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Author Topic: The pools are getting far too powerful.  (Read 2502 times)
firexware
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May 20, 2011, 03:56:08 AM
 #1

Deepbit, the largest pool is about to reach 50% of the total network's hashing power. I've watched it grow over +200Ghash/s over the past weeks, and it is still growing.

Obviously there are many problems with a single entity having that much power.

See: http://ossbox.com/bitcoin-pool-ddos.htm

IMHO, something must be done about it. My recommendation: build a decentralized pool system into the "official" client. People want pools. AFAICT the only way to prevent a malicious monopoly pool is to build one in to the "real" client. I'm sure many people would prefer that because they won't have to trust a single pool admin, nor pay a fee like most pools.


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theymos
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May 20, 2011, 04:15:59 AM
 #2

I don't think it's a big problem. If deepbit ever abused its power, all of its miners would leave.

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May 20, 2011, 04:18:02 AM
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agreed!
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May 20, 2011, 04:37:07 AM
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I don't think it's a big problem. If deepbit ever abused its power, all of its miners would leave.

Well, there are certain collusion scenarios where that is not true.  But in general... agreed.

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May 20, 2011, 05:47:58 AM
 #5

Anyway, this problem will solve itself as mining gets more professional (which it's already doing). The sort of people who program FPGAs and get custom-built ASICs will not join a pool even as difficulty increases, because they're in it for the long haul and can wait out the variance.

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May 20, 2011, 08:00:17 AM
 #6

Tycho is trustworthy, but if his setup gets hacked Sony-style that could be quite bad.

Worst case, the hacker reverses a transaction (or more) and then the pool is taken offline, potentially for days, whilst its rebuilt and checked for its integrity. During that time network security would be much weaker.

Having more pools could only be a good thing. Is what you need to set one up publically available or do they all still rely on closed source code?
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May 20, 2011, 08:14:51 AM
 #7

Tycho is trustworthy, but if his setup gets hacked Sony-style that could be quite bad.

Worst case, the hacker reverses a transaction (or more) and then the pool is taken offline, potentially for days, whilst its rebuilt and checked for its integrity. During that time network security would be much weaker.

Having more pools could only be a good thing. Is what you need to set one up publically available or do they all still rely on closed source code?

Pretty sure that [Tycho] keeps his software proprietary ... don't know if anyone has asked him, it's all pretty new. He just gives v.good reliability, (can't remember when he was last down and I've had something pointed at his pool since he started), has two servers, fail-over capable, in different continents and another guy on when he's off-line. (german efficiency Smiley i guess)

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May 20, 2011, 08:39:04 AM
 #8

Quote
My recommendation: build a decentralized pool system into the "official" client. People want pools. AFAICT the only way to prevent a malicious monopoly pool is to build one in to the "real" client. I'm sure many people would prefer that because they won't have to trust a single pool admin, nor pay a fee like most pools.

This would be good for every one, including professional miners, because it would put bitcoin in more hands, thus increasing demand for products that accept bitcoin payment and thus value of bitcoins.

The ability of the casual bitcoin user to generate some bitcoin on their own is very important for the widespread adoption of bitcoin IMO.

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May 20, 2011, 01:42:40 PM
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There's already Eligius Smiley

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May 21, 2011, 06:22:34 PM
 #10

we're all doomed ! ruuuuuun !! Tongue
/sarcasm.
sure, Deepbit had 4x-5x more crunching horsepower than world-fastest supper-computer Tongue
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May 21, 2011, 06:24:39 PM
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http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=9137.0

knightmb
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May 22, 2011, 02:32:02 AM
 #12

I was wondering when this topic would come up. Actually working on a solution for that care of bitcoin itself. Basically I'm going to use BitCoin to invest back into, well BitCoin.

Working on a bitcoin data center as I type  Wink

cuddlefish
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May 22, 2011, 02:35:27 AM
 #13

I was wondering when this topic would come up. Actually working on a solution for that care of bitcoin itself. Basically I'm going to use BitCoin to invest back into, well BitCoin.

Working on a bitcoin data center as I type  Wink

See my post above you. The pool problem is solved.

knightmb
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May 22, 2011, 02:59:47 AM
 #14

I was wondering when this topic would come up. Actually working on a solution for that care of bitcoin itself. Basically I'm going to use BitCoin to invest back into, well BitCoin.

Working on a bitcoin data center as I type  Wink

See my post above you. The pool problem is solved.
It's one solution that sounds like something I saw proposed before last year, but I'll post the holes I've found in it in that topic rather than here.

firexware
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May 31, 2011, 12:14:15 PM
 #15

"Pool's fee is lowered to 0%-Proportional, 7%-PPS for a few days due to the outage caused by DDoS" - deebit.net
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May 31, 2011, 01:10:32 PM
 #16

"Pool's fee is lowered to 0%-Proportional, 7%-PPS for a few days due to the outage caused by DDoS" - deebit.net

Yup.

And 24 hours after beginning that policy they were at >40% again according to their claimed hashrate.  Though their figures are no longer displayed on bitcoinwatch.

Based on comments I've seen by newbies on IRC it seems that a lot of people erroneously believe that mining is a race and that they enjoy some significant advantage by being on the largest pool…
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