Concerns about new pool start-ups and Chia Pool Testnet

We now have at least two new Chia pool start-ups in the Chia Forums.

Neither has corporate information, a known physical address, a miner agreement, a privacy policy, a near complete website, or any other information needed to establish trust.

Both push the fact that they are members of Chia Pool Testnet as their basis for trust.

Being granted permission to participate in the testnet is specifically NOT an endorsement by Chia.

I am very concerned that we have peeps pushing their new pools when they refuse to provide essential information and do not have the web infrastructure (website info, tech support, agreements, etc.) to get started, let alone maintain a pool.

These new pools may be real … but they may be complete scams. We have no information on them except that they are members of Chia Pool Testnet.

I would recommend that you join a pool as if you were putting your hard earned cash into a stock.
You would never buy a stock without knowing company details and fundamentals.

You should never get into a pool that refuses to give you any details about its organization.

I wish that Chia would Vet and provide the relevant information on all they allow to join testnet.

What do you think?

2 Likes

When Chia pooling is properly possible using the pooling protocol on the mainnet, you shouldn’t need to put much trust in a pool - unless I am mistaken the protocol ensures you get 0.25 XCH if you are the ‘winning’ farmer, and if the pool seems to be paying you out less than you expect for your farm size when you’re just proving space to the pool you’d move pools.

This works well in e.g. ETH mining, I don’t know of any pool that is officially endorsed by the Ethereum team - I mine a bit of ETH, and I picked a pool pretty much at random, it pays me out every week, I keep an eye on it, and if I didn’t think I was getting what I was due then I’d have jumped to another pool already. It’s somewhat risky since I could lose at most a weeks worth of mining income (that timeframe is based on the pool’s minimum payout and the average speed of my rigs), but there is no level of due diligence I could possibly do that would make it risk-free - the biggest/most likely risk (with an ETH pool at least) would be that the pool gets hacked and the pool doesn’t cover that loss, but a pool that got hacked and didn’t at least try to cover it would fall way down the popularity list, unless it offered something no other pools offered.

No pool can be using the official protocol on the mainnet yet - when that is possible I expect/hope to see a proliferation of pools, therefore lots of choice for farmers, an incentive for the pools to be honest and reliable, and (hopefully) no official endorsement of any particular pool or subset of pools, because that will kill all of the rest.

I do agree though, that using weaselly speak to pretend to be officially endorsed when no such thing has happened is bad form.

2 Likes

I think you are way way premature on this post. Pools are not even close to live. Any pool that is in development has a long way to go before it even needs to gain members.

But, if it was me, I was starting a business (which this is pretty much the same), I do agree. I would have my site up and running way before it is needed just to advertise what is coming. Basically marketing. Showing what the pool is all about, fee structure, contact information, about the team, support links (discord and such just for people to ask questions) and any other valuable information.

2 Likes

Indeed. To my knowledge any pool can run on testnet and the Chia devs are not “verifying” pools. Just like any miner on a PoW network, miner beware. Its on you to do proper verification. There are 100+ proposed Chia pools while only 2 of them have a significant presence outside Chia. There will be many closures/rugpulls. Many proposed pools in America and other nations are already cancelling their plans due to legal requirements.

We’re in the hole 5 figures to cover our legal bills so a new pool that has had no income previous will be relying on their founders to cover that to stay legal. We also have a team of experienced devs from PoW coins working on implementing our Chia pool who are putting in 20+ hours a day for the next month. Us and the other pool devs all expect our pools to have downtime. Things will not be stable and its up to each pools developers to fix/patch/update/debug many things. The template released by the Chia developers is just a guideline its not meant to be used commercially.

Go for official pools only.

Still verify them, when they go live.
Pools will pay out every so often and they can simply decide not to pay you…
Their infrastructure could get hacked, DDoS’d

Reputation is important,… personally I’d go with pools that have a reputation doing other crypto for years

You also want a pool with enough space / participation… otherwise rewards will still not be smoothed out and you may as well go solo.

1 Like

Some are recruiting new pool members as we type. They are doing so using vague homepage descriptions of their price structure and no miner agreements.

This is not premature.

