Bitcoin mining software overhaul Stratum v2 promoted by Block, Braiins

Steve Lee, the lead at Spiral, tells CNBC there are several significant benefits to the upgrade, including cutting down on the use of data.

Currently, it is common for each mining rig in a large farm to directly connect to a pool. This setup wastes a lot of energy. Lee says that Stratum V2 supports a proxy that aggregates all the connections and only establishes one connection with the pool.

The process of sending that data is also changing to a more efficient method.

“All told, much less data needs to be transmitted between miners and pools, and this could help miners in remote regions of the world with poor internet,” noted Lee.

The upgrade is designed to improve security, as well. Today, it is possible to steal hash rate from a miner, which can lead to some miners losing money. Hash rate is a term for the collective computing power of the bitcoin network. To resolve this, Lee says Stratum V2 introduces a standard security mechanism with authentication and encryption between miners and pools.

The version being released Tuesday is for initial testing, and in early November, a more robust version will come out that supports additional functionality, including job negotiation — a “feature that represents a historic shift in the censorship-resistant mechanics of bitcoin mining by replacing a pool’s responsibility of assigning work to miners with the ability for miners to select their own work,” according to a joint statement released by Spiral and Braiins.

There are orders of magnitude more miners than pools, so if miners select transactions it is far more decentralized than just a handful of pools, Lee explained.

“Working for industrywide adoption of the upgraded Stratum protocol is one of the most important developments in improving the decentralization and censorship resistance of bitcoin’s architecture,” Lee said.

As for timing, the pilot and integration testing will happen this fall, and next year, the upgraded protocol will likely see greater adoption once miners and pools are confident it is working well.

“I’d anticipate a gradual increase in hash rate in 2023,” Lee told CNBC. “Reaching 10% hash rate by the end of 2023 would be a great success,” continued Lee.

Lee added that it will likely take several years to see the latest version of Stratum replace the original.

“Miners know the benefits of upgrading to Stratum V2 very well, but pushing the entire mining industry over some of the remaining development and adoption hurdles is a big task,” said Jan Capek, co-founder of Braiins.

“Universal standards for running and building Stratum V2 and the efforts of this working group to push the industry forward will provide the momentum bitcoin needs to finally upgrade from a version of its mining protocol that was built a decade ago,” continued Capek.

Similar to the Lightning Network, which is a technology built on top of bitcoin’s base layer to make payments more efficient, there will be different implementations of Stratum V2. However, the open-source version released Tuesday will make it easier to collectively test out the technology. It will also ensure that the various projects can interact with one another.

This content was originally published here.


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