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What would be required to disincentivize mining pools?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

Now that mining pools are starting to hit the 51% cusp of total mining power, what would need to happen to the Bitcoin protocol to reduce their success, and encourage distributed mining power over pools?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

It doesn't matter if a mining pool has 100% of the total mining power so long as that mining pool can't choose which transactions its users work on, prevent them from submitting blocks that they find, or choose which blocks they build from. No change is needed to the Bitcoin protocol as far as I know. Only the protocol used between pools and their clients needs to be changed.

up vote 3 down vote

Mining pools are an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem and I don't believe they should be disincentivized.

What does need to be done is to eliminate the inherent preference to mine only in the largest pool. This can be done with new mining pool reward frameworks such as Multi-PPS.


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What would be required to disincentivize mining pools?

up vote 14 down vote

Now that mining pools are starting to hit the 51% cusp of total mining power, what would need to happen to the Bitcoin protocol to reduce their success, and encourage distributed mining power over pools?


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up vote 9 down vote

It doesn't matter if a mining pool has 100% of the total mining power so long as that mining pool can't choose which transactions its users work on, prevent them from submitting blocks that they find, or choose which blocks they build from. No change is needed to the Bitcoin protocol as far as I know. Only the protocol used between pools and their clients needs to be changed.

edit

Isn't the problem, though, that the mining pools would have to opt in to a system such as the one you describe? If you have a 51% pool that isn't interested in playing by those rules, aren't you sunk? It would follow, then, that the Bitcoin protocol itself would have to change to require pools to change, not just suggest it. - fbrereto Jun 16 at 17:22

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