My understanding is that if a miner uses a particular coinbase address then already this address is offsetting the computation to a whole different set of results… Can someone, mathematically speaking, gain anything from watching what others compute given that every pool or solo-miner is computing in their own interest, their own corner of computation universe?

For context in which I thought of this question see https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/3658


2 Answers 2


There is no reason any miner would care what any other miner is doing and no way they could gain any advantage by knowing any of that information. They need to find a solution that pays them money. Nothing anybody else is doing helps them do that. They either find one or they don't.


From #bitcoin IRC channel at freenode:

17:41 <fireduck> jasan: I don't understand the question.  In the bug you pointed it to, it seems that ghash got block X, and was in the processing of sending it for validation.  Then the bug poster got block X+1 based on that
17:42 <fireduck> but bitcoind hadn't processed/validated block X yet, so it rejected X+1
17:42 <fireduck> this is what I would expect.  The mining pool software should have waited and retried a few times.
17:42 <fireduck> The coinbase address has nothing to do with this
17:42 <jasan> fireduck: Thank you for thinking about it. Yes, my question is slightly off-topic from that issue itself.
17:42 <-- melande1 (~melande@gateway/tor-sasl/melande) has quit (Remote host closed the connection)
17:42 <fireduck> other than each block has one (or more)
17:43 <fireduck> ah, I think i understand your question
17:43 --> melande1 (~melande@gateway/tor-sasl/melande) has joined #bitcoin
17:43 <fireduck> Lets say you could observe all stratum calls and all work submits for all mining pools in existence ( a tall order)
17:44 <fireduck> would that help you solve blocks faster?
17:44 <jasan> Yes. Nicely rephrased.
17:44 <fireduck> (making sure I understand the question)
17:44 <fireduck> cool.  That would not help at all.
17:44 <jasan> OK. Thank you.
17:44 <fireduck> Each of those mining pools is using a differnet coinbase with different addresses, values, nonces, etc
17:45 <fireduck> So knowing the state of all that won't help you find a solution to your address
17:45 <jasan> Originally I thought the issue author is suggesting otherwise, but then I even re-read the issue and realized it says something else.
17:45 <fireduck> got it.  The issue is a little hard to parse.
17:46 <jasan> fireduck: Thank you! I really appreciate your answer!
17:46 <fireduck> no problem.  I've written mining pool software so this in the area I've worked in

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