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When I pool mine, do my payments come from the pool operator's personal account? From the pool's wallet? Or from somewhere else?

When using P2Pool, the payments appear in bitcoin-qt as though I had mined the block myself.

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Broadly speaking, there are two ways of paying pool miners. The first way is to have a wallet and send payments to miners through that when they ask for them.

The second way, which both eligius.st and p2pool use, is to keep track of how many shares people get, and set the coinbase transaction to pay the block reward directly to them once a block is found. This has the advantage that you never have any Bitcoins to steal on your pool server.

  • This has the advantage that you never have any Bitcoins to steal on your pool server. But non-P2Pool pool managers still have complete control over the payout queue, viz., who to include in the next block's generation transaction and how much to pay them. So, P2Pool is more secure against pool manager fraud, even than Eligius. – Geremia Apr 14 '15 at 2:51
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    @Geremia Well, sure. If someone can control what address(es) you mine to, they can steal future mining payouts. It doesn't require compromising the mining server, just intercepting traffic. – Nick ODell Apr 14 '15 at 2:57
  • Why do you say it "just [requires] intercepting traffic"? No traffic has to be intercepted when a single pool operator has full control over creating the generation transaction. – Geremia Apr 14 '15 at 5:32
  • @Geremia Intercepting traffic is, generally speaking, easier than taking control of a server. – Nick ODell Apr 14 '15 at 5:37

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