Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

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Steve Sokolowski
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Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

Post by Steve Sokolowski » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:03 pm

Ethereum mining has been temporarily disabled while we investigate some issues with the coin. Other ethash coins, like Ethereum Classic, are still available for mining.

We apologize for the inconvenience.
spoon1
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Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:15 pm

Re: Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

Post by spoon1 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:16 am

How much longer will Ethereum be temporarily disabled? This has been going on for quite a few days now.
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Steve Sokolowski
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Location: State College, PA

Re: Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

Post by Steve Sokolowski » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:56 am

Unfortunately, we don't know.

There's a major problem with Ethereum mining that we spent over $20,000 trying to resolve, both in losses and in manpower. For an unknown reason, the number of blocks we found for Ethereum was 99.99997% likely to be too low for a reason other than pure chance. The issue does not appear to be present for other coins in Ethereum.

Our investigation leads us to believe that there may be some sort of firmware bug in a common type of miner due to insufficient testing, as testing on the Ethereum mainnet would be expensive. It seems that these miners are most prevalent on cloud mining services, which might explain why Nicehash discontinued ethash and why Mining Rig Rentals was the source of the problem this time around.

We believe that the solution may be to ban all cloud mining services from the pool, but we need to do more research to be absolutely certain before we take such a drastic step. Overall, we've actually lost more money than has been gained through allowing cloud mining services to use the pool, as it seems that cloud miners always appear when there are forks and similar issues. One of the reasons we're leaning towards this solution is that neither Nicehash nor Mining Rig Rentals is willing to give customers a guarantee that hashrate they rent will submit blocks at a reasonable rate. If they were willing to give even a ridiculously weak guarantee, like being within 6 blocks of expected value, we would feel differently. I don't understand how a service can refuse to audit whether its most important product is as good as they advertise it to be.

We hope to have more information on this issue before July 13.
ryguy
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:20 am

Re: Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

Post by ryguy » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:55 pm

Steve,

Could you clarify that when you say you are looking at banning all cloud mining services from the pool are you saying across every algorithm or just on ethash due to this issue? if it is across all algorithms, at least on the surface, that seems to be a large overreaction to an issue that you state is only present in a single coin on a single algorithm.

I know you may have experienced other issues with cloud mining services that connect during forks or other times when you are advertising an incorrect price that is likely higher than what you should be, yet you've dealt with that issue through policies such as balance corrections or forfeiture of balances for "low-luck" miners. Especially at a time when you are trying to grow your userbase via a referral program, cutting out a portion of your users seems counterproductive, when many of them, including myself, do not appear to be causing any issues.

Perhaps I don't have all the information on this subject, but I know I would be dissatisfied if you do pursue this policy going forward, however it would cause me little trouble to change to another pool so that you can then compete against my rented hashrate instead of obtaining it.
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Steve Sokolowski
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Re: Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

Post by Steve Sokolowski » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:04 pm

While I'd love to say there will be good news on this subject, right now the answer isn't decided.

One of the critical problems we have is that 1% of the pool's hashrate comes from cloud mining services, but about 90% of the share corrections we've made in the past two years have been made to cloud mining customers. These periodic share corrections were OK in the past when there were more miners, but there has been a dramatic reduction in marketshare recently, and we've need to focus on improving margins because we have yet to be able to identify the cause for the reduction of marketshare. That's one of the reasons we've been conducting polls and why we implemented the referral program in response.

I think that if we had to make a decision immediately, the most likely result will be to ban ethash miners from cloud mining services and to re-enable Ethereum mining. I can assure you, however, that no changes are going to be made before July 13. We'll definitely let people know the full decision well before any changes, if any, are implemented.

I'm curious to find out more about your cloud mining, because we'd definitely like to get a better understanding of when customers are using cloud mining. What algorithms are you using, when do you use them, and how to you decide when to rent them? My experience with Nicehash has been that it is almost never profitable to rent miners there, because their "negative delta" is always far above the actual work restart losses.
ryguy
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:20 am

Re: Ethereum mining temporarily disabled

Post by ryguy » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:17 pm

If I am reading this correctly it sounds like you are looking at this just in relation to ethash, which I believe would make the most sense given the situation. I am mining on Scrypt mainly, so I was concerned that the ban might bleed over into other algorithms and thus affect me negatively.

I, like you, found that Nicehash was not a profitable endeavor due to the frankly mysteriously priced negative delta and the inability to have a consistent set of miners for my orders which led to an inability to achieve consistent results. I exclusively use MRR now since I can match up a specific rig to a specific outcome. I utilize it because I do not have the space nor energy requirements to host multiple ASICs and can obtain any mix of hardware I feel necessary without being locked into a long-term purchase, which includes cooling, maintenance, backup power, etc.

Personally I utilize MRR almost daily. I have a rental bot that allows me to keep track of the prevailing price trends and then rent rig(s) when I believe I will earn a profit off of the rental. I hope that answers some of your questions.
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