1 Like

Any pool that is actually taking members is not an official pool because the way to make a pool does not exist. If you mean “hey come and sign up for our pool and we’ll put you on the list to become a member when the pool is live”, well, that’s different. That is just basically a marketing list that you are signing up for. If they are actually running a pool right now, then that is basically the same as HPool. Someone created a piece of software to hack the system. These should be avoided unless extreme precautions are taken (I’m on Hpool but I have taken a lot of precautions to help remain safe).

1 Like

Chia says, "How can I start my own pool?

If you have experience writing pool server code for another crypto, adapting that pool code with Chia’s reference pool code will be straight forward. We only recommend people who have good OPSEC and business experience to run public pool servers. Depending what country you operate your pooling business, you may be subject to tax, AML and KYC laws specific to your jurisdiction. All pools will be targeted by hackers due to the profitability of XCH and you may be legally liable if you have any losses."

So anybody can do it, but they recommend high crypto experience, good OPSEC, business experience, and liability.

If you still want to join a pool now, then you are probably better going with a pool that has a track record.

Today I see a third new pool start-up. It’s first link is not working. They appear to be soliciting new business anyways.

As others have expressed, waiting to join a new pool is probably best left until after official pooling has been released.

Even then, I would thoroughly vet any pool before I joined … no matter what incentives they offered.

Thank you for that bold admission.

Issues like these are exactly what I am concerned about.

Nobody is joining anything yet though, they are basically asking you to sign up for a newsletter…

Look, your concerns are valid, but that that doesn’t mean you should kick down every new pool that tries to get some promotion done and then doesn’t have all the answers you want the next day.

Like is stated in the post you shared, this isn’t easy to get up and running and there many many things to take into account for wannabe operators. They simply busy getting up and running. Privacy statements and contracts needs lawyers to check, security is a nightmare etc.

1 Like

Some are trying to sign new users up now. Yesterday, one was writing about, “SUPER user” status for anyone who put in a PiB now

*******************************************************************8.

*******************************************************8

AzPool - Stable Daily Reward - Support Original Plots - Launch in This Week

*******************************************************8

Only 21chia states that they are waiting for the official launch and tells you anything about their team or financing. Kudos to 21Chia. I hope they get their website completed soon.

After reading the replies here and more research I have learned that joining any pool that is launched after, and is using, Chia official pool protocol is reasonably safe.

****************************************************8

**************************************************************8

I am still concerned about most of the start-ups we are seeing pop up almost daily.

After Chia official pool has launched, I would feel better knowing that it was being used. I would feel safe in joining a new pool as long as they also satisfied me that they were an open and honest company with their systems in place to manage a pool securely.

New pools that look and act shoddy probably are.

Good luck to all of us! :grinning:

I believe you are correct, but there is a list of Chia pool testnet members, and peeps have been using their testnet membership to imply that they are somehow endorsed or licensed (or in the process of becoming so) by Chia. This page has a note that Chia does not endorse anyone on the list.

I once was shown this Chia page once, but have spent frustrating parts of the last few hours trying unsuccessfully to find it again. If anybody has the link, please share it.

I did find this in my search:

https://miningpoolstats.stream/chia

This is not directly from Chia but it is a list of those known to be implementing the new protocol. This at least shows some corporate time and space has been spent by the pooler and has some basic info about a few. I would need to at least see a pool on this list before I considered joining them and even then, considering the length of this list, it does not feel like a reliable guide.

Over 150 already :smiley: There’s like 8 pool devs on keybase that are seriously working on development. I’ve seen many expecting Chia to do all the work for them.

I don’t want to slag hardworking peeps trying to grow something.

To be clear across threads, of the new start-ups that have popped up in these forums so far, 21Chia leaves me with the best feel, based on their comments, replies, and information. None of the other contenders here have given any basis for trust.

Good luck in your endeavors! :grinning:

Note: I am in no way affiliated with or endorsing anyone, lolz!

Based on all your issues, you probably would be best to continue to mine solo. You can replot with pool support, but do not actually join a pool until you are satisficed with the pool.

Can someone explain this in more detail? What is your payout if you dont win anything? Is the 0.25 XCH an extra bonus for winning, on top of the ‘normal’ payout?

Is there any indication on how long it will take before we can create poolable plots?

Not really a ‘bonus’ imo.

Every block in the pool that wins 1.75 goes to the pool to be divided, 0.25 goes directly to the block owner.
In the long run and average it doesnt seem to make any difference, just makes people feel better that they get something for ‘their block win’

Soon :rofl: