As a rule, mining pools store their miners’ money in order to pay it out evenly later. The OCEAN mining pool counters this with a non-fiduciary model. But censoring certain types of transactions shows an attitude that has little chance of winning the market – but not for the obvious reasons.
Jack Dorsey, as the former Twitter boss, the former Elon Musk, has been focusing largely on Bitcoin for some time. Under his leadership, he brought together a round of investors who gave the company Mummolin $6.2 million so that they could decentralize mining with the OCEAN pool.
“For Bitcoin to continue to exist as a decentralized currency, the role of mining pools must change,” explains Mummolin co-founder Luke Dashjr. Anyone who has been following Bitcoin for a while knows this name: the long-term core developer, who is considered brilliant but very special, is one of the inventors of SegWit and founded one of the first mining pools, Eligius, in 2011. OCEAN calls him “the guardian angel of Bitcoin,” which is fitting since Luke is known as a fundamental Catholic.
OCEAN continues Eligius. Unlike many traditional pools, which first retain the proceeds from mining and then distribute them to the participating miners, OCEAN pays the miners directly from the Coinbase reward. This makes the network