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Author Topic: Join me in the biggest mining pool boycott Bitcoin has ever seen  (Read 12533 times)
Technomage
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January 26, 2012, 12:31:58 PM
 #1

Now is the time to start thinking about the future of Bitcoin. We're currently in a situation where the developers of Bitcoin are attempting to enable a new feature called multisig which is a massive technological improvement to the Bitcoin protocol.

There have been great debates on which implementation of multisig is the best but this is not the issue anymore. The main concern for me and many others have become the massive power mining pool operators have over these changes, especially big mining pools such as Deepbit and to a lesser extent Slush and Guild. No one who cares about Bitcoin or the profitability of Bitcoin mining should mine in any of these pools.

For the developers to be able to safely go forward with these changes they need 55% of the processing power in the network and Deepbit holds more than 30%. It's important to understand that this issue is undermining the whole idea behind Bitcoin. This massive centralization is a threat to all future development of Bitcoin. It's not about 51% attacks anymore, this is much more significant. One pool operator, namely Tycho, holds all the cards as far as any major development of the Bitcoin protocol is concerned.

The risk in all of this is that we could see people lose confidence in what Bitcoin is supposed to be about, decentralization, and we will also see a massive stagnation of the development of Bitcoin which will lead to some other, more decentralized cryptocurrency to run over Bitcoin. This is the biggest issue Bitcoin has ever faced, period.

For more information on this I recommend these following threads. Read what P2SH is about. Move to a smaller pool and consult your mining pool operator on what he thinks about the multisig implementations. The other option is to move to p2pool and vote for yourself, directly. Or at least pressure your current pool operator to offer different servers for different votes so you have a choice.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=61125.0
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=60829.0
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=60981.0

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January 26, 2012, 01:20:20 PM
 #2

especially big mining pools such as Deepbit and to a lesser extent Slush and Guild. No one who cares about Bitcoin or the profitability of Bitcoin mining should mine in any of these pools.

Technomage, please don't spread the FUD. Where did you read that I'm not supporting p2sh? I'm in the touch with Gavin and I'm going to release p2sh patch on the pool soon and I stated this many times on forum (however I haven't time to spam *all* forum threads about p2sh topic).

23.Jan: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=60482.msg709045#msg709045

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January 26, 2012, 01:26:18 PM
 #3

Why isn't P2Pool dominating yet?

Please do not pm me, use ron@bitcoin.org.il instead
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Technomage
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January 26, 2012, 01:27:55 PM
 #4

Technomage, please don't spread the FUD. Where did you read that I'm not supporting p2sh? I'm in the touch with Gavin and I'm going to release p2sh patch on the pool soon and I stated this many times on forum (however I haven't time to spam *all* forum threads about p2sh topic).

23.Jan: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=60482.msg709045#msg709045
You misunderstood my OP. I clearly stated that the problem is the centralization of voting power in the hands of a few individuals, such as yourself. This is simply unacceptable.

Even if the pools miraculously come to an agreement over this over the next few days and we go forward with BIP 17 (is that the one you're supporting, btw?) this issue of centralized power will still be there.

I don't expect everyone to leave your pool nor would I want that, but I do want more decentralization than we have now. The top 3 pools have over 50% of the network which basically gives ultimate power over both the network and the development of Bitcoin to 3 individuals.

To 3 individuals. I'll let people chew on that for a while.

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January 26, 2012, 01:37:13 PM
 #5

You misunderstood my OP. I clearly stated that the problem is the centralization of voting power in the hands of a few individuals, such as yourself.

As far as there are big pools supporting both solutions, there's no real problem, because miner *can* vote by moving to the pool which is supporting the same thing. So you're wrong.

And please remove my pool from your signature, because you ARE spreading the FUD. It sounds that people have no choice and they cannot vote FOR p2sh when they're mining on large pools, which isn't true.

Quote
This is simply unacceptable.

What's your problem exactly? Pools arent holding guns on people's heads. If somebody want to support p2sh, let's connect to pool which want it too. If you don't want p2sh, move to deepbit.


I must say that I'm pretty angry when I see this kind of misinterpretations and fears.

