Are mining pools in Casper practical if with Intel SGX?


#1

Today, we believe mining pools in Casper are hard.
If people join a mining pool, they take the risk of losing the money.

However, what if people can securely join a mining pool in Casper (proof-of-stake)?

Background: In Casper, people mine according to their deposits, people with bigger deposit have a higher possibility of being selected.

If people join a mining pool, they need to deposit their money to a third-party. It is possible that the third-party takes the money away and does not give the deposit back.

Opportunity: Intel SGX is a new hardware technology that provides secure execution with confidentiality and integrity. And it can prove such security to any third party.

We can verify a piece of the code be securely run by a machine. The operating system in this machine cannot steal or tamper the information in this execution.

Issue: It seems possible to build a secure mining pool by Intel SGX, where people will not lose their money. With such a security guarantee, it is possible that people can securely join a mining pool, and will do so.

Why mining pool?: I guess many people have coins, yet not being online to mine. If they can delegate this to a mining pool, they do not need to be a full node, and they do not need to be always online.

And another benefit for any pool: even if one’s deposit is small, it is still possible to earn some share – you are consistently making a profit.

Possible security problem: I am not sure whether a mining pool in Casper can cause problems – have a preference for selecting the next miner?

Existing Casper mining pool: https://www.rocketpool.net/ But they have not yet considered SGX.

please give more ideas, comments!


#2

As proposed here, you do not need SGX to create a decentralized miner.

You can use threshold signatures - in this case there is no third party and all decisions are made buy a majority of pool participants.


#3

Agree. But Intel SGX provides another benefit – that 100 persons do not need to be online at all :slight_smile:

So we have a very nice threshold.

But what is more fundamental, is that good or bad?


#4

I think I have a question:

If the mining pool is now 33%, is it possible to control the next miner to again be someone in the same pool?

Like, you toss the randomness and select the random result that again elects yourself as the miner/validator (33%).


#5

In hybrid Casper FFG, this is not an issue because all validators vote in every epoch. In full Casper, we’ll settle on a pseudorandom selection algorithm which is designed to minimize this kind of exploitability.