Call to Action Hosting Stake Pools

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by jolan, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. 2017/12/15 - Decred v1.1.2 released! → Release Notes  → Downloads
  1. jolan

    jolan Sr. Member
    Developer

    Dec 7, 2015
    197
    226
    Male
    Decred Team Member
    Greetings,

    As the stake pool's source code is being prepared for future public release as free and open-source software, the project is now in a position to call on those parties interested in hosting their own stake pools. You may indicate your interest by sending an email to stakepool <at> decred.org. We ask that you please give us some background information to help gauge your technical expertise and familiarity with the concepts and tools that will be needed to properly operate a stake pool.

    • What operating systems/distributions are you familiar with?
    • How much have you worked with web servers, databases, and monitoring systems. Which ones?
    • Have you been participating in solo stake mining?
    • Which other cryptocurrencies are you experienced with?
    • Are you able to script or program in any language? If so, which ones?
    • What servers/resources do you have available to you for hosting a stake pool?

    The project will work with you to ensure the different components are set up correctly and keep a direct line of contact open in the event of future issues.

    Please understand that this process will be discriminative on purpose, as operating a stake pool requires experience and technical competence. The goal is to establish a strong base of reliable stake pools early on, so that a good distribution of pools is possible from the day the code is released and more pools come online.

    Sincerely,
    Decred Project
     
    Bruno Henrique, Arto, zzzzzz and 6 others like this.
  2. brencelj

    brencelj New Member

    Jan 10, 2016
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    17
    Waaa so cool I would love to do this but sadly I'm short on servers ;) but I would like to help anyone if she or he needs any help :). I am just curious how many initial stake pools will you aprove?
     
  3. Altcoin Steps

    Altcoin Steps New Member

    Mar 8, 2016
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    Male
    i am in, will send mail in few mins
     
    tacotime likes this.
  4. ClokworkGremlin

    ClokworkGremlin Sr. Member

    Jan 10, 2016
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    381
    Male
    Whatever I want.
    Lee Sharp has contacted me about helping with the technical side of a staking pool. Waiting to hear back from him now that the call to action is out.
     
    Lee Sharp, tacotime and jy-p like this.
  5. 418Sec

    418Sec Member
    Advocate (Twitter)

    Jan 3, 2016
    122
    65
    Male
    I emailed stating all the necessary details.
    Let's get this going.. :)
     
    tacotime likes this.
  6. Emilio Mann

    Emilio Mann Full Member
    Advocate (Facebook)

    Jan 9, 2016
    188
    162
    Male
    Wow, I would love to be able to do one in Brazil but unfortunately I don't have the technical skills.
    I'll try to find a partner :D
     
  7. drunkenmugsy

    drunkenmugsy Sr. Member
    Advocate (Reddit)

    Dec 28, 2015
    405
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    I am interested as well. I may lack some of the deep technical skills but I have access to large physical resources. I am also interested in partnering with another forum member who may have better technical skills than mine.
     
    Lee Sharp likes this.
  8. VanQ

    VanQ New Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    60
    2
    Male
    i really really want to host but i lack the resources and knowledge :(
     
  9. brencelj

    brencelj New Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    49
    17
    @drunkenmugsy maybe I can help you out but I don't have prier knowledge about cryptocurrency. But I don't know if they even allow merge of people like this.
    @jolan can we do it together or you are looking for people who can do it on there own only for now?
     
    drunkenmugsy likes this.
  10. Todd T. Fries

    Todd T. Fries New Member

    Mar 16, 2016
    3
    4
    Male
    IT Consultant
    Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    Pardon if I am repeating from elsewhere, but .. PoS pools .. is there a financial incentive for pool operators?
     
    chappjc, jy-p, tacotime and 1 other person like this.
  11. jy-p

    jy-p Sr. Member
    Organizer

    Jan 2, 2016
    133
    340
    Male
    We're glad to see several of you are interested in running stake pools. We are of the opinion that stake pools will improve the stability of the network and make staking rewards accessible to more users.

    It is important to establish what would be considered a minimally redundant and fault-tolerant configuration for a stake pool, so that we and the rest of the community can know what to expect from someone running a stake pool. Since at least one voting wallet must be connected to the network and ready to vote at any time, this requires a high-availability setup. I will describe the rough configuration that we use at Company 0 for this first stake pool:
    • The web frontend runs on our hardware at a colocation facility in Chicago. This machine handles web connections from stake pool users and allows them to configure their account. It connects to 3 other machines running dcrwallet ("voting wallets") we physically own at other sites that use separate uplinks.
    • The 3 voting wallets are in different physical locations and using our own hardware. If any of these 3 wallets goes down, the website becomes inaccessible, but the other wallets continue to vote independently (this should be fixed in the next couple weeks). It is typical to have all 3 wallets casting votes nearly simultaneously. Each of these voting wallets connects to a VPS in another location that is running dcrd.
    • The 3 machines running dcrd are chosen to be VPSes that are relatively close to the wallets that vote for them, in terms of geography and latency. By running dcrd on VPSes, it allows the stake pool to decouple its wallet locations from the IP that broadcasts the transactions.
    • The machines in the pool are monitored by a simple monit configuration which will be open sourced in the near future.
    I understand that everyone has their own preferences in terms of how much time and energy to put into setting up a stake pool. Not everyone has or can easily acquire 4 separate physical machines at separate locations and 3 VPSes to boot. The entire configuration could use VPSes, but that means that wallet machines would have their private keys on machines you do not own.

