Bitmain is regarded as one of the most influential companies in the ASIC mining industry. It is estimated that they have manufactured approximately 53% of all mining equipment.Without including their mining profits, that’s around $140 million dollars in sales. These figures are staggering, but Bitmain’s monopoly of the Bitcoin ASIC market may come to an end, following the release of PowerAsic’s asicpower AP9-SHA256.
About the asicpower AP9-SHA256
Designed with brand new technology and boasting 94 TH/s per miner, the AP(-SHA256 is the most powerful and efficient Bitcoin miner to date.PowerAsic claims they spent $12 million dollars on research, development, and prototypes.PowerAsic also noted that their miners take advantage of ASICBOOST, an exploit of Bitcoin’s algorithm which improves mining efficiency by 20%.An unusual approach separate Powerasic’s miner to the other manufactures is the implementation of copper heat-sink claimed to have a superior thermal conductivity 69% better than aluminium. Don’t take their words for it but confirm the facts are correct on widely well known and published science documents as this one.The first batch of miners were announced and made available for order in August of 2019, with start scheduled for shipment in September, 2019. Powerasic claims that the machines are around 40 percent more productive than the most proficient ASIC on the market, Bitmain’s Antminer S17.According to PowerAsic, they started a mining project with the aim to bring much needed competition to the market…We want to ‘make SHA256 great again.Sitting at the hefty price of $2,795.00, the powerasic AP9-SHA256 is far from affordable for the average person. Fortunately, due to the newly born rivalry between Bitmain and Powerasic, the price will probably lower with time and competition.The power supply for this unit is included and integrated in the top-box also including the controler card as a one unit. You will also get standard power cable, network cable, manual and software in the packet. In comparison to the price of the Antminer S17 , the Powerasic AP9-Sha256 is a better value.
The integrated PSU 3300W has a inputVoltage 220V 50Hz 30A. There are 2 fan 40mm., 1 fan 60mm to keep it cool and the power cable 3 legs following CEE 7 standard.Professional mining hardware runs optimally at 220-240V, hence why mining farms step down their own electricity supply to 220-240V. Note that 220V current is only found outside of the US – American outlets are 110V by default. Unless you want to hire an electrician, this could cause some people trouble adapt to the eficient and recomended 220V power needed, still 110V will get the job done, but they are not ideal for optimum mining performance.
Thanks to the powerasic AP9-HA256’s new 7nm generation of ASIC chips, the AP9-SHA256 has become the most electrically-efficient miner on the market.Consuming merely 30.J/TB, or 2860W from the wall, the 16T is 30% more electrically-efficient than the Antminer S17.
Powerasic ’s new ASIC technology is impressive. When compared to its closest competitor, the Antminer S17, the powerasic AP9-HA256 is the clear winner. It hashes at 94 TH/s, as opposed to the S17’s 56 TH/s. Moreover, the the AP9-HA256 consumes 30J/GH, whereas the S17 consumes 39-45J/TB.The difference in power consumption is miniscule, but when it comes to large-scale mining, the the AP9-HA256’s edge will drastically increase the profitability of a mining operation. This ASIC is profitable not only for mining on a large scale, but for the individual miner as well.Take a look at the projected mining profitability of a single miner:Note that is appears profitable even with high electricity costs ($0.1 per KW/h). With $0.05 / KW/h it’s even more profitable:📷Each powerasic AP9-HA256 will generate about $6,009 per year (calculated with 1 BTC=$10,141.5). Mining profitability may vary. You can usethis free profitability calculator to determine your projected earnings.
Is powerasic AP9-HA256 a Scam?
There is been a lot of talk on Twitter that powerasic AP9-HA256 is a scam. It appears it is not, as many users are already claiming to have received their miners.Slush, the creator ot Slush Mining Pool and the TREZOR hardware wallet, claims on Twitter that he has seen units and knows people who have had their miners delivered:
Verdict: Is The Antminer S17 Outdated?
