Cryptocurrency is currently dominating the global market funds transactions. With the risks faced from hacking and the need to secure fund transfers, Bitcoin is becoming great daily. The rise in Bitcoin mining has led to the vast interest of many joining the platform as miners. There are many software’s such as BetterHash and NiceHash available for Bitcoin miners, and the choice of the appropriate software depends on one’s preferences.
Bitcoin mining has faced particular challenges in the past, such as miners losing money and system being attacked by malware. These challenges became more prominent due to the centralized mining protocol. Out of these challenges, there was an urgent need to create a protocol that could safeguard Bitcoin miners and give them independence and control over their mining activities. That is how BetterHash came to exist. Since its inception, the software has undergone numerous changes to make it more friendly and secure.
Current issues with Bitcoin mining
Currently, miners of Bitcoin lack independence and are operating at the mercies and authority of pool operators. The nodes, block construction, and transactions are all controlled by pool operators. Their ability to control every bitcoin mining operation has given the operators the freedom to determine which transactions to pay and how miners use their hash power. The use of Stratum has controlled certain operations such as running the nodes, selecting transactions, and creating blocks that miners are required to hash. Once miners are done hashing the block, it is sent back to the pool. This control level has granted pool operators more powers and left miners prone to manipulation by the pool operators. The operators also have the freedom to use their power for ill intentions and to make profits at the expense of the miners.
The solution to this centralization challenge is necessary because the miners are at risk of various losses since they operate at the mercies of pool operators. The need to have control over the mining process is necessary, and that is why we currently have BetterHash trying to address some of these challenges.
What is BetterHash?
BetterHash is a mining software alternatively, a mining protocol that helps Bitcoin miners in their mining activities. Matt Corallo developed the BetterHash protocol to help miners overcome the challenges of centralization in the mining environment. The essence of decentralization by BetterHash is to allow miners to have control over their mining activities and transactions since these activities are included in the mining blocks.
BetterHash also aims to eliminate the position previously occupied by pool operators that were deemed a potential threat and source of attacks.
Challenges of Bitcoin mining centralization
Centralization has presented particular challenges to Bitcoin mining; that is why Corallo came up with BetterHash to change the mining protocol from centralized to decentralized. The main aim of the decentralization was to make Bitcoin mining a process free from control or allegiance to anyone or system—an ultimate tool for Bitcoin miners’ independence.
One of the risks associated with centralized mining is transaction censorship. This problem becomes more complex as multilayered networks such as sidechains are used in the mining process. These layers- two networks presented a significant challenge of technicalities from one system affecting the entire system. With centralization, one malware or technical bug could become a potential bug to other systems. Such risks could lead to everyone losing crucial software, documents, or even money.
To avoid fraud, networks like Lighting Network also relied on users’ ability to broadcast an individual transaction. This was, however, not very sufficient. Transaction censorship also presented a risk of blacklisted addresses becoming worthless; that is if a miner decided to implement the bitcoin blacklist. The transaction censorship makes bitcoin mining vulnerable to attacks and fraud.
The security enforcement of the centralized system is low since it is less authenticated than a decentralized system. Lack of authentication puts the Bitcoin hash power at risk of hijack and attack by anyone. After hijacks, the attacker could proceed to attack the system by doing actions like mining empty blocks and double-spend coins. With all these challenges, it was necessary for the decentralization of the mining protocol.
How to lobby miners to use BetterHash
Getting every miner to use the decentralized protocol is not that easy since some miners still have preferences for the centralized protocols. The decentralized system is still undergoing numerous changes; hence, it will not be fully adopted instantly.
Miners need to use the system; however, because it is still new, the adoption rate could always be low. The new system still needs restructuring of the codes of the mining pools to make it completely reliable. Once the mining pools are restructured, it is easy to run them parallel to the existing infrastructure. The reliability of the mining pool is one of the challenges affecting the system’s adoption. One concern about the mining pools is the level of control they have on the mining process. On the contrary, mining pools such as slush pool and poolin are not concerned with control. The pools are not the only challenge to adoption; other challenges should be addressed before the system is fully adopted.
Technology takes time before it is fully adopted as more changes are made, the perfect the system becomes, and the more it is suitable for adoption.
BetterHash Mining pools
There are many miners using mining pools, and the best way to understand mining is to view mining from the point of a solo miner. The mining pool plays the role of giving consistent payment to miners to avoid the risks caused by inconsistent payouts. The mining pool’s primary role is to replace the functions of pool operators. Mining pools allow miners to easily access mining networks and focus on efficient mining and cheap power. Mining pools also exist to ensure that large mining pools do not dominate the mining network. The pools should enable small miners to exploit profitability from the system.