    I am interested to hear what you think about such a configuration. I suspect it may be unreasonable to expect that pool operators could handle hosting the physical machines at separate locations for the wallets.
     
  12. jy-p

    jy-p Sr. Member
    Organizer

    Jan 2, 2016
    133
    340
    Male
    With the way this initial pool runs, there is not a clear path to monetization for the operators. Our short term goal is to further decentralize the network by brining more pools online.

    However, DHG does have the ability to compensate stake pool operators from the dev subsidy. We have considered doing this and before we can make a proper RFP, we need to understand what an appropriate configuration is, per my previous post.
     
    chappjc, drunkenmugsy and tacotime like this.
  13. tacotime

    tacotime Hero Member

    Dec 7, 2015
    410
    1,133
    Adding on to what @jy-p said, the plan is to integrate fees in the future so that operators can receive reward. Until then, compensation would come from DHG through the RFP process to operate and maintain a stake pool.
     
  14. Todd T. Fries

    Todd T. Fries New Member

    Mar 16, 2016
    3
    4
    Male
    IT Consultant
    Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    This sounds marvelously scaleable minus the web frontend, but .. its the voting wallets that are important anyway. It's ironic that it makes sense from a security stance that the dcrwallet (lightweight mem/disk/cpu footprint) instance requires a physical machine while the heavy hitting dcrd can safely run on a vps. I suppose if one were to purchase a dedicated server and run proxmox or similar on it, both could run in a vps given ownership/control of the host os.

    Bare minimum for a stake pool, then, would be a webserver, a dcrwallet, and a dcrd node. Not exactly the most desirable minimum, but apparently it would function. On the flip side of the coin, locating dcrd's near PoW mining farms might propogate tickets faster for an edge on other PoS pools? The implementation of course is left as an exercise to the reader...
     
  15. Todd T. Fries

    Todd T. Fries New Member

    Mar 16, 2016
    3
    4
    Male
    IT Consultant
    Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    Comparing to e.g. p2pool where the pool operator gets to set a fixed percent of the pool generation to donate to development, or other bitcoin pools which have various small percentages taken as income to cover costs, a PoS pool long term would stand to gain if there were some financial incentive relative to the income it produces for its members.

    Aka if I go to the trouble of setting up exactly a mirror of what company 0 is doing, I'm going to be out quite a bit of cash flow per month just on hosting costs. I'd love to scale out more. But if there is no financial incentive long term, I would be intrigued by adding a stake pool to my existing infrastructure, which does happen to be spread about, and someday I'd have to decide if the time and effort are a worthy cause ;-)
     
  16. Altcoin Steps

    Altcoin Steps New Member

    Mar 8, 2016
    11
    3
    Male
    the 3 VPSes are ok, but having 4 self-owned machines in 4 different locations would be hard to manage at least for me
     
  17. drunkenmugsy

    drunkenmugsy Sr. Member
    Advocate (Reddit)

    Dec 28, 2015
    405
    218
    Male
    I have the ability to host physical machines at many DC locations. I work for a datacenter company.
    I had pictured 2 hosts acting in concert for redundancy. 3 is better! I dont have 3 hosts currently but it is possible for me to get 3 or more up and running.
     
  18. Shadowlance

    Shadowlance Full Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    220
    155
    Male
    I'd be happy to join the party after my contract for RFP4 is complete. I have skills in C#, SQL and R along with database and web server administration. However, I do not have the hardware for this project so I'd need to work with someone else.

    I understand the need for how C0 has set up the pool in terms of security and redundancy, but it seems like a very complex setup. There will be very few people with both the skills and hardware to set this up and the complexity seems to lead to a lot of maintenance when things go wrong. Given that if the pool is down people will miss votes, it seems like a huge burden for a single administrator. I guess the idea is you script the setup so it's easy to bring everything back up again, but I think the complexity goes against the desire for decentralization. The more complexity (and more computing resources) it requires the smaller the number of people who have the skills, hardware and willingness to run a pool.

    I don't really have a solution for this as to simplify requirements will mean reducing security and you can bet these pool will be the target of attacks fairly quickly. Maybe C0 is happy with a small number of pools (less than 10) being run by groups.

    One other question; what safeguards are in place to stop pool owners disappearing with the funds in the pool?
     
    jy-p and chappjc like this.
  19. davecgh

    davecgh Hero Member
    Developer Organizer

    Dec 31, 2015
    642
    788
    Male
    United States
    The current pool design is such that the pool can NOT steal the funds. You are only delegating voting rights (and in reality it's a 1-of-2 multisig which means either you OR the pool can vote). The ticket purchase contains a consensus-enforced commitment for the final subsidy address, so there is simply no way for the pool to steal the funds.

    The worst that would happen if a pool owner disappears is the votes will be missed which results in the ticket being revoked which in turn causes the original coins to go back to the original coin owner (minus the initial transaction fee of course). However, as mentioned previously, because the ticket is a 1-of-2 multisig, each user could run their own wallet in order to vote should the pool owner disappear.

    EDIT: Note that I underlined "current pool design" in order to emphasize I'm specifically referring to the current pool run by C0. Stake pools designed with different capabilities such as proportional reward sharing and such will absolutely have different security properties.
     
    zzzzzz and Reynold like this.
  20. ZomaX

    ZomaX Member
    Designer

    Jan 10, 2016
    84
    57
    Male
    I would love to help out and host a stake pool. Unfortunately, I fall into the category of those who are more than willing, but lack the technical acuity.
     

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