When the first batch of Bitmain’s Antminer S17 ASICs reached the eager hands of miners, they were all the rage. The S17 was renowned as the most efficient ASIC miner on the market. Many used the S17 as the industry’s golden standard.Up until the launch of the powerasic AP9-HA256, it was the golden standard.But, now?Things have changed.Not only is the powerasic AP9-HA256 more powerful than its predecessor from Bitmain, but also more efficient, and therefore, more profitable.Ever since the announcement of the new ASIC, there was widespread speculation of its legitimacy – and rightly so.The Bitcoin community has been plagued with small, phony companies manipulating images of preexisting antminers as a ploy to hype up their fake products. Nevertheless, powerasic AP9-HA256 is taking things seriously, and their first batch of miners have lived up to expectations.The fact of the matter is, Bitmain’s most powerful and efficient antminer has been dethroned by the new reigning king of ASICs: The powerasic AP9-HA256.
Bitmain has dominated the ASIC market since its inception in 2013.There are a few other companies producing ASICs. However, before the creation of PowerAsics AP9-SHA256., Bitmain was the only company with a proven track record that sold efficient miners directly to the public.Powerasic AP9-HA256 has the potential to bring Bitmain’s monopoly to an end. Powerasic AP9-HA256 has a bright future ahead of them. Now that Bitmain has noteworthy competition, it will be interesting to see how it affects the market. The powerasic AP9-HA256 is the best option (for now) for anyone getting started with mining. Powerasic’s innovation should force other ASIC producers to innovate and force other companies to release new miners with better efficiency. So whether you’re buying a miner now or soon, you’re likely to benefit from the development of this new miner. For more, Visit Us: https://asicpower.net/product.php
Source - https://coinscapture.com/blog/working-of-cryptocurrency-mining-pool Working of Cryptocurrency Mining pool Cryptocurrency is the most discussed and trending topic on various internet forums, communities, and social media. Many individuals are keen to enter the cryptoworld and unfold all the profits within it. Cryptocurrency can be bought from an exchange or mined through the mining pools. In this guide, we’ll understand the working of the cryptocurrency mining pool. What is Mining Pool? Cryptocurrency mining is the same as mining the metals from the earth. The individual or company that digs out the metal from the earth becomes the owner similarly the individual who discovers first the valid hash using the computational power becomes the owner and earns a block reward. The crypto mining can either be done solo using his/her own mining devices or through a mining pool. As more and more enthusiasts participated in mining to earn a block reward became equally difficult and it would take centuries for a miner to generate a block because the probability of finding the hash value first and generating a block is directly proportional to the computing power in the network. The smaller the computational power the smaller is the chance of generating the next block. Hence a solution, to this problem mining pools were formed. A mining pool is a group of miners pooling/combining their computational power together in order to mine a cryptocurrency quickly and earn a block reward consistently. Each contributing miner earns reward according to their investment in processing power. The working of mining pools depends on certain algorithms that are designed to check the authenticity and validity of the transactions. Miners are required to solve a complex math problem that requires millions of calculations with the help of High computational power. When the miners combined their computational power the block generation process happens at a much faster rate as compared to a single mining rig. For more understanding of mining please refer our previous blog (What is Bitcoin mining?) Types of Mining Pools
Single mining pools: This type of mining pool mine only single cryptocurrency
Multi-currency pools: This type of mining pool mine different cryptocurrencies and gives the miner a chance to choose the cryptocurrency for mining timely depending rewards points offered.
Cloud mining pools: Cloud-based mining can be combined with mining pools by making an online contract. This type of mining pool allows individuals to participate in mining activity without even buying specialized equipment.
How rewards are shared on mining pools? The rewards shared after successfully adding the new block to the blockchain vary from currency to currency. The reward sharings also depend on the factors like mining difficulty, the exchange rate between different coins, the hash rate and the block generation time. Some of the followed reward structures are as follows:
Pay-per-share (PPS): This method offers instant payout depending on the miner’s contribution to finding the block. The payment is done using the pool's existing balance and can be withdrawn immediately.
Shared Maximum Pay Per Share (SMPPS): It is the same as Pay-per-share (PPS) but limits the payout to the maximum that the pool has earned.
Equalized Shared Maximum Pay Per Share (ESMPPS): This method is similar to (SMPPS) but the rewards are distributed equally among all miners in the pool.
