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AMA with Titan’s CEO, Ryan Condron — Part 1/2

All the questions you ever had about Titan, answered by our very own CEO.

Q: Who is Ryan Condron?

A: The CEO of Titan! I got involved in the space in late 2012, primarily on the mining side. My buddy Kyle told me about this new, crazy thing called Bitcoin, so I started reading and learning about it.

Kyle and I worked on a site called CoinWarz that was focused on mining profitability and difficulty targets. What to mine and when to mine it.

Ryan Condron, Titan’s CEO.

From there, we went to another site called PoolWarz, where we ran about 80 different mining pools through SHA256 and Script. I also did hardware comparison sites, cloud mining sites… All sorts of fun stuff between 2013 and 2015.

In 2017, I joined Bloq and helped them launch a cryptocurrency called Metronome (MET), and in 2018 we spun off and started Titan.

From the very beginning, the focus has been making mining as easy, profitable, and decentralized as possible. And there’s a lot of cool projects we’ve been pursuing towards that end.

Q: What’s the problem Titan is solving?

A: That’s a deep question. Lumerin is focused on rerouting and optimizing mining profitability around hashrate.

Early on in the crypto world, we started seeing ASICs come online in 2012/2013, and we started getting more and more specialized mining hardware.

Now, the fear was that, with that specialized hardware, we would start moving away from decentralization. The security of these networks relies on a lot of people from a lot of different areas around the world contributing hashrate, mining, and competing against each other.

If you have specialized hardware, you start reducing the number of people who can participate in the mining process, reducing decentralization.

New ASIC resistance algorithms started coming out to fight specialized mining machines, because we always link that to centralization.

ASIC miners.

With Bitcoin, we started seeing early on that we had specialized hardware — ASICs — and large miner facilities investing hundreds of millions of dollars in these devices. We had warehouses and data centers popping up all around the world with tens of thousands of these devices in them. Those quickly became nodes of centralization of the hashrate.

We saw this trend getting worse and worse through the years. Now, the majority of the hashrate resides in the control of a few large entities.

So how do we decentralize a network if we can’t decentralize the devices on the network?

These mining devices will always congregate around three main factors: cheap electricity, favorable government regulations, and stable infrastructure. Anywhere in the world where you have the combination of these three items, you’re going to see a concentration of hashrate. We’re not going to get around that.

The premise of the paper that I wrote in 2018 was the idea of decentralization, not of hashrate production, but of control. This idea that if we can decouple the creation of hashrate from its control, then we can essentially keep proof-of-work networks decentralized regardless of where in the world the device resides.

For that, we need a protocol or network that can actually control hashrate according to rules from a decentralized ledger. The simple architecture that we came up with was pairing a TCP/IP proxy router with a EVM smart contract engine.

Now, we can reroute data streams based on smart contract rules, with those smart contracts being the decentralized mechanisms and the routing layer being the control mechanism.

If you want to read more on this topic, you can visit Ryan’s interview with Charlie Shrem about mining centralization.

Q: What are the applications of Lumerin and hashpower trading?

A: It’s interesting because there’s a lot of things you can do once you open up hashrate to an open market. The first obvious thing is that miners will get higher profitability for their hashrate.

The price of the hashrate reacts to the price of bitcoin and the difficulty on the networks, so there’s going to be a balance.

However, we’ve seen historically that some people and institutions are willing to pay a premium for hashrate that’s easy to access, whether it’s hosted or based on cloud hashing contracts.

That model has already been proven. Now, we’re taking and decentralizing it. So that’s the first thing: better profitability for miners.

Another advantage is hashrate accessibility. Right now, you see a lot of financial institutions wanting to get into Bitcoin and investing very heavily.

They may hold large amounts of crypto, but the reality is they really have no say over the network or the transaction process unless they control hashrate. That’s how you vote on these networks: with hashrate.

We’re going to see a move in the future where more and more financial institutions and banks are going to want to get into mining, and they aren’t going to specialize in running their own data centers or having their own mining hardware. They’re most likely going straight into it by purchasing hashpower.

