There's no shortage of mining pools in the digital currency community, but a new mining pool named DirectPool has just launched with a notable mission to give back to the bitcoin community and redistribute the network's computing power.
DirectPool bills itself as being a "next-generation mining pool", with its focus on preventing any one existing pool from gaining more than 50% of the network's hashing power. DirectPool hopes to work with miners and industry leaders alike to actively contribute to the stable growth of the bitcoin community.
Josh Harris, DirectPool's Media Director, spoke with CoinDesk about the motivations for starting DirectPool, and explained that the idea was conceived as a response to mining pools like Ghash.io, which recently gained nearly 50% of the network's hashpower:
"When we saw pools getting closer to 51% of the network power, we were really surprised to see the community reaction, and how miners voluntarily distributed themselves to other pools.
The problem was, there weren't many reliable and efficient alternatives to the larger mining pools."
Harris explained that DirectPool's team of developers have been working diligently to program a stable and user-friendly mining pool that is open to the public, and following its launch earlier this week, registration is now enabled on DirectPool's website.
A "community mining pool"
In addition to engaging with the entire digital currency community, Harris explained that DirectPool also wants its miners to interact with each other and ultimately help decide which charities receive donations or which startups get funded from the community donations.
Preventing a 51% attack
DirectPool was initially founded with the hope to further redistribute the relative network hashing power that is shared amongst the large mining pools like Ghash.io and BTC Guild, Harris said. A "51% attack" could theoretically allow an entity that gained more than 50% of bitcoin's total network hashpower to double-spend bitcoins, reverse transactions and prevent block confirmations.
Harris told CoinDesk that while nobody knows for certain what the implications of a 51% attack would be, DirectPool hopes to prevent the situation from ever unfolding:
"We haven't seen what could really happen if one pool amassed more than 50% of the computing power. Although it's hypothetical, it's unsettling to think what would happen if one of the major pools somehow went down, and where all of its miners would move to.
We wanted to create a mining pool that matches the services of the larger pools while helping to distribute the hashing power even more."
A warm response
In the few days that DirectPool has been open to the public, Harris says that a respectable amount of miners have already registered, and that there have already been donations coming in from generous miners.
DirectPool plans to offer Litecoin mining in the next couple of weeks, and is currently set up for merge mining of Namecoin so that miners have options when receiving their rewards.
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