Suspicious pools. What is happening?

With the release of the official pool protocol there has been a proliferation of pools. I’ve been analyzing the pool list available in miningpoolstats and checking for inconsistencies.

After checking the blocks “won” by some pools I have reasonable doubts about their honesty. I am publicly posting the information I’ve found here with the hope that someone can help me in this investigation.

At the moment of writting this post, says that the have won two blocks:

Taking a look at the block numbers we see that both of them have been mined using old plots in solo mode, since the farmer and pool adresses are equal:

Taking a look at the puzzle hashes we see that they don’t exist, don’t match the puzzle hash of the mentioned blocks and are exactly the same:

  • 56d853187c0af3cd3c1b8faa1b8ef17a14c1de6ede0cfa43db73fafeedbb40a9 - Chia Explorer
  • 56d853187c0af3cd3c1b8faa1b8ef17a14c1de6ede0cfa43db73fafeedbb40a9 - XCHScan

At this moment claims to have 226 farmers and 9229TiB of netspace.

Looking at the leaderboard we see that a single farmer has 6100.32 TiB and represents 66% of the total pool netspace. This morning that farmer had about 8PiB of netspace (sadly I didn’t took any screenshots…) and has now lost 2PiB.

With that netspace, the estimated time to win a block is of aprox. 20 hours. Looking that address in Chia Explorer we see that he has not won any block and received no XCH transactions.

How is this possible that a farmer with this crazy amount of netspace hasn’t won any block and not received any transaction from the pool (which has made payments to other farmers already)?

Could this be a fake farmer made to artificially increase the overall netspace of the pool, making it more atractive to other real farmers?

Clearly, this farmer has not received any money so I can not claim that it has “stolen” from other farmers. But, has its netspace been taken into account when distributing the reward among the other farmers diminishing their payments?

At this time, claims to have won a single block:

Taking a look at this block in Chia Explorer and XCH Scan we can see that the farmer and pool addresses are equal. This means that the block has been mined by a solo farmer and not by the pool. claims to have 4PiB of netspace at the moment of writting this.

Taking a look at their won blocks page we may see that they have been mined by a solo farmer and not by the pool since the farmer and the pool addresses are exactly the same. Also, all the blocks have been won by the same address.

Here are the three latest blocks, you may check yourself with any of the other blocks “won” by the pool.

Other suspicious pools

The following pools say that the have won blocks. When taking a look at those blocks we can see that they have been mined by a solo farmer and not by the pool, since the farmer and pool adresses are the same.


The official pool protocol is based on the No Trust principle: farmers don’t have to trust the pool with their private keys and they can switch pools at any time.

Turns out that there seems to be many pools that are faking their data to trick farmers. We don’t deserve this. Can they explain this? How?

Please, if you find any other evidence don’t hesitate to comment on this thread. This behaviour should be punished. Farmers, legit pool operators and the Chia blockchain don’t deserve this.

Update 07/17/2021

Some people has stated that maybe the blocks listed as farmed may be just the confirmation block of the reward when received by the pool. That process is explained here

So to try to get some clear results from this, I have went to the wallet addresses of each of the pools listed originally here and check if that possibility is real for any of them.

To do that:

  1. I called the /pool_info endpoint to get the target puzzle hash
  2. I translated the puzzle hash to wallet address using this tool
  3. I inspected the wallet address in xchscan to look on which blocks the rewards (if any) have been received.

Please, take into account that even if a pool farms blocks using plot NFTs (there are several below) if they do not expose the correct information, it cannot be traced and if there is not matching information, in my personal opinion it is not a trustable pool.



Someone who complains about something and actually backs it up…this is new :sweat_smile:

I don’t know enough about the blockchain to really comment if this is actually a bad thing or not. I cannot myself verify the statement that these are problems. But I commend you for bringing this up with links for everyone to check it out :+1:

One thing that comes to mind about the farmer and pool address being the same, is it maybe that they have their own plots also running inside the pool? Just a thought.


A really interesting observation about the list on that site is how much it has shrunk. It was at around 200 pools not too long ago. Now it is less than 90. Looks like they are doing some cleanup.

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It’s cool you created separate topic for this.

About netspace: pool can not see farmer actual netspace. It could see partial proofs (i e. points as I think) and calc farmers actual netspace on how many points earned per some time period. This is not linear dependency and vary in time.
Look at my 20Tb, it vary from 10 to 30

What pool is that? Digging the UI.

Yes. Pools don’t know the exact number of plots you have and they must perform an educated guess based of the number of points they receive. I do not see how this is relevant in this thread though.

I only mention the netspace of a farmer which has an estimated of 6PiB, which should result in a block every 8 to 10 hours. Turns out that this farmer not only hasn’t won any block, but it also has not received any payment yet as the rest of the pool farmers. How can we know that this is a real farmer?

It seems to be, which are also suspect of passing blocks won by a solo farmer as blocks won by the pool.