In order for that to happen, we need a trustworthy marketplace for buying and selling hashrate trustlessly. That’s what we’re seeking to provide with Lumerin.

To learn more about mining and institutional investment, visit our article below.

Q: What is Titan Public Pool?

A: We are very excited about our Titan Pool offering. We started working on it a year and a half ago and built the Titan Pool software in-house from the ground up. We didn’t start with anyone else’s code, it was all in-house developed.

It has a really slick architecture, using a series of upstream and downstream pools so we can put pool servers directly in the mining facilities. Even if our pool servers ever go offline, they have local pool servers they can mine against. There is never any downtime.

Titan has pool servers distributed worldwide.

The performance of our internal pool has already been quite spectacular, so we’re looking to take this new software and offer it under a software-as-a-service model.

Historically, what we’ve seen in the mining pool world is a tiered fee system. Depending on how big of a client you’re to a pool, they will make deals with you. Typically it’s some kind of a backroom shake deal, where you sign a contract for a low fee, but you have to stay on the pool for a year or two.

Sometimes, the fees rise to up to 3%. Now, when you’re mining $5K or $10K bitcoin, that’s expensive but it’s not sticker shock. However, we’re now working at $50K bitcoin, and these miners are at all-time profitability highs.

If you’re mining with 1 EH, you’re paying anywhere between $60-$70K a month in pool fees, and that’s only at 0.5%. At 1%, that would be easily over $100K a month. The ecosystem is not very transparent at all, either.

What we’ve wanted to do with the Titan Pool is provide transparency in the pool ecosystem. We publish what our fee tier is. It’s present right on the dashboard.

You always know what fee you’re paying at any given moment and if you hit the next tier of the fee system, it automatically switches over. It’s visible to you and fully auditable and calculated by design.

Do you want to learn more about mining pools? Consider reading our educational article.

Q: What about Titan Private Pool? How does that work?

A: Let’s say you’re running enough hashrate to find a block once every four or five days. You could send that hashrate to a pool and pay the pool fees. But if you had a trusted and true pool set up, you could trust it to provide you a block.

Now, a lot of miners, even though they could do that, chose not to take the risk. If they don’t get the configuration correctly or miss something — say, their node isn’t connected to block propagation nodes — they could miss out on blocks and lose profitability. Inherently, a lot of miners avoid running their own pools even though they technically could, saving a lot of money on pool fees.

Titan provides mining pool hosting services for large miners.

This is where Titan comes in. We have a highly optimized pool architecture that’s already been proven to have incredible performance. We’re rolling that out at a flat monthly fee, fully hosted.

We set up a customized AWS account for our clients, we set up all the pool architecture, and we connect their node to our node propagation network — which is a global network of Bitcoin nodes for fast propagation using AWS global accelerator network. It’s bulletproof so far.

With our pool setup and the flat monthly fee, it’s really a no-brainer. It makes a lot of sense for miners not to send their hashrate to a pool where there’s no transparency, auditability is very low, and they get locked into these deals against their best interests.

With Titan, it’s month-to-month, fully hosted, tried and true, and you can pick up the phone and call me any time. We think the community is going to love it.

Q: Who can join Titan pools? What are the requirements?

A: Titan’s Public Pool is open. Anyone can join. You just need to go through the KYC/AML process and you can join the general pool.

Our Private Pool offering is different. It’s geared towards larger miners. We recommend it for miners with 200 PHs and above.

Q: Where can people find more information?

A: The Public Pool is invite-only right now. If you want, you can email us at hello@titan.io and we will respond from there.

For the Private Pool, you can email us at privatepool@titan.io.

Enjoyed the interview?

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An extensive library of newsworthy, analytical, and educational content regarding cryptocurrency and crypto mining. By Lumerin Protocol, built by Titan Mining.

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Lumerin Protocol

Lumerin Protocol

Making crypto mining hashpower a tradeable commodity. Built by Titan Mining. Visit us on https://lumerin.io/.

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