[Bitcoin-development] BlockPow: A Practical Proposal to prevent mining pools AND reduce payoff variance:

slush slush at centrum.cz
Thu Jun 19 20:26:41 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 7:35 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
> My (fresh!) understanding is that the reason we don't see people using
> getblocktemplate to decentralise pools is because libblkmaker and other
> implementations don't actually support connecting your own node to the
> miners and choosing your own blocks, even though the protocol does.
Well, I don't want to start flamewar (and this topic has potential!), but
the *real* reason why there isn't such infrastructure is that although GBT
as a protocol *does* support of decentralized building of blocks, it is
*extremely* resource consuming to validate these shares on pool side.

With GBT, simply hashing the block header is not enough, because pool
cannot rely on anything provided by the client. Its not only about things
like withdrawal attacks, but more about hidden bugs in various miners. It
is extremely hard to do full validation for *every* of submitted shares.

Although I see benefits of GBT and I see limits of Stratum, I don't think
that supporting full GBT validation have economic sense for any medium
sized pool, because such pool would need multiply his running costs on
servers many times.

> It's part of a general trend wherein people look at all the things
that can be accomplished in an economy that has a division of labor*,
and see some misbehavior at the edges, and decide that rather than
fixing the misbehavior we should throw out the entire concept of labor

Well written! This reminds me - what about Stratum + SPV validation on
miner side?

With SPV, miner cannot choose his own transactions, so it is not fully
decentralized, but at least miner can detect (in real time) two major pool
misbehaviours - selfish mining (building private blockchain) and chain
forking (not working on longest known blockchain).

I read such proposal about Stratum + SPV on reddit and I actually like it;
It removes major drawbacks of "centralized" Stratum mining, yet is gives
tools to miners to instantly switch to fallback pool when something wrong
is happening.

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