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Author Topic: On Mining - ethereum blog topic on bitcoins centralisation.  (Read 1184 times)
skaffen
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June 20, 2014, 11:12:34 PM
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https://blog.ethereum.org/2014/06/19/mining/

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There has been a large amount of ruckus in the past week about the issue of mining centralization in the Bitcoin network. We saw a single mining pool, GHash.io, amass over 45% hashpower for many hours, and at one point even grow to become 51% of the entire network. The entire front page of the Bitcoin reddit was ablaze in intense discussion and a rare clash of complacency and fear, miners quickly mobilized to take their hashpower off GHash, and surprisingly clever strategies were used in an attempt to bring back the balance between the different pools, up to and including one miner with “between 50 TH/s and 2 PH/s” mining at GHash but refusing to forward valid blocks, essentially sabotating all mines on the pool to the extent of up to 4%. Now, the situation has somewhat subsided, with GHash down to 35% network hashpower and the runner up, Discus Fish, up to 16%, and it is likely that the situation will remain that way for at least a short while before things heat up again. Is the problem solved? Of course not. Can the problem be solved? That will be the primary subject of this post.

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TheRealSteve
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June 20, 2014, 11:33:37 PM
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Comments are closed for that entry, but there were minor discussions at...

reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/28mijy/on_mining
HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7919720

and you can comment at one of the syndicated locations: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/14268/mining/

Or here, of course.

The thing that bothers me about these 'solutions' is that many of them only deal with pools - and then mostly based on honor systems and psychology as it is - which to me just means things will become even more centralized with large mining operations rather than a conglomeration of smaller miners using pools more out of necessity than desire, but which at least can easily diversify themselves.

By its very nature Bitcoin gravitates toward some centralization. The model would have to be radically altered to change that, if desired.  If the plan is to essentially accelerate the centralization process to force an outcome, whatever that outcome is, then the proposals make perfect sense.
Otherwise, I can't help but wonder if these particular treatments aren't worse than the symptoms of the disease they aim to treat, while ultimately not providing a cure.

As an aside, perhaps this is better posted in Bitcoin Forum > Bitcoin > Bitcoin Discussion?

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June 21, 2014, 01:11:30 PM
 #3

Well one idea to stop centralized mining is for all major pools to rotate from pooled to solo mining.

24 hours in a day.

  so :

day 1   time 00:00-01:00   if you made the block you get it and do not share it as blocks are normally shared. or forced solo mining for 1 in 24 hours.
day 2   time 01:00-02:00    the same
day 3   time 02:00-03:00    do this right through the  24 day cycle.

end at day 24 then repeat.


what  does this do   it makes the desire to be in the pool with the lowest variance  ie cex.io  a little less since  cex.io 

would a) either do the 24 hour plan or b) not do the 24 hour plan.   If they do the 24 hour plan along with the rest of the top pools   the cex.io variance edge gets lessened a bit.  If they do not do the 24 hour plan they are subject to a withholding attack.  which lessons the variance edge.

 remember  if the pool is in the solo mode  withholding attacks are worthless.  Since only the withholding of a winning block suffers the loss.

I mine alt coins with https://simplemining.net...
I see BTC as the super highway and alt coins as taxis and trucks needed to move transactions.
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