The Elephant in the Pool (Jethro Grassie)

Pool mining has become the de facto way to mine cryptocurrencies. However, in a space where decentralization and censorship resistance are regarded as highly important, it’s surprising in some ways that pool mining, in it’s current form, is so commonplace. This presentation will start with an overview of mining and pools, then outline some of the very real dangers of pool mining to the network as a whole and also to the profits of the individual pool miners. From directing hash power to forks, to stealing shares, this talk will cover how malicious pool operators can exploit their centralized power and ways in which miners can detect this malicious behavior. We’ll finish up with an overview of alternative pool mining implementations with their respective strengths and weaknesses. Jethro is a Monero developer, a mining pool developer, a tooling/framework developer and an active knowledge sharer on the Monero StackExchange.

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