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January 26, 2012, 01:50:48 PM
 #6

The issue is that the Bitcoin devs want to keep working on the system, implementing multi-sig that everyone likes anyway apart from disagreements about small issues of implementation, wheras one large pool thats unpopular anyway due to issues with there fees could prevent them doing so, or possibly even tidying and expanding the protocall in the future as well.
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January 26, 2012, 01:55:12 PM
 #7

As far as there are big pools supporting both solutions, there's no real problem, because miner *can* vote by moving to the pool which is supporting the same thing. So you're wrong.

And please remove my pool from your signature, because you ARE spreading the FUD. It sounds that people have no choice and they cannot vote FOR p2sh when they're mining on large pools, which isn't true.
You still don't understand the underlying issue. I may be a bit aggressive with my approach but the truth is that most miners do not seem to understand nor care about P2SH. That is the real problem, this whole thing to me is about raising the awareness of regular miners. And the fact that the mining network is simply too centralized.

If you look at my signature you will see that there is no mention there of P2SH. In fact this issue will not go away even if all of the top three pools suddenly start supporting it. This is a bigger issue that is about all future development of Bitcoin, what happens regarding P2SH is not the most relevant issue here. I'm not sure if I myself agree with the way devs are trying to rush a solution that the dev team in itself does not agree with unanimously.

Quote
What's your problem exactly? Pools arent holding guns on people's heads. If somebody want to support p2sh, let's connect to pool which want it too. If you don't want p2sh, move to deepbit.

I must say that I'm pretty angry when I see this kind of misinterpretations and fears.
Well, let's just say that the feeling is mutual. I'm very pissed that you undermine the seriousness of what I'm talking about, I'm not spreading FUD here, I'm spreading awareness.

If the miners were actually aware enough to actively change pools to change their vote on Bitcoin development, we would have no problem here. None whatsoever. The problem is that a large majority of miners seem to not care about any of this or understand any of this. Many probably haven't even heard about the whole thing yet. This is why we have a very big problem with such centralization and I think the deadlines for the whole P2SH are a bit rushed. Miners are not yet used to the idea that they can vote on these things.

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January 26, 2012, 01:58:59 PM
 #8

If the top 3 pools wanted to do the right thing, they would mass email all their users about P2SH and ask them to investigate the issue and make an opinion on it. This would raise awareness more than anything.

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January 26, 2012, 02:07:59 PM
 #9

You still don't understand the underlying issue.

I think I understand. I'm in the business over the year and you're not the first who's panicking because of "large pools". Actually, as I said, I'm not keeping gun to anybody and changing the pool is *very* easy, when the miner think the pool is doing something nasty. Freedom of choice is also be free enough to join large pool if somebody want.

Quote
I may be a bit aggressive with my approach but the truth is that most miners do not seem to understand nor care about P2SH. That is the real problem

I absolutely agree. For that reason I think it's much more safer (for the Bitcoin network as global entity) to let decide few people who are in direct touch with main developers than let's decide by people who simply don't care. Yes, I understand that centralization sounds terrible, but honestly it's also the way how to move Bitcoin to any direction. Because, like in the real world politics, 90% of people simply don't care.

Well, feel free to mine solo or connect to the pool which vote for your direction, I have no problem with that. But pressing everybody to vote for himself, even when he absolutely don't understand what's the issue, is the oposite extreme.

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January 26, 2012, 02:21:17 PM
 #10

I absolutely agree. For that reason I think it's much more safer (for the Bitcoin network as global entity) to let decide few people who are in direct touch with main developers than let's decide by people who simply don't care. Yes, I understand that centralization sounds terrible, but honestly it's also the way how to move Bitcoin to any direction. Because, like in the real world politics, 90% of people simply don't care.

Well, feel free to mine solo or connect to the pool which vote for your direction, I have no problem with that. But pressing everybody to vote for himself, even when he absolutely don't understand what's the issue, is the oposite extreme.
I agree that this is a complex issue. I'm no coder so the technical details between the different BIP's is beyond me. I still want a choice in the matter as should everyone else. I have to trust the devs more in this than I do the pool operators, that's just the way I think.

