The Bitcoin network is subject to continual innovation on the part of further decentralization, and mining seems to be the latest area to get the treatment with a tool released by merged mining pool Blisterpool.
The enhancement is built on the concept of P2Pool, which as its name suggests, eliminates the emergence of a group of users mining as a single entity. Instead, “P2Pool miners mine on many nodes, each with much less power than a single pool would have,” Blisterpool’s website explains.
Distributing the mining workload in this manner has the added benefit of avoiding any hint of a 51% attack, as the power of each node with existing technology is no match for the rest of the system combined.
Blisterpool says it has designed the idea “with donations in mind” as a method of securing incentives for users. The website explains:
“1 BTC sent as a donation is split by shares down to a minimum cut off, and miners without enough shares to earn the cutoff amount are grouped into a lottery with a chance to win the entire cutoff pool based on their actual contributions.”
Contribution-based rewards of this nature should also appeal to Bitcoin businesses who were not previously engaged in mining.
“If a business decides to regularly donate 1% of bitcoin profits (or any reasonable amount) to P2Pool miners or other distributed mining networks, it will provide a long term incentive for miners to switch to decentralized mining away from large centralized ones.”
A bold vision it may be, but news of the release seems to have the Reddit community breathing sighs of relief.
“Great. Next time there is a "omg pool xyz is at 49%"-panic we can just direct people to donate here and p2pool instantly becomes the most profitable pool (for a while). Crisis averted,” wrote user u/minorman, while the idea has also attracted the attention of another P2Pool mining operation.
For the time being, the chances of ‘traditional’ mining pools fading away seem remote, but in light of the sizeable tension demonstrated by the community, alternatives such as Blisterpool’s offering are clearly being readily considered.