Like Flexpool, Foxypool is an established cryptocurrency pool that decided to get into Chia pooling for reasons we will expand below. Unlike Flexpool they are focused entirely on storage based coins from what I can tell. Also uniquely they are already running a pool with their own custom code, as well as launching an on-chain ntf-based pool. They also have recently launched a Flax pool, which shows just how innovative they can be. This is fascinating to me, and gives them a unique perspective on the entire pool ecosystem.
The FoxyPool developer I spoke to is a fan of Chia and was solo farming 500TB on his own when the netspace growth started to get away from him. He saw the need personally for pools to come right away, as well as the angst in the community. So they started looking into it, saw the progress and knew that there was a market in competing with Hpool and Core-Pool using more rigorous rules to keep the stealing in check,
Thus their Chia-OG pool was born, their off-chain pooling protocol for farming with existing plots. This is similar to how Hpool and Core-Pool work except with a few significant twists. First, their software is mostly the chia-blockchain software with some slight modifications to the farmer only. Second, those modifications are mostly taken from the work the chia dev team was doing on the official pooling protocol at the time. They are using partial proofs, very low difficulty proofs, to prove farm size which is the same mechanism as the on chain protocol. This would mostly, or completely, solve the problem of fake farm sizes. And they are using a collateral system of one block reward to sort of prevent double farming, or at least mitigate the damage from it. They also let the farmer keep the 0.25XHC portion of the reward, like the on chain protocol. This seems like a good system to me, but as Foxypool says it can be frustrating for small farmers.
Because they were considering an on-chain pool before even launching the OG pool it was a no-brainer to continue with those plans. The process will be a lot smoother with instant payouts and done all through the official client – but like the other on chain pools you will need to replot. According to Foxypool this will swing the benefit back to the smaller farmers who will take longer to hit 1.75XCH on the OG pool, but have a lot less sunk cost in their original plots when switching to portable ones.
Like the other pools I have spoken to, they say the Chia team has been extremely hands off other than providing support, and that they are not trying to exert any control over the pools. They also say they haven’t had any legal challenges and don’t anticipate any. Because this is so region-specific I can’t know if they are correct, but I hope they are. And they are already running a handful of pools so it seems likely they have already passed that particular hurdle.
The biggest thing that I can take away from talking to Foxypool, the only folks that I know of so far with actual experience with both kinds of pool, is that the trustless model for the on chain pool is far superior. They will continue to run the OG pool as-is with the collateral system as long as there are farmers on their original plots and they expect a lot of their members will run in hybrid mode for a long time. But going forward they see the advantages offered by Chia Network’s protocol as insurmountable by the custom pools.
They seem competent and ready for the real launch on mainnet. I’m curious to see after a couple of weeks if they have data on how many of their OG members switch completely over to the new pool. They do think anyone interested should stop by their discord and asked me to share it.