Ethereum has announced a new mining pool bounty to provide a level playing field when it comes to open-source pool mining software.
As seen by the hashrate distribution graph below there’s a large gap between proprietary pool software (with almost half of Ethereum’s network hashrate being contributed by dwarfpool) and open source software, giving miners an unfair advantage when using more efficient pool software.
Ethereum’s present reliance on Proof of Work (PoW) mining is not ideal, and while we continue to work with gusto towards a Proof of Stake solution (PoS), we have to live with PoW as gracefully as possible (at least until the eventual switch!)
While Ethereum does plan to move to a POS solution, it needs to have a viable, decentralized, way of operating using Proof of Work. So in the meantime, Ethereum is offering a bounty to any developer or team, with a performance-based payout:
“100 ETH per % hashpower that adopts the software, up to a maximum of 8% per independently controlled pool or 33% total, whichever is lesser. (eg. pools A,B,C with 6% each -> 1800 ETH, pool A with 25% + pool B with 5% -> 1300 ETH, pools A,B,C,D,E with 7% each -> 3300 ETH)
With Ether trading at between $11 and $12, even if just 1 percent adopts a new software, the developer would be credited with almost $1200, a very lucrative proposition.
To jumpstart things even further, ÐΞVgrants, a “program that offers funding for contributions to both the Ethereum platform and projects based on Ethereum,” is offering an additional $10,000, once a proposal is accepted and the project is in motion.
Ethereum’s blog post is agnostic to the method in which an easy-to-set-up mining pool with a “permissible source license” is achieved, with returns comparable to those already achieved by pools such as dwarfpool and ethermine.
Ethereum requests any and all ideas be posted in this Reddit thread, with a 1-2 paragraph proposal, where Vitalik Buterin and others will discuss possible pros and cons. If you wish for your proposal to be submitted privately, send the proposal to [email protected]. This will only delay the inevitable as eventually the project will be publicly disclosed and discussed.
Currently, there are several ideas brought forward by members of the Ethereum community, and it’ll be exciting to see which solution Ethereum ends up using.