In the beginning, Chia forks were co-farmable with normal OG Chia plots and there were no issues. You used the same keys, you could farm the same plots and get rewards on them all. But when Chia Network released their on-chain pooling protocol it required a replotting to an NFT stored on the Chia Blockchain instead of a pool key that could be shared. This meant that even once the Chia Forks updated to even use the NFT plots there was still a problem of the 7/8 pool reward that would try and pay out to the XCH address in the NFT and get lost. So a number of Chia Fork NFT plot tools started to appear, with announcements from Flax and Flora about differing solutions. As well as Tad Network, who had a quick solution when they launched but was dead in the water due to a lack of pooling support.
Now there are 3 options to recover the coins after a week. Flax has a centralized solution the developer runs on the back end which automatically sweeps the chain and sends the Flax to your farming wallet. Flora has their fd-cli tool which allows you recover coins from any Chia based blockchain. And we have a joint solution from AllTheBlocks.net and Flora which is a web service that runs the fd-cli tool in the backend against the AllTheBlocks synchronized blockchains and will allow you to recover rewards from any source.
The new AllTheBlocks solution is so much better than fighting with the fd-cli tool that it almost makes the first irrelevant. Its good that it is still open source and that you can run it yourself. But you shouldn’t. The web service is exactly what it should have been from the beginning.
The real argument is whether Chia Forks should leverage the tool that AllTheBlocks is offering (or offer their own, if they want) or if they should run a centralized service that does it for you. This is going to come down to a ideological debate whether cryptocurrency should be centralized, and by how much.
The Flax solution is clearly the better option for farmers who don’t want to pay attention to anything and want the process handled for them. It just works, and other than not being able to set where the reward goes to (it goes to your farmer wallet that shares keys with Chia to read the plots) the experience is great. But it requires the Flax developer to stay in the picture.
That’s where the beauty of the open source web service comes in. It doesn’t need the fork developers to stay up to date and responsive to their farmers to work. It doesn’t cost the developers time and money to run the service. And if AllTheBlocks disappears, then someone else could run it. Hell, I could run it for people with a little help. It’s just an overall good idea.
I think where I stand is I lean towards the AllTheBlocks solution. But I do think that Flax is offering a great service and a great user experience, as usual. The centralization argument doesn’t bother me, but that’s mostly because AllTheBlocks has their service up and running, which will run against Flax Network too if it needs to.