Braiins, the creators of Slush Pool, has integrated new software into its BOSminer software suite, which is the first working implementation of the Stratum V2 protocol. The firm says the new software will improve the security and efficiency of mining pools.
Braiins Improving Bitcoin Mining Security
Due to the expensive nature of high-quality bitcoin mining hardware such as the Halong DragonMint T1, the Bitmain Antminer S9i and others, the most profitable way to mine the world’s flagship cryptocurrency is to sign up on mining pools rather than trying to go through the mining adventure alone.
However, Stratum, the pooled Bitcoin (BTC) mining protocol that makes it possible for bitcoin miners to easily connect to mining pools, comes with a number of bottlenecks including security and reduced efficiency and Brains has now rolled out Stratum V2 in a bid to fix these issues. Until now, we have heard about a lot of hacks of exchanges and wallets, and even DoS attacks on some clients like Bitcoin Unlimited. But that the miners itself fall victim for hackers seems to be something new. Shortly after the tweet from Wang Chun, someone suggested hardening the Stratum protocol with which the hashes are forwarded to the pools. But Wang Chun rejected the idea, since the hack did not happen on the level of Stratum, but on the local mining machines themselves, where the settings of Stratum have been changed.
Per sources close to the matter, Jan Capek, co-founder and co-CEO of Braiins has made it clear that miners who upgrade to the latest Stratum V2 will enjoy better security and improved efficiency.
Slush Pool (operated by Braiins) now has the software set up so miners can connect to them in this new way, providing better privacy for them and building in protections from so-called hijacking attacks, where other entities temporarily steal their hashing power.
If all goes according to plan, the protocol could gain more adopters soon. The EMCD mining pool, for example, is experimenting with the protocol.
Stratum V2 to Decentralize Bitcoin Mining
Notably, in addition to offering users improved security and efficiency, Stratum V2 comes with the “job negotiation” feature, a functionality that would give individual bitcoin miners voting rights over Bitcoin network upgrades rather than allowing only mining pools to continue enjoying voting power.
While these job negotiation feature will further decentralize the bitcoin mining ecosystem, the firm has hinted that the functionality will go live at a later date, since a template distribution interface must be added to the Bitcoin Core software for it to become functional.
Capek says Stratum V2 has been integrated into Slush Pool, to offer miners on the platform increased privacy, while also making it impossible for bad actors to steal their hashing power via hijacking attacks.
While the new Stratum V2 promises miners better functionality, it is yet to become an industry-standard though that could change shortly as mining pools such as EMCD are already testing the software.
At press time, SlushPool is the ninth-largest Bitcoin mining pool in the world, mining just 6.10 percent of the BTC currently in circulation.