staying here a couple more months at the most.)

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April 12, 2011, 04:27:40 AM
 #2

If you find a block, congrats, you strengthened the network!

Until you do (which is incredibly unlikely), you are just wasting electricity.

I'd stop generating  just because you're wasting electricity, and that's not good for the environment.
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April 12, 2011, 04:42:05 AM
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I does help the network, but whether it's worthwhile is up to you.  As far as efficiency, a laptop cpu is going to be terrible.

"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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April 12, 2011, 08:00:37 AM
 #4

You will gain 2.2 btc by year, in a pool (and less with difficulty increase). It helps the network a bit, but this is not significant for now, because an equivalent to the total hashing power can be obtained with botnet or amazon services for example.

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April 12, 2011, 06:46:21 PM
 #5

It hurts because it can potentially increase difficulty for miners that are mining much more efficiently. If a lot of people do this, efficient miners may be pushed out of the market.

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April 12, 2011, 07:38:02 PM
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I does help the network, but whether it's worthwhile is up to you.  As far as efficiency, a laptop cpu is going to be terrible.

It definitely doesn't help, until they find a block, given the difficulty that is nearly impossible.
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April 12, 2011, 08:49:49 PM
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I does help the network, but whether it's worthwhile is up to you.  As far as efficiency, a laptop cpu is going to be terrible.

It definitely doesn't help, until they find a block, given the difficulty that is nearly impossible.

It does help, simply because they could find a block.  Like raindrops form a river, every little contribution strengthens the blockchain a little.  If we look at it like you are, then we should stop all this other wasteful searching and just look in the last place we would have!

"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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April 12, 2011, 08:52:18 PM
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It hurts because it can potentially increase difficulty for miners that are mining much more efficiently. If a lot of people do this, efficient miners may be pushed out of the market.

Are you serious?  More efficient miners are going to be pushed out of the market by a few guys running miners on old laptops at a loss?

Honestly, Theymos; do you make up b.s. for fun?

"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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April 12, 2011, 10:01:22 PM
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I does help the network, but whether it's worthwhile is up to you.  As far as efficiency, a laptop cpu is going to be terrible.

It definitely doesn't help, until they find a block, given the difficulty that is nearly impossible.

It does help, simply because they could find a block.  Like raindrops form a river, every little contribution strengthens the blockchain a little.  If we look at it like you are, then we should stop all this other wasteful searching and just look in the last place we would have!

Not at all. Yes, it COULD help, but given how bleak the likelihood of them finding a block is within a reasonable amount of time for the power expended, it approaches minimal usefulness, and is essentially zero. It's far better to avoid wasting the energy to begin with, and to avoid the wear on the poor CPU.
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April 12, 2011, 11:19:40 PM
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Are you serious?  More efficient miners are going to be pushed out of the market by a few guys running miners on old laptops at a loss?

Honestly, Theymos; do you make up b.s. for fun?

A few people won't hurt, but lots of people will. It's a bad trend. I want to discourage it before efficient miners are pushed out of the market by huge pools of inefficient miners, which I consider entirely possible.

Why do you think this isn't likely?

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April 13, 2011, 12:41:02 AM
 #11

Are you serious?  More efficient miners are going to be pushed out of the market by a few guys running miners on old laptops at a loss?

Honestly, Theymos; do you make up b.s. for fun?

A few people won't hurt, but lots of people will. It's a bad trend. I want to discourage it before efficient miners are pushed out of the market by huge pools of inefficient miners, which I consider entirely possible.

Why do you think this isn't likely?

Economics.  The altruistic motive to help defend the blockchain, in a crisis or otherwise, cannot continue beyond the willingness or resources of the altruistic individual.  Excepting such a crisis, the userbase willing to mine at an ongoing loss is always going to be a vanishingly small percentage.

"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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April 13, 2011, 02:27:23 AM
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Economics.  The altruistic motive to help defend the blockchain, in a crisis or otherwise, cannot continue beyond the willingness or resources of the altruistic individual.  Excepting such a crisis, the userbase willing to mine at an ongoing loss is always going to be a vanishingly small percentage.

I tend to think that dedicated miners will have more computational power than the entire rest of the Internet, which would make the chance of volunteer takeover low. But if this is not the case, I can easily imagine a network dominated by volunteers. There are a lot of people who compute for @home projects, and it's in the interest of fee-charging pools to spread propaganda about how mining helps "keep your money secure". It's not even altruistic from the perspective of these miners, since they believe it will help a system they rely on.

Beyond efficiency, volunteer mining frequently also centralizes control with pools and gives some power to people (the miners) who don't really understand Bitcoin. It moves us away from my picture of the optimal end-game: a few hundred private, competent, for-profit miners operating outside of a pool.

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April 13, 2011, 04:43:06 AM
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Beyond efficiency, volunteer mining frequently also centralizes control with pools and gives some power to people (the miners) who don't really understand Bitcoin. It moves us away from my picture of the optimal end-game: a few hundred private, competent, for-profit miners operating outside of a pool.