Proportional (PROP): The miner is rewarded the share that is proportional to the number of shares he has in the pool with respect to the pool’s total shares
Advantages of mining pools
Mining pools offer a more stable income
Mining pools lower costs of mining
Mining pools helps in generating a higher income
Disadvantages of Mining pools
There may be some interruptions in the Mining pools
There is a sharing of block rewards
There may be sometimes unfavorable pool reward structure
Widely-Used Mining Pools
Antpool: The largest pool available on the web offering mining of cryptocurrencies like BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, ETC, ZEC, DASH, SCC, XMC, BTM
Minergate.com: A public mining pool mining of cryptocurrencies like ETH, ETC, ZEC, BTG, BCN, XMR, XMO, FCN, XDN, AEON
Btc.com: The most popular mining pool among miners offering cryptocurrencies BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, UBTC, DCR to mine
BTCC: The largest Chinese pool in the world mining 7% of all existing blocks.
Slush: The most trusted mining pools on internet mining 7% of all available blocks.
Mining pools can definitely be a change to the entire mining process offering the highest and the real income without spending years depending on the computational powers. Hence, investing in a mining pool can be beneficial but always choose the mining pool that fits your personal needs and facilities.
Plz Help. Have I found a Discrepancy in Slush Pool?
I may have found a bad discrepancy in Slushpool's reporting... Can you guys cross-check it for me? I'm not happy to say this, and rather than accuse anyone, I'd just like to get some second opinions. If I'm wrong, I ask redditers to politely explain why this discrepancy appears to be happening. After all, maybe it's my math, or logic, or facts missing, etc... But if there is a discrepancy, it could affect major things like payouts, theoretically... and I mean in a major way... retroactive for years. My concern starts with the average speed per worker of the bitcoin mining pool, on Slushpool. As I write (12/26/17 Pacific time, around 11pm), Slushpool currently says it is running at 1.587 Eh/s. https://slushpool.com/dashboard/?c=btc The website also says there are 62810 workers in the pool. I want to calculate the speed per worker. Speed per worker should be expressed in Th/s, so to reduce it to common terms, we need to convert the pool's global Eh/s to Th/s... which means to multiply the Eh/s by 10002... one thousand, squared. The speed of Slushpool was 1.587 Eh/s, so we set it up like this: 1.587 * 1000 * 1000 = 1587000 Th/s. † Now to get from Slush Pool's total Th/s to Slush Pool's average Th/s per worker, divide total by number of workers... (1587000 th/s) / (62810 workers) = 25.26 Th/s per worker. So I got the number I was looking for... excellent. You might say "Okay, interesting, so the average worker is mining at 25.26 Th/s. NP. Cool."... But what you SHOULD be doing here is asking HOW ON EARTH ANY WORKER IS MINING AT 25.26 TH/S, and even moreso how THE AVERAGE worker mining on Slush Pool is mining at that speed. The fastest miner on the market is the s9, and it mines at 14 Th/s. So how is the average miner on Slush Pool more so much faster than the very best miner on the market, today? The S9, The BEST MINER on the MARKET, today, is only 56% the speed of the AVERAGE miner on Slush pool. Now, maybe somebody built a specialized frankenminer in a laboratory... maybe someone uncovreed a secret cache of Spondoolies SP50 miners... which was designed to mine at a whopping 110th/s, for example... but Spondoolies went bankrupt in 2016, and production was halted. Even before then, they didn't make too many sp50's, and they were restricted to special clients. So... assuming it isn't legacy Spondoolies sp50's doing this mystery hashing, how else can we explain the high h/s on Slush Pool? Maybe someone got really good at overclocking... maybe they cooled the hell out of their miners, so they can run at super fast speeds. Would that really be enough to yield 25.26 Th/s? Is that credible? Is it possible or plausible? ... Even if some miners are achieving that incredibly blazing speed, would the AVERAGE miner be achieving it? Don't forget about how the AVERAGE includes all these micro miners, as well... misfits like the u3, gridseed orb, blade miner, s1-s5, running in a dorm rooms, etc. There are hobby miners who would pull the average h/s (per miner) on Slush Pool down alot. So, how is it possible that the pool is running at this speed? Better asked... IS it possible, and if so, how? And if it's not possible, then what are we looking at? If the pool operator is overstating the total hashing power of the mining pool, then are payouts being reduced according to a false ratio, where the divisor in the ratio is artificially large? The payouts are based on that... they depend on it. So are the payouts on Slush Pool being artificially shrunken? If the total Eh/s of the pool is really much lower than what they say, then I'd have to suspect that it is. But I am absolutely NOT saying for certain that this is what's happening. It's what my suspicious anxiety closet suggests could be happening... but I really don't know. That's why I'm asking you guys to help sort this all out, and explain to me whether these concerns are misguided or not. I'm asking a question, here... not throwing accusations. Frankly I think it is more likely that I've made an error of some kind, either miscalculating or possibly unaware of some vital detail, than that the net's oldest and most respected mining pool is doing something like this. It is very likely there's a good explanation for the apparent discrepancy, but I do not know what it is... so again, I'm asking you, reddit, if you can evaluate this reasoning and comb it for flaws, math errors, weak factual assumptions, and/or whatever else might explain what I'm seeing, or if you can confirm the math and logic framed in the questions I've asked. Thanks everyone, and have a happy new year. † (Here is a site which tells the relation) https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/9219/what-is-the-difference-between-kh-s-mh-s-and-gh-s/21498 (here is a site with a calculator which goes from E~ to T~. Although it does not have Eh/s and Th/s, you can use Ehenry to get the same mathematical result. https://www.translatorscafe.com/unit-converteen/inductance/5-4/gigahenry-terahenry/
First of all, I should note it's not a big deal and there are no reasons to panic or anything, but it's just remarkable that the thing we knew is theoretically possible is happening now. To provide background on this kind of attack I need to start from fundamentals. Here's the security assumption from the Bitcoin paper:
The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.
