Is there any statement about the design of Bitcoin alluding to dealing with large pools controlling a good part of the network? while it is true that pools can compete and people can "vote" by switching pools, the statements handed down regarding major decisions affecting the Bitcoin system seem eerily central and authoritative. was this kind of power considered initially and is thus balanced now, or was Bitcoin intended to be strictly p2p initially?

  • If you search for "satoshi" on this page, you can see some responses that tangentially relate to your question.
    – morsecoder
    Feb 15 '16 at 21:17

There's a conversation on cryptography@metzdowd.org shortly after the release of the Bitcoin paper that touches on this tangentially:

James A. Donald - Sun, 02 Nov 2008

For transferable proof of work tokens to have value, they must have monetary value. To have monetary value, they must be transferred within a very large network - for example a file trading network akin to bittorrent.

To detect and reject a double spending event in a timely manner, one must have most past transactions of the coins in the transaction, which, naively implemented, requires each peer to have most past transactions, or most past transactions that occurred recently. [...]

Satoshi Nakamoto - Sun, 02 Nov 2008

Long before the network gets anywhere near as large as that, it would be safe for users to use Simplified Payment Verification (section 8) to check for double spending, which only requires having the chain of block headers, or about 12KB per day. Only people trying to create new coins would need to run network nodes. At first, most users would run network nodes, but as the network grows beyond a certain point, it would be left more and more to specialists with server farms of specialized hardware. A server farm would only need to have one node on the network and the rest of the LAN connects with that one node.

From the word choice used here, a datacenter of machines using a single server to construct blocks is intended. However, many different parties using the same pool server is not contemplated.

Of course, that doesn't mean that pooled mining is wrong - just that it wasn't anticipated.


I don't think he did. He wrote about shared nodes inside a LAN but he never mentioned mining pools as we know them today. I'm indeed surprised who he underestimated the problem. Mining pools are the only Bitcoin's flaw that will prevent its price to grow in the future.


Yes he did ! Bitcoin is build in such a way that anyone can be a miner, effectively making the world population it's pool. Also the people with knowledge (technical) will always be on top of it all as with everything in life. If you somehow manage to use Bitcoin's source code as if it was selfmade then you probably be the boss of Bitcoin very soon until someone else comes up with something better...

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