How the mining market prices risk

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Steve Sokolowski
Posts: 3738
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:27 pm
Location: State College, PA

How the mining market prices risk

Post by Steve Sokolowski » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:20 pm

Chris was recently contacted by a miner who asked why the Infernopool was promising payouts 15% higher than those being offered by Prohashing. Seeing as how we spend a significant amount of time fine-tuning our algorithms to make sure that they can respond faster than other pools, this news was concerning. After further investigation, however, we found that the answer was more interesting that it first appeared.

Infernopool is using Cryptsy to execute its trades. We discontinued doing business Cryptsy in early November on the grounds that they were not promptly responding to our withdrawal requests. Our tickets with Cryptsy were ignored, and their lack of response led to customer complaints. Even after discontinuing trading with them, Cryptsy never honored our withdrawal requests for bitcoins and litecoins, which we consider to be theft. Chris had to trade the bitcoins to dogecoins, costing us hundreds of dollars in profit. You can see to this day that the dogecoin price on Cryptsy is higher than it is at other exchanges, because dogecoin is the only way to move money out of Cryptsy.

Infernopool states that they use Cryptsy on their website, in a post about payout delays:
Payouts from Cryptsy have been slower than normal, and we've had to add some of our own funds to make up for this. Currently Cryptsy is about one week behind on their withdrawals. Any failed bitcoin payments are tracked, And when the funds from cryptsy become available they will get sent out accordingly. We will continue to add our own funds to the pool until this problem has been resolved. But if you have a failed payment rest assured it will be sent out ASAP. If there are any concerns please contact us on IRC.
Let's look at the prices (at the time of writing). On Poloniex, dogecoin sells for 31 satoshi, while on Cryptsy, it sells for 42 - a 35.48% difference. On the day we were contacted, we paid out 8557 satoshi per MH/s, while Infernopool paid out 11616, a 35.74% difference. The sell prices of coins on Cryptsy are 35% higher than their markets on other exchanges, because the only reliable way out of Cryptsy (dogecoins) cost 35% more than they do at other exchanges. But Infernopool is paying its customers out as if they can reliably withdrawal bitcoins from Cryptsy, and they are adding their own money to the pool to be able to afford these prices.

Nothing in life is free, and apparently exchange risk is now being reflected in the mining markets. Just as bitcoins on Mt Gox decoupled from the price of bitcoins on other exchanges when Mt. Gox began stealing its customers' funds, the price of altcoins on Cryptsy has decoupled from those on other exchanges after Cryptsy began illegally refusing customers' withdrawals. In this case, traders are giving Cryptsy a 35% chance of failing. Miners (who are using information publicly posted on Infernopool's website) can also take a risk and earn 35% higher payouts for now, with a chance that they lose their entire balance when someone finally sues Cryptsy and takes Infernopool down with them.
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