Originally mining was done by users themselves, it was a part of node/wallet software. However, later it became more specialized. Hashing, running nodes and using Bitcoin are completely separate things nowadays when pooled mining is commonplace. That is, somebody can "mine" bitcoins using his hashing hardware without running a node. (And, perhaps, without even being a Bitcoin user, as a "miner" can auto-convert his revenue to dollars.) Calling this "mining" isn't quite accurate. More precisely it can be described as renting (that is, mining pools rent hashing hardware of so-called "miners") or paying for a service (mining pools pays a "miner" for the efforts he's performed). Some "miners" believe that they receive bitcoins they created, but it's not true in a general case. One thing is that more often then not, individual miners fail to solve the block, but are still compensated for their efforts (not for results). Also pools generally have reserves which they use to smooth out reward payments, thus rewards miners receive do not necessarily come from freshly mined bitcoins. Now let's recall that hashpower is intimately linked to the security of the network. Attacker who controls a significant portion of total hashpower might be able to perform double-spend attacks (e.g. see Meni Rosenfeld's Analysis of Hashrate-Based Double Spending) or denial-of-service attacks (he might mine empty blocks). It is usually understood that these attacks are practically unfeasible, as overpowering the honest network would require enormous amounts of hardware, energy, etc. However, there are several different attack model. The most primitive one was relevant back when mining was done on CPUs: an attacker could rent CPU power from a cloud provider such as Amazon and try to do a double-spend reorganization or a 51% attack. It's fairly easy to do calculations within this model as the cost of an attack is known (for a certain difficulty) and one just needs to compare it to potential profits attacker might get. But CPU mining is irrelevant now, attacker would need specialized hardware to have a chance. This makes attack much more complex, as attacker needs to buy hardware, deploy it, start mining... And once attack is complete, he needs to do something with that hardware. It's generally understood that parties who own hashing hardware will be reluctant to perform attack because a successful attack can drastically decrease the value of the hardware they own. Thus it can be said that ASICs made Bitcoin much more secure due to this stickiness. But wait... what if an attacker rents hardware instead of buying it? It's much simpler than buying hardware: no complex logistics, little overhead, no concerns about how an attack would affect hardware price. Attacker would need to pay slightly above the market price to make sure he gets more than a half of total hashpower to make sure that it's statistically certain his attack can succeed. This can be describe as a sort of a bribe. Normally miners get block rewards (subsidy + fees). Attacker adds a bribe to it, making it subsidy + fees + bribe. This is attractive to miners as it pays more. Once attack is successful, attacker receives subsidy + fees + attack profit. Thus his cost is
Note that bribe can be arbitrarily small, it should be just enough to get miners interested. It can be 1% of a subsidy, for example. E.g. suppose attacker wants to earn 1000 BTC by double-spending, he gives a 10 BTC bribe to miners to orphan some of the recent blocks and pockets 990 BTC. The cost of this attack can be arbitrarily small, but it requires a lot of a capital and is also quite risky. And also it's not possible right now because miners do not just rent their hashpower to the highest bidder, they use mining pools they trust. Thus there's no way for the attacker go get more than 50% of total hashpower to be successful with this attack. There are, however, pools which allow people to rent hashpower. For example, NiceHash. It currently has 16 PH/s of SHA256 hashpower (according to the stats they publish), thus controlling around 1% of total hashpower. NiceHash allocates hashpower to highest bidder, and thus it can be potentially used for attacks I