The problem is that even the devs don't agree unanimously on which implementation of P2SH to use so that makes it so much harder for me. The feature is very important for Bitcoin but perhaps it's best not to rush it. That's why I personally don't even know how to vote right now, I'm on the fence.

What I have to stress here is that as it is in real world politics, people tend to study the issues at hand much more when they have more power over them. This has been proven with studies done about the Swiss direct democracy system. This is why I definitely want to work for raising awareness so people study the issue and make an opinion instead of just blindly mining in a big pool which decides in behalf of thousands of miners.

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January 26, 2012, 02:27:03 PM
 #11

The problem is that even the devs don't agree unanimously on which implementation of P2SH to use so that makes it so much harder for me.

Actually the only one developer who is strongly against BIP 16 is luke-jr (or anybody else?). On the other hand he can be very loud...

I think that all the p2sh issue is getting more dramatic here that it need to be and some ^^ people are using it for their personal childish fights instead of thinking about bitcoin project more globally.

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January 26, 2012, 02:36:07 PM
 #12

Actually the only one developer who is strongly against BIP 16 is luke-jr (or anybody else?). On the other hand he can be very loud...
That is what I thought originally as well. When BIP 17 was announced at the forums I got very confused about the whole thing and to me that was a sign that BIP 16 had bigger issues. Yet it was clear from the start that Gavin didn't like BIP 17.

If it truly is the case that there is concensus among developers (besides luke) that BIP 16 should be enabled, I would vote for that. To me the only thing that really matters here is the general opinion among the devs, the problem is I don't know what it is.

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January 26, 2012, 03:22:55 PM
 #13

I think what slush is trying to say is that mining in big pools doesn't take away the miner's right to choose.

They still have a brain, can still read threads and make educated decisions just like someone who is solo mining or p2pool mining.  If they don't like the decisions a pool makes they can move away from it.  It's a decision they can make, just like deciding whether or not to support BIP.

I mine with slush, and I don't feel like my ability to support one change or another has been impeded in the least.  If I didn't like what slush was doing I would let him know and if things didn't change I would leave slush.  Bottom line.  It seems like slush has all the power because it's his pool, but in reality the pool is made up of thousands of workers who can all make their own decisions.

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References (bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=): 50051.20  50051.100  53668.0  53788.0  53571.0  53571.0  52212.0  50729.0  114804.0  115468  78106  69061  58572  54747
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January 26, 2012, 03:39:54 PM
 #14

Thanks digital, you expressed it exactly as I wanted :-)

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January 26, 2012, 04:44:44 PM
 #15

Actually, what technomage says is true.
Most miners don't know or don't care.
If deepbit, slush... normal pools display message in their site, encouraging  miners to join p2p , so that bitcoin network will be safe.
Technomage wants like asking politicians to help & develop all the humans in country.
That too cant be said exactly, as deepbit, slush....are NOT monopolying bitcoin network, but Technomage wants big pools to spread awareness to their miners.

I know many miners who never even not updating their mining programs to new versions.

If big pools display message, it will be known to at least the miners who checking the site knows about p2p, same as displaying messages to spread bitcoin, its anonymity, decentralized....
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January 26, 2012, 05:18:15 PM
 #16

Ever taught about the language issue?

I went to make an account on Deepbit to check, and you can choose English, Russian(I think?) and an Asian language(Japanese? Korean? Chinese?). After that, I went to check the teams:

1   OverClockers.Ru   Join   849   696.80 M   256.09 GH/s
2   Ukraine   Join   306   381.41 M   141.27 GH/s
3   RonPaul2012   Join   159   272.83 M   117.09 GH/s
4   America   Join   508   361.41 M   113.03 GH/s
5   Bulgaria   Join   211   341.91 M   97.66 GH/s
6   Poland   Join   259   251.25 M   95.02 GH/s
7   vOz   Join   322   401.25 M   93.92 GH/s
8   Beijing   Join   26   135.03 M   82.77 GH/s
9   Germany   Join   353   159.91 M   60.73 GH/s
10   RMB   Join   130   184.88 M   51.30 GH/s
11   Canada   Join   149   114.83 M   49.62 GH/s
12   FRANCE   Join   64   81.25 M   40.34 GH/s
13   Russia   Join   176   124.89 M   33.96 GH/s
14   Belarus   Join   56   75.64 M   30.11 GH/s
15   Serbia   Join   31   75.06 M   21.56 GH/s