Mining pools give instructions to the hardware about what operations to execute, and the system responds by remitting shares back to the pool. A share is the operations the hardware has performed, and they serve as proof that miners have carried some activities on the pool.
What is Stratum
Stratum is a protocol layer between mining pools, mining hardware, and clients. The stratum protocol exists to enable users to communicate and connect with the pool. Stratum, however, has specific weaknesses that need to be addressed. Some of the flaws include the difficulty of being implemented and are poorly documented. The design of the stratum protocol needs pool operators to share block templates with clients. With Stratum, every pool operator must confirm that each miner has contributed to the pool’s work. The pool operators are in charge of creating block templates and monitoring transaction selection. With Stratum, pool operators control major processes and miners have no choice but to comply with the operators.
Another major challenge with Stratum is that the pool miners can collude and interfere with the mining process in their favor. Pool operators can also be the most significant source of the attack on the system. Suppose pool operators put malware into the system, the entire system is corrupted, and all miners are affected. The centralized system also means that malicious attackers could hijack the IP server and steal hash power affecting every miner until they have no option but to cycle their hardware.
BetterHash vs Stratum
One significant difference between Stratum and BetterHash is the decentralization and the centralization factor. With BetterHash, miners have their freedom and are independent while in Stratum, pool operators control all the operations, and the miners have no independence.
With BetterHash, miners have the authority to build their template blocks, and the mining pool pays them without proof, unlike the stratum operations where miners have to show proof of work to the pool operators. Stratum is prone to attacks from hijack or malware attacks. Any external attackers or the pool operators can impose the attack on the entire network. The outcomes are the damage that will be done to the miners and the whole system. With BetterHash, the level of authentication is safeguarded and set by individual miners. This protects them from any hijack or attack imposed by third parties to the entire network.
BetterHash has numerous protocols responsible for documentation, security, and decentralization. The two main protocols in BetterHash are Work carrying protocol and payout protocol. The work carrying protocol exists to replace the getblock template and Stratum in the mining hardware. The payout protocol manages the communication between the pool and the miners. These protocols also enable miners to create block templates of their choice. There are also other pools committed to various functionalities, such as payout distribution.
Another role of protocols is to offer miners information guiding them on how to create block rewards and guidelines for uploading shares; this way, miners can show proof of work. Miners have the freedom to create template blocks and enjoy the financial and economic benefits of pools. BetterHash aims to give miners more power and control. Miners are to have good skills to enable them to perform certain BetterHashs functions.
Critics of BetterHash, is it perfect?
BetterHash is the best solution to centralization; however, there are many criticisms of the protocol. Some critics argue that BetterHash pegging on decentralization to increase security is not valid, but instead shifts the focus on centralization. The shift in focus is because pool operators still have a large portion of control over the mining process since they still force miners to comply with specific rules; if not, they are risking losing their payments.
The software for building mining pools are available, and they can be used with BetterHash. The challenge is that many mining pools are not using it because it is still new, and miners fear new systems to be having certain flaws that must be worked on before adoption. Alternatively, many people are waiting for the adoption and usability to rise before they use it.
BetterHash is one of the best mining software globally, with BetterHash; you can mine with any computer system and get your profits instantly. However, take note that the software only operates in Windows OS 64 bit, not 32-bit.
The main features include
- Automatic update
- No mining fees
- Supports a wide range of coins such as bitcoin, monero, Ethereum, among others
- Easy to set up and use mostly for beginners.
- Supports GPU and CPU mining
- Payment is in bitcoins and other cryptos
- Benchmarking Utility
- Ease of monitoring and connecting ASIC miners
Why choose BetterHash
Computational power, BetterHash allows you to mine from your computer system, whether it is CPU or GPU, with whatever little harsh power the system generates. No need to struggle to boost power. With the bit of energy you have, you can start generating profits.
Many people ask how user-friendly is BetterHash. BetterHash comes with a simple user interface that makes it easier for both beginners and pros to use. If you are a beginner interested in gaining experience in mining, BetterHash is the best software to use. The auto mining and automatic update features ensure you free from the headache of setting such functions from scratch. The automatic update provides your software is up to date and is safe from hacking or malware attacks.
What about the cost structure? With BetterHash, forget about the mining fees and the withdrawal fees, all you need is mining hardware, and you are good to go. Other mining software like NiceHash offer flexible cost structure, but you have to pay mining fees. Compared to other mining software such as NiceHash, BetterHash is more profitable, and the mines release more yield than other systems.
BetterHash can solve the current woes Bitcoin miners are going through. As much as it may not solve all the challenges instantly, it has the potential for future upgrades and development to meet the needs of Bitcoin miners. It has a few flaws meaning that it is robust enough to take on the challenge of centralization presented by pool operators.