described above. But currently it's too small to have any effect. So this is just something to keep in mind. Pools like NiceHash are evil, they can potentially destabilize Bitcoin if more than a half of total Bitcoin's hashpower will be rented out on pools like this. It is important for miners to choose legitimate pools. So until now I thought that a bribe attack is just a curiosity in context of Bitcoin (it might be more relevant for alt-coins with much weaker hashpower), but today I was surprised with the fact that somebody tries to pull it off right now. There's a post on /btc: Someone just donated 16 BTC towards Classic Hashpower. We are now at 2 Petahash/sec on Slush pool. Thank you, donator. The fund is at 30 BTC and recycling the mining rewards over and over.. This is exactly the bribe attack, but they aren't using for double-spending or DoS, but on an attempt to hard-fork Bitcoin. Basically it's an attempt to artificially prop up Classic hashpower a little, and is good only for PR. But still it's something we should be aware of, I think. NodeCounter site the link points to is absolutely hilarious, BTW, totally recommend:
Bitcoin development has been bought out by a private company called "Blockstream". Blockstream has directed the crippling of Bitcoin in order to provide the solution, for their own future, financial gain.
(I hope moderators won't remove my post. /btc is currently being advertised in the sidebar of this subreddit, so every visitor is already one click away from learning information about "Classic Hashpower". I see absolutely no point in censoring this information.) On topic of brigading: when I posted it initially the post was 100% upvoted, that is regular /bitcoin subscribers found it good and relevant. However a bit later upvote rate dropped to 65% and at the same time several comments defending Classic and /btc appeared. Brigading much? I don't really care what you do with hashpower (attack is just a technical term FYI, it's not necessarily morally wrong), but brigading is despicable.
With full blocks and average fees above 150sat/byte Slush Pool and ViaBTC payout more than Bitcoin.com mining pool
Roger claimed his pool Bitcoin.com was the "world's highest paying mining pool". To his credit, this claim is true in certain circumstances, however it is misleading and it's currently NOT true. It's only true if the block transaction fees are under 1.53061224 bitcoins. (~150sat/byte for full blocks) Slush Pool and ViaBTC (on PPLNS) both pay 98% of the block reward plus the block transaction fees. Bitcoin.com pays 110% of the block reward and keeps the block transaction fees. Over the last 24hours the average block transaction fees were 1.78648863 so directing your hashpower to Bitcoin.com would not have paid the most. I realise Roger has to promote his pool but the gimmick "world's highest paying mining pool" is currently false. Here's the maths (x is the fees): Bitcoin.com = Block Reward * 110% = 12.5*1.1 Slush = (Block Reward + Fees) * 98% = (12.5+x)*.98 Bitcoin.com = Slush (calculate value of x (fees) for equal payout) 12.51.1 = (12.5+x).98 13.75 = (12.5+x)*.98 13.75/.98 = 12.5+x 14.03061224 = 12.5 + x 1.53061224 = x
Quick calculation: Cost of bringing the Bitcoin network to a halt.
A normal transaction uses about 500 bytes. Source: Check the blocks at Blockchain.info.
Usually transactions have a fee of 1 mBTC (0.0001 BTC), or about $0.05. Source: Any Bitcoin wallet.
There's a block size limit of 1MB. Source: Bitcoin core implementation.
A block is mined every 10 minutes. Source: Bitcoin core implementation.
So with this data, let's do some calculations:
Since the block is limited to 1MB (1.000.000 bytes) and each transaction uses about 500 bytes, a block can hold about 2000 transactions.
The fees required for those 2000 transactions not to get stuck infinitely are about $0.05 each, for a total of $100 per block.
There are 24*60 = 1440 minutes in a day, so about 144 blocks are mined in a day. Therefore, you would need about $14400 to bring the Bitcoin network completely to a halt for a day.
Therefore, even a minimum wage worker can bring a $8.5 billion economy completely to a halt for a whole day using his yearly wage.