In the long run, it doesn't matter much how any of us here might imagine the "optimal end-game" might look like.  Reality doesn't care what we might think, but it does care about economics.  If pool mining is the most efficient way of doing things, then it is here to stay and will dominate forevermore.  But it's not the most efficient way of doing things, because pool mining must charge fees to cover group expenses as well as the risk of a fraudulent exploit of the system.  So pool mining will only appeal to those willing to lose those small amounts for non-economic reasons.  Even if pools dominate in the future, their continuing existence depends on satisfying their contributers, and so they really don't have any more control over the system than anyone else.  For as soon as the contributers get a credible report that they are being used to manipulate the network, or for any other underhanded activity, those contributers will simply stop contributing.  Some will mine alone, some will join other pools, and some will simply quit; but the power available to a pool operator will drop to zero shortly after it is misused only once.

I can't foresee myself joining any pool, ever.  Mostly because; if a malicious computer geek wanted to steal the bitcoin wallet.dat files from a lot of people all at once, how would he build up his target group?  Answer: start or steal a pool, and your target demographic will simply tell you who they are.

"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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April 13, 2011, 09:08:58 AM
 #14

One way to help strengthen the network is to just leave your client up without generating, that way, you strengthen the network connectivity, which would be more useful than generating in a crisis!

If your machine is going to be on "anyway" this will draw neglectable power as a bonus.

On average, according to alloscomp, 500khash would give you about on average 0.6 bitcents a day or about 2.20 bitcoins for a total year.

Maybe some form of donations could be done, basically paying people with no gpu off to not mine but just keep their nodes up?



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April 13, 2011, 10:25:51 AM
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How does just leaving the client run, without generating, help the network? I don't understand how it strengthens anything if I'm not generating?

Anyway, I've been convinced by the damage to the environment argument. I'm not going to run my miner most of the time, even if I could get a massive 2.2 bitcoin a year via a pool. (I was in slush's pool for a bit. I stopped when I finally mined the minimum 0.01 to get something showing up in my wallet.) The other reason I won't be mining most of the time is that the fan noise can be really annoying. Smiley

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April 13, 2011, 12:32:43 PM
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Hmm, ok just my philosophy day I guess..

My thoughts where that a larger distributed network of nodes is more resilient to disturbances.

With more nodes you get more connections and it matters less if one or the other is shut down.

Also it might make it easier for new nodes to find connections (right now the nodes connect via an IRC channel, which is a potential single-point-of-failure).

In the case that some large organization with resources decide to try to get rid of bitcoin, they are likely to attack that point.

This is what happened to wikileaks, their central server was shutdown. But since the data was replicated on so many sites, it was easy to recreate the server somewhere else.

This is very similar to how bitcoin works, remember that each node (even the ones not mining) keeps a full record of all blocks ever made and a notice of the latest owner of each coin.

This database buildup takes a few hours and some cpu initially, but then it is quite low on both network traffic and cpu power.

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April 13, 2011, 07:33:07 PM
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How does just leaving the client run, without generating, help the network? I don't understand how it strengthens anything if I'm not generating?

It helps in the sense that "many copies keep data safe" in the event of a direct blockchain attack, such as a virus moving across the Internet attacking Windows machines, but not Linux machines, or vis-versa.

A modified client that can be triggered to turn on generations automaticly by some defined signal might be a good modification to have.

"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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April 13, 2011, 07:35:51 PM
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Also it might make it easier for new nodes to find connections (right now the nodes connect via an IRC channel, which is a potential single-point-of-failure).

In the case that some large organization with resources decide to try to get rid of bitcoin, they are likely to attack that point.

This is already taken care of.  The IRC channel is no longer critical for bootstrapping, as the vanilla client has a built-in list of persistent node addresses to try if it cannot reach IRC, and the network permits node discovery.  If you block IRC and try it, you will find that bootstrapping takes much longer, but it does not fail.

"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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April 13, 2011, 07:44:49 PM
 #19

Are big miners really good for the community in general? Aren't they who make the difficulty for the little guy with a not so recent machine be so absurd? How would the landscape be if there weren't massive miners in the network?

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April 13, 2011, 08:01:45 PM
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Are big miners really good for the community in general? Aren't they who make the difficulty for the little guy with a not so recent machine be so absurd? How would the landscape be if there weren't massive miners in the network?

Any miners are good for the community, because the point of it all is to get the maximum cryptographic security possible for the blockchain for the lowest cost possible.  These two contradictory goals result in the balance that the difficulty reflects, and therefore the difficulty always reflects the greatest amount of security that the network is collectively willing to pay for.  Big miners simply do the heavy lifting because they have found some way to gain efficiency slightly by economy of scale.  If those large miners didn't exist, the difficulty would most certainly be lower, and therefore the blockchain more suseptable to takeover by overwelming computational force.

"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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