That’s right
“Looking at the leaderboard we see that a single farmer has 6100.32 TiB and represents 66% of the total pool netspace. This morning that farmer had about 8PiB of netspace (sadly I didn’t took any screenshots…) and has now lost 2PiB.”

My first guess is that these pools own large solo farmers that ran solo before the pool began that now farm to their own pool. The 32TB Chris farm is looking very tiny right now.


This situation is deeply concerning, multiple pools seem to be deceiving or directly lying to farmers about the origin of blocks won. Backing this claims with proofs is the least I can do.

If the block farmer and pool address match, it means that the proof was not found in a plot belonging to a PlotNFT, which means that the block was not won by the pool.

You are right that the netspace variation is not suspicious by itself. When we also look at the fact that the farmer has not received any payout and that it has not won any block things start to get weird.

You know the block that produces the reward coin isn’t the mined block right? It’s very different from how for example etherium mining pools typically work. I think you are looking at the wrong blocks.

Btw, I’m expecting parent coin of received reward from pool is coin on pool wallet. And in case of pplns a part of pool reward. That would be transparent.
@dontfoolusplz What about this case?

That “24 Hours Average Netspace: 19.96”, very close

I don’t know where you are getting your numbers from for this but I think it is way off. 6PiB is an estimated time to win of 24 hours.

Someone from maxiopool has responded to some of this nonsense in the maxiopool thread

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Please stop the lies ppl, the payout is on chia-explorer its 0.0003 been there all week, this mean that 3PB would win daily one XCH. 6PB would mean you will win ONE block(2 xch) a day.

Where in the hell are people getting this 8-10 hr bs?? 0.0003 XCH/day/PB

These are published numbers, so pray tell why do ppl make up lies for what end? This is what CHIA pay’s out for the entire planet earth. Updated daily.

somemoar - I don’t think thngs are quite that bad. Yes there are scams and people have tried to get xch they did not deserve, but aside from stealing from peoples wallets by getting their private keys I have not seen evidence of serious fraud on a widescale, as you seem to be claiming.

You seem to be promoting Hpool quite heavily in this and another post I have read this morning. Is that because you genuinely believe hpool is more honest. They consistently fail to win what they should despite their size, so its blatantly obvious to anyone with eyes that not all of their supposed EiB are real plots. I am not saying that is systematic cheating, it could just be individual farmers try to cheat the hpool client, maybe.

dontfoolusplz - These claims that pools have won by solo plots might or might not have any validity, we need someone who is also a blockchain expert like yourself, to wade in. Have you got examples of nft-official pooling protocol pools who are not showing this alleged strange behaviour?

Most people have won around what they expected to, remember it’s a lottery and so even if you had 90% of the netspace there will be periods when you win nothing and sometimes these will go on for longer than you might expect.

For me, what I do think is a reason for people to be unhappy is the value of xch versus fiat falling, if they expected to get a big return on the equipment they have bought. If you are just farming the bit of spare space on your nas (which was the idea behind chia) then you aren’t unhappy, you haven’t won anything in all likelihood but you do have a lottery ticket and you might do, you are spending nothing to be in the game. For the rest of us that bought a bunch of kit, we are only seeing our money back if xch goes to some pretty big numbers in the future.

On the subject of maxiopool which I joined when nft pools went live. The amount of netspace average that they think I have does match what I have plotted and farmed for them. The amount I have been paid out matches what I expect to get and also matches the 0.0003 XCH/day/TB (not PB) as you stated.

Genuine concerns like dontfoolusplz has raised which have some evidence - we have yet to get some verification that this is a correct interpretation - are important, but spreading fear and doubt whilst advocating for hpool doesn’t seem to me to be entirely as credible.

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That may be a reason for one or two of the pools, but I think in general that is not the case.

But 12 pools from “unknown” people, most of them farming blocks with a netspace that would require a lot more of time? Strange at most.

Also, this possibility is legit, what is not legit is to make up an airdrop to call it “a farmed block”. That confuses people and it’s not honest, at least for me.

Relationship between pool and farmer is based on trust. I have made this post to wait for responses and data from the pools - which they should have if they are serious.

I know how rewards on pools work (when farmed from a pool member).

For anyone willing to know how this works, it is mainly (some technical details are avoided) like this:

  1. A farmer farms a block using a plot from a Plot NFT. That block has the farmer address for farmer reward (0.25 XCH) and the address of the Plot NFT for pool rewards (1.75 XCH), so those address should not be the same.
  2. When the pool detects the reward from the blockchain, it produces an absorbtion transaction which generates a new coin for the singleton tip and generates the reward coin for pool wallet.

So there are two possible blocks to be recorded by the pool to have traceability:

  • the mined block, in which pool key and farmer key should be different
  • the confirmation block of the reward, which should match with the transaction received on pool wallet.

Well, I have asked about this on that thread because none of two possibilities above are happening on the data given by Maxiopool. I have asked on this post and no response has been given.

And I can see that they have liked your post, so I suppose they are looking this from the shadows without giving an explanation for this.