Future internet money! BONUS 1: Many miners will accept transactions with less fees or no fees at all, bringing the cost down. BONUS 2: GHash.io (50% hashrate) and other pools like Slush are now limiting the blocksize to 340KBs, making the attack 3 times cheaper. BONUS 3: The core devs are planning to reduce the fees to 10% of what they are now, therefore making the attack 10 times cheaper.
This is a somewhat long story. I started with BTC around 2012, first as a curious, then by joining Slush Pool with GPU mining. It was a good time to mine with CPU/GPU, and I could get around 1.0 BTC. It was that time when the block erupters arrived, and ASICS were still at design level. I crawled through faucets getting some satoshis, played a lot of Satoshidice, and finally discovered the first Exchange in Brazil (will not ad them here, even though I still trade with them). Then, on July 2013 I had a little bit less than 3 BTC, when I saw at bitcointalk.org [https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=252180.0;imode] what was to become my doom: a guy(?) called vdragon was selling a batch of BTC Erupters. Those provided more hash power than what I had, with less energy consumption. Lots of other guys were jumping the bandwagon, and I decided to do the same. I "bought" 3 pieces, with a total amount of 2.67 BTC which I calculated would be returned with the new mining power within a couple of months. vdragon was trading them at the market price, and trades like this were happening all the time at the forum. Needless to say all of us who bought the erupters never received them. We opened a thread on the SCAM forum of bitcointalk.org, but it never went further than it. Some investigations pinned vdragon in either England or Germany, but police couldn't do anything else due to lack of evidence and BTC anonymity. After this, I exchanged part of the BTC I had left, keeping only a few cents (0,027 BTC - I don't really know why). I shut down my fill node, and kept following on the news, but the mere fact of remembering I was stupid enough to blindly trust someone without previous research kept me away of the BTC scene. Until last month, at least, when I checked the exchange rate between BTC and BRL. I remembered I had a wallet.dat file, and spent 3 weeks trying every password I have used in my life, until I finally found the correct password. Those 0.027 covered all my losses, and suddenly I saw myself HODLing again. I've watched as much Andreas' videos as possible, read "Mastering Bitcoin" on Github (paper version is on the way), bought a few more cents, installed Mycelium and transferred those 0.027 there. Also, my full node is back online and I'm setting a LN daemon as well. With this amount, I'm trying my best to disseminate the technology to friends and colleagues, and I can proudly say that since last week there are at least 30 new adopters in the city I live, with much more to come. The most interesting part of the story for those who heard me is when I tell them I was fooled, but this fact didn't affected my belief in the technology and its potential. I'm back to the game! TL;DR: Lost 2.67 BTC in a scam, left the community for 4 years, and returned after overcoming the shame of being fooled, influencing people in my city.
42 Antminer's S7 in a garage or Minining contract with genesis mining?
As the title says. I'm thinking about investing in 15000 USD this year and I did some research. I'm thinking of either running my own mining operation at slush pool and call it a self employment gig or just get a mining contract to get 61 Tera hashes per second and work with 2 grand a month with genesis mining. The fun part is maintaining the antminer's at home in the garage but paying electricity and such is something that I haven't calculated in yet. What's more profitable? Getting a contract or running a mining operation? All in all I will be trading the bitcoins at itbit in the end. If I get 42 antminer's and that will get me about 198.66 Th/s that sounds like a good way to go but I dunno about the electricity bill. Can anyone give some pointers of what should I do?
An objective score for Bitcoin mining decentralization (and other cryptos)
The Herfindahl index can be applied to objectively measure how decentralized a cryptocurrency's mining infrastructure is - and to directly compare cryptos in that regard. Perhaps more interesting, though more work, would be to graph how these change over time. Has bitcoin become more or less decentralized over the years? It's actually possible to answer, but I'll leave doing so up to others. The more mining pools there are, and the more their hash rates are evenly distributed, the more decentralized a cryptocurrency's mining economy is. This is the basis of the Herfindahl index, and we can use the reciprocal to obtain a decentralization score. Here is the procedure, followed by results and calculations for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
Pick a number of blocks (N) to give you a sufficiently good estimate.
For all of those blocks, identify what pool/miner mined it.
For each unique pool/miner, count how many blocks they mined (n) out of the total (N), and then calculate (n/N)2 (squared market share).
Sum all of these squares up to give you the Herfindahl index (H).
Optionally, calculate the reciprocal (1/H). This makes the index proportional to decentralization and is IMO easier to understand in "bigger is better" terms.
