In a continuation of my series All about Pools I had the opportunity to speak to MyChiaPool, a set of experienced crypto farmers and programmers who, like a lot of us, got frustrated when the netspace started to edge them out of block wins and decided to do something about it. Their team includes a server hosting company, hardware specialists, programmers and experienced cryptocurrency miners so they seem pretty confident they will be able to run their pool competently.
They want to differentiate themselves through community efforts, both with a friendly atmosphere and support system but also through giveaways and contests and such and other forms of reinvestment back into the community. They plan to run the pool in a very farmer-centric fashion, a suggested by their name. I do like the idea but my gut feeling is that will do more to keep people with the pool than draw them in. If they can run things competently and amass netspace quickly to start winning blocks they will draw in users. If they cant, they wont.
This is my first article since I have been testing the pools on mainnet, and it has given me some perspective into what the pools are facing, and I think netspace will be key. I joined two of the mainnet pools as a test (each with a separate NFT, that works great) and one of them did not win a block in the 2 days I was joined. This is a massive risk as the pools come online and I hope that the alure of community rewards will help MyChiaPool grow as fast as they need.
Very similarly to the other on-chain pools launching, they suspect that due to the nature of the pooling protocol they won’t suffer the same issues facing the current off-chain pools. They also reiterate that Chia Network has not been trying to exert any control over their efforts and has been exceedingly supportive. This is really good news, since not all Chia projects will be as inherently profitable as running pools, so it is good that the less well incentivized projects can also expect good support along with better funded endeavors.
They, like the other on-chain pools, also will not require you to use their software or sign up. You can just setup your NFT, plot to it and join their pool URL from the Chia GUI. I have to say, I am a big fan of this and I think it inherently improves Chia’s end-user security by not requiring installation of software like PheonixMiner to get to work. While I clearly think there is room for improvement in the tool, I am a lot less excited about 3rd party solutions without thorough vetting or clear incentives.
They, like most of the pools I have spoken to, are operating out of a country without a lot of regulation around cryptocurrency and they aren’t worried about too many legal challenges. This is good, because I do suspect some pools will get a little too overconfident and end up shut down shortly after launching.
The MyChiaPool team seems pretty excited to get started but are also waiting for the mainnet launch to be careful. I personally see this as the best strategy, as major problems pre-launch or being forced to replot twice is definitely going to turn some users off the pools that get ahead of themselves. I sincerely hope that the pools that wait are rewarded for waiting because there is good reason to wait.
Having pool farmed for a few days now I can definitively say that my recommendation to wait for the official update has not changed. Pools like MyChiaPool (and others like FlexPool, MaxioPool and 21Chia) who are waiting for official launch are in it for the long run. That is personally what I look for in a pool, not a quick gamble. If you are looking for a Chia Pool to have fun with and join a community, I think you will find your goals aligned with these folks.