Earlier this year, I tried writing my predictions for Crypto in 2019, aptly titled “5 Crypto Theses for 2019” (For brevity, I decided to discard the other 90…). However, in my recent digital version of “Spring cleaning,” I stumbled upon my first foray into crypto more than half a decade ago. For many, that may not be a very long time, but here’s some perspective:

Price of Bitcoin back in February 2014: $547.51

Price of Ethereum back in February 2014: N/A (Ethereum had yet to be released)

Companies/projects that didn’t exist yet: Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, 0x, Augur, Monero (the list…


Bitcoin Mining Illustration (Source: Bitcoin News)

Earlier last week, we introduced miners within the context of proof of work consensus protocols and discussed how mining pools are operated and managed. To check out Part 1 of the series, click here.

In this post, we’ll explore how mining pools are managed (by pool-admins), the tradeoffs of mining solo versus joining mining pools and some ways miners can maintain a competitive advantage.

How Mining Pools Function: the Role of the Mining Pool Admins

Mining pool admins organize and streamline the collective effort of the contributed hashpower. When the next block is mined, the admin will broadcast a pre-built…


Bitcoin Mining Illustration (Source: Bitcoin News)

As a Network Architect for bloXroute Labs, I’ve been researching the crypto mining space, focusing specifically on mining pool network topologies and incentive economics, among other topics. Miners are one of the major players to unlocking greater scale for blockchains— but many of us aren’t miners.

Last week, I discussed mining optimization strategies through an interview with Orest Byskosh, Head of Research at Ausum Ventures.

This week, in a 2-part series, I hope to demystify the mining ecosystem by exploring the following topics:

  • In Part 1, I’ll introduce the differences between nodes and miners within the context of Proof of…


About me: I’m a triple degree student at Northwestern pursuing degrees in Computer Science (BA/MS) and Guitar Performance (BM). In my free time, I’m a passionate networks and distributed systems researcher at AquaLab, focusing on network performance bottlenecks in challenging environments. Recently, I joined bloXroute Labs, an Evanston-based team solving the scalability problem for all blockchains. For the past few months, I’ve been researching the crypto mining space, focusing specifically on mining pool network topologies and incentive economics, among other topics.

About this post: Earlier this fall, I had the chance to catch up with Orest Byskosh, Head of Research…

Robert Belson

Corporate Strategy @ Verizon | AquaLab Researcher

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