Since steps 1-3 are the already used by many web stats to calculate miner hash rate proportions, you can work directly from hash rate proportions. Square each miner's proportional hash rate and add these all up to get H, then take the reciprocal. Higher values of the reciprocal Herfindahl index indicate greater decentralization. You can directly compare these between cryptos, but be aware that the index will fluctuate over time and will exhibit some variance. In my opinion this value is an important metric of the security of a cryptocurrency's network along with the total hash rate. Here are the current values for a few different cryptos. Higher is better. Bitcoin: 7.9 Bitcoin Cash: 6.0 Ethereum: 7.0 So, what is an acceptable value? That is the subjective part. I would personally suggest the current state of bitcoin is not decentralized enough, so a value of 7.9 does not satisfy me. Your own opinion may differ. How do we tell if the above values are different enough to warrant discussion? One method is through the use of significance tests. Or, it may be sufficient to simply plot such values on a graph an examine variability over time. I leave these as exercises for others... Raw calculations for Bitcoin:
Building off of the good idea that willsteel had here about how we can vote for XT by renting time on miners, I gave some thought to the cost of supporting XT through this method. Obviously if you have your own mining hardware and support XT you can do it directly, but for the rest of us, an effective way to vote is to rent hashing power that signs with the BIP101 flag. I wanted to figure out what the actual cost of voting this way is in the current market conditions, here's what I got. Based on mining calculators, the current mining revenue from 1TH/sec averages to 0.00927BTC/day. NiceHash charges a 3% fee, and assuming you're pointed towards the slush pool, they charge a 2% fee, so you're left with 0.0088BTC. The cost of (1TH/sec) * 1day on NiceHash is currently 0.0096BTC, so for 1TH/sec*day you're losing 0.0008BTC/day, or at the current price of $226/BTC, $0.18/day. Getting to a nice round number, for a loss of $1/day, you can purchase 1/.18 = 5.56 TH/s hash rate The total hashing power of the network is currently about 400PH/sec. So, for $1/day, the fraction of that you can purchase is 5.56 /400000= .000014 of bitcoin's hashing power, or 0.0014%. tl;dr: using NiceHash and slush pool, you can pay 1 US dollar / day to convert 0.0014% of bitcoin's hash power to XT
Bitcoin Wallets generate and store the private keys that control a user's funds. These keys are simply random numbers, chosen by the wallet from a range of numbers so vast that it is essentially impossible for there to be a collision with another wallet doing the same thing. Deterministic wallets, also known as HD wallets help to simplify backing up and restoring wallets by using a random seed number to deterministically generate all of a wallet's private keys.
Private Key Backups
Whenever a Bitcoin user receives funds, they need a new private key. This means that the set of numbers that are important to store and back up is increasing indefinitely. In the original Bitcoin wallet, this required refreshing a back-up with a new one every time a user received funds. Over time, Bitcoin grew more valuable and this burden of security grew more tiresome and costly. To address the issue Satoshi Nakamoto in October of 2010 released Bitcoin version 0.3.14 which contained a key pool feature. This feature automatically pre-generated a set of keys, to remain in abeyance for the user's next receipt of funds. This made backing up a much less frequent necessity, only being necessary after key pool exhaustion. Over the following years, many other methods of improving key backups were tried. A popular concept of a paper wallet arose: printing a private key onto paper to store in a secure location. However this concept fell out of favor as being too complicated, vulnerable to printer information leaks, and encouraging address re-use.
Type 1 Deterministic Wallets
In August of 2011 Mike Caldwell sought to simplify and streamline the process of managing a collection of private keys. He created a Windows application called Bitcoin Address Utility that used a single random pass-phrase to deterministically create private keys from a single seed: essentially choosing one random number and then feeding it into a formula that would always produce more random numbers from the starting one. This created a much easier way to backup private keys: simply secure the original random seed and restoring becomes a simple exercise of running the seed through the algorithm again.
