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When I mine in pools there are unconfirmed coins, but it seems unconfirmed times are far less than immature status in *coind wallet app... Any advice how I can get my coins quicker instead of waiting for 100 blocks to pass?

  • "Unconfirmed" and "immature" mean rather different things, and I'm having trouble understanding which you mean. Can you edit your question to clarify? It would be most helpful if you can be very specific about the behavior you are seeing in each case. – Nate Eldredge Aug 21 '14 at 6:27
  • well *coinapp lists the coins as immature when solo-mined, whereas there are unconfirmed transaction, which I would guess require less confirmations? – jnollette Aug 21 '14 at 6:49
  • To comment on your link, then why is it that pools are able to spend there coins much more quickly??? I am asking why does it take much longer to gets coins available when solo mining??? – jnollette Aug 21 '14 at 6:51
  • "Whereas there are unconfirmed transaction, which I would guess require less confirmations?" I'm afraid I don't understand what unconfirmed transactions you are talking about. – Nate Eldredge Aug 21 '14 at 6:52
  • As for how pools can make payouts that don't need to wait for maturity, the most likely way is that the pool operator has a reserve of coins, perhaps collected from the operator's share of previous blocks, and the payouts are made from the reserve, rather than directly from the newly mined block. But without specifics it's hard to be sure what's going on with your particular pool. – Nate Eldredge Aug 21 '14 at 6:55
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I'm still not completely sure that I am understanding your question correctly, but let me take a guess.

As you know, when a block is first mined, the coins from its block reward are considered "immature". They may not be spent until 100 blocks later, or in other words, until the coinbase transaction has 100 confirmations.

Now, there are a couple of ways a pool can make payouts to its miners.

  1. When creating the block template for mining, include a coinbase transaction that pays appropriate amounts to all pool members who are due to receive payouts.

  2. Include a coinbase transaction that pays its coins directly to a wallet controlled by the pool operator. The operator then makes additional transactions for payments from that wallet (or another wallet he controls) to the pool members.

For a pool that uses method 1, members will receive payouts that are immature, and they will have to wait 100 blocks to spend them.

For a pool that uses method 2, if the pool operator has a sufficient balance in his wallet, he can make the payouts right away by using coins that have been in the wallet for a long time already, long enough that they have become mature. In this case, the payouts are ordinary transactions; they confirm like any other, and the miner can spend them immediately (or perhaps after 1 confirmation, depending on the requirements imposed by her wallet software).

Method 2 is certainly more convenient for the miner members if all goes well, but it has some other problems. In order to maintain a sufficient balance, the pool operator has to keep some of his own coins in the wallet at all times. These coins are then tied up there, which may be inconvenient or costly for the operator. Also, if the block reward is paid directly to the operator's wallet, there is a chance he will decide not to make the payout to members, but instead will keep the coins himself.

  • I can imagine a 3rd model (possible new business model?): trusted party receives the immature coins on behalf of the miner in a multisig transaction, then relays to miner 99 cents to the bitcoin in another multi-signed transaction, albeit using matured coins. When all parties are satisfied they sign both trans, so funds are unlocked: pool operator offloads hoarding risks to 3rd party, who gets a small commission, whereas miner gets spendable coins. – Joe Pineda Aug 21 '14 at 16:32
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    @JoePineda: The 3rd party lender is taking on another risk, too: the block could be orphaned which would make the immature coins he's holding valueless. Of course, he could control that risk by waiting for some small number of transactions. But in any case, it seems like a lot of trouble for someone to get their coins 16 hours sooner. – Nate Eldredge Aug 21 '14 at 17:12
  • Good point. Might be a bit more worth for alt-coins that have a much longer maturation time (as Primecoin's 2+ days) but at that point it'd probably be easier to just ask for someone to lend you the amount in altcoins and paying interest later. – Joe Pineda Aug 28 '14 at 0:21

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