So, we can clearly see that we have Russia(2 times!), Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Beijing, Germany, Belarus, Serbia. You almost have 1 THash only looking at the top 15 teams. And we don't know about the individuals who are NOT in a team.

My guess is that a large group of miners don't care because they don't talk your language. They don't understand you, they don't know all the fuss is about and, more importantly, Deepbit is the only large pool I know that have a complete interface that cater to the languages of these people. That's why they go there, because they can understand what is written on their screen.

I've already tried to start a topic/project about a way of introducing Bitcoins in different languages (French notably, because business is in french here). I got NO replies, answer, PM, whatever, like the only language on this planet is English.

You know that only 25% of the Internet use English correct?
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm

How can you make Bitcoin international if you cater to the needs of only 25% of the population? Where is the multi-language client? Where is the multi-language version of this website: http://www.weusecoins.com/ ? Or of the video on it?

But hey, go on with your revolution against Deepbit. Write english messages everywhere so that people who don't understand that language can be sure they never care about what you say.

***EDIT***

Wanted to add, if Tycho ever see this post, is that I congratulate him for being one of the rare person who try to make mining more international. He is an example to be made of, not somebody to be shame of. And no, I don't mine on his pool.
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January 26, 2012, 05:24:27 PM
 #17

I mine with one of the top three pools, and whatever multisig is chosen is fine with me.  I really don't care about that particular issue, or at least, haven't yet found a reason to care.  If someone wants to give me a reason, feel free...

Regarding the issue at hand - it's really rather simple.  As soon as the leader of my pool makes a decision I don't agree with, I'll switch pools.  Until then, I am not concerned about large pools existing.

Also, lol @ Brunic's multi-language rage.  But, he does have a point.  Wink
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January 26, 2012, 06:52:57 PM
 #18

I use a small pool, only because I want there to be more than 3 voters.  All pools are not equal and so the miners are not voting on this issue by using any specific pool.   

The majority miners have spoken.  There is going to be only three people that will make the decision on which implementation is chosen. 

(I am more unnerved that this is construed as an attack on the three largest pools.)

Speaking of voting, is there a list of which pools support which changes?  I'll certainly go with the "wait for further testing" option because I feel we will be stuck with a hack that fixings a problem that doesn't matter right now. 
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January 26, 2012, 07:03:07 PM
 #19

I use a small pool, only because I want there to be more than 3 voters.  All pools are not equal and so the miners are not voting on this issue by using any specific pool.   

The majority miners have spoken.  There is going to be only three people that will make the decision on which implementation is chosen.
Actually I don't think there will be any choice.

I can predict the future:
1) Slush and BTCguild support BIP16
2) Luke-jr supports BIP17
3) Some small pools support BIP16
4) I'll check if there is considerable support of BIP16 and if it is, then I'll implement it too.
5) BIP16 wins.

Well, or nothing happens.

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January 26, 2012, 07:06:50 PM
 #20

If the miners were actually aware enough to actively change pools to change their vote on Bitcoin development, we would have no problem here. None whatsoever. The problem is that a large majority of miners seem to not care about any of this or understand any of this. Many probably haven't even heard about the whole thing yet. This is why we have a very big problem with such centralization and I think the deadlines for the whole P2SH are a bit rushed. Miners are not yet used to the idea that they can vote on these things.

The same miners who don't care also won't care to boycott.  The ones who would "boycott" are smart enough to make their own decisions and change to pools which support their views.

So a "boycott" is a useless tactic.   It would be like all vegetarians boycotting a steakhouse. Smiley The only thing that helps is awareness.  The next massive DDOS attack (and it will happen) use that to convince people to try out p2pool.
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