Type 2 Deterministic Wallets
Mike Caldwell's Type 1 deterministic wallet design was based on a simple scheme that had a significant limitation: to receive funds with a Type 1 wallet required also having access to the private keys that could spend them. In situations such as merchant scripts or exchange wallets, this represented a security issue. Before Mike Caldwell published his Type 1 wallet, in June of 2011 Greg Maxwell had already outlined a theoretical improvement to the Type 1 scheme, in which the public and private key generation might be separated to improve the security of stored funds. In Greg's outlined Type 2 scheme, a script could use what is called a master public key to generate new addresses, without ever being able to spend those funds. In February of 2012, Pieter Wuille came up with a formalization and standardized version of this concept, in BIP 32. A surge of wallet development activity followed the deterministic wallet concept. Since the master seed behind the wallet may be represented as a simple series of twelve words, it was widely considered to be the superior method for Bitcoin wallet private key generation. Alan Reiner was the first to implement a Type 2 seed in Armory Wallet, and helped give feedback to the BIP 32 formalization. Since then, every major wallet has moved to support the feature.
BIP 44 Deterministic Wallets
After BIP 32, development of Type 2 deterministic wallets progressed to a state where additional features and standardization was sought to be defined. In April of 2014 Marek Palatinus, also known as Slush, and Pavol Rusnak, Slush's employee at his company SatoshiLabs, sought to advance the state of deterministic wallets by adapting advancements in their own Type 2 hardware wallet Trezor into a standard they authored in BIP 44. Features promoted by the BIP 44 standard included a mechanism for internal pass-phrase protected accounts inside of a wallet seed, a standard for using the wallet seed across multiple chains, such as for Bitcoin Testnet, and an increased standardization of gap limits and change address separation.
Deterministic Wallet Caveats
Despite the huge improvement in the state of Bitcoin technology that HD wallets represent, there are some outstanding issues and drawbacks or gotchas that may present difficulties. Deterministic wallets generally present users with a dictionary derived random pass-phrase that actually represents a master seed number in a form that is easier for humans to deal with. But this ease-of-use has sometimes tempted developers into allowing users to set their own pass-phrase, a very bad idea. Users are extremely bad at choosing a properly random pass-phrase, and this behavior can lead to loss of funds. For this reason, all well-maintained wallets have ceased the practice of encouraging users to invent their own pass-phrases. Another issue that sometimes confronts users in unexpected ways is that the seeds created by deterministic wallets should not be shared between wallets from different software projects. The reason for this is that the standard for deterministic wallets is generally not actually adopted by all wallets, or there are still areas left unspecified. Due to these small differences, seeds may superficially appear to be share-able between wallets, but in actuality leave some coins difficult to access from the non-originating wallet. To switch between deterministic wallets, the best practice recommendation is to initiate fund transfers on the Blockchain. From a security and privacy perspective, under normal circumstances a deterministic wallet is just as good as a wallet in which random keys are individually generated. However use of the public master key can prove the exception to that rule. Although it is called a public master key, for privacy reasons it should not be shared publicly, as it can link all wallet addresses together. Another important reason it should not be shared is that if a single private key derived from the private seed is leaked and the public master key is also known, all the other private keys may be derived as well. This type of theft is quite uncommon, but for these reasons it is strongly recommended that the master public key still be treated as guarded information. One practice that must differ between using an individually generated wallet and a deterministic wallet is the practice of creating addresses that are never used. HD wallets have a key implementation detail in the way that they calculate wallet balances: they go through their deterministic algorithm sequentially to determine if each private key has been used, stopping when no further activity is detected. This is a critical optimization, an HD wallet cannot scan endlessly or know automatically all of its balance information without individual queries. To provide a safety margin, HD wallets use something called a gap limit, which represents the number of keys checked that have no activity before the balance query will cease its sequential checking. This gap limit can means that creating many addresses that are never used is a bad practice and can lead to users mistakenly believing their funds have been lost, if more unused addresses are created beyond the gap limit safety margin. A powerful feature of BIP 44 HD wallets is the internal pass phrase account system. This feature addresses a common security concern amongst people who worry about keeping their seed backups secure from theft: it adds an internal password to the stored seed. The feature also powers another use-case, a scenario in which the owner is confronted with the seed and forced to give access to it. As a precautionary measure, the owner may create a red-herring pass phrase and a real pass-phrase, pretending that the red-herring phrase contains the entirety of the funds when forced to open the wallet under duress. But with this power also comes risk deriving from any situation where users choose pass phrases to remember. Human generated pass phrases should generally be considered weak: a brute-force attack can most often bypass them. And memorized pass phrases can be easily forgotten, leading to an annoying situation where funds are temporarily inaccessible, or if a truly strong pass-phrase has been chosen, permanently lost.
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