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I've been reading a little about merged mining as used in Bitcoin and Namecoin.

It seems like merged mining effectively eliminated Namecoin-only mining pools, right? Since Namecoin-only pools are mostly 'out-mined' by the Bitcoin merged mining pools, it seems pointless to start one.

In this case, I had a concern about the incentives of Bitcoin merged-miners to verify Namecoin blocks (i.e. check Namecoin transactions, name updates, etc.). So my question is: Do Bitcoin merged-miners verify the Namecoin block before starting to mine on the merged block? I assume they do.

I suppose if they don't verify the Namecoin part, they save some computation-time but they stand to lose the Namecoin reward, which is not that high anyway. Is the saved computation time ever worth losing the Namecoin block reward?

  • Where do you think they get the block from? Generally, the only way to tell what block to build on top of is to verify it. – David Schwartz Apr 5 '16 at 2:00
  • I assume you mean the Namecoin block? I don't know who exactly advertises the Namecoin block to the Bitcoin miners. I am thinking that maybe instead of advertising the full block, just its hash is advertised. Or if the full block is advertised, the Bitcoin miners might want to save some cycles. So they might not verify the block content and just compute its hash, which they then incorporate into the Bitcoin block. That would be bad, and you're saying it doesn't happen. I suppose the Namecoin reward is always worth the time to verify the Namecoin block? – Alin Tomescu Apr 5 '16 at 17:25
  • They have no choice but to verify it. The way you get a Namecoin block is by verifying it. There isn't some service they use that provides them with unverified blocks. – David Schwartz Apr 5 '16 at 23:04
  • I would say they have another choice: to just hash the Namecoin block without verifying it (after putting in their private key for the block-reward) and incorporate the hash into the Bitcoin block. – Alin Tomescu Apr 6 '16 at 12:43
  • What is "the Namecoin block" that you are talking about? Are you suggesting that they have some service that provides them with unverified Namecoin blocks? Who do you think provides such a service and what purpose do you think it serves? How would a person get a Namecoin block to hash without verifying it? – David Schwartz Apr 6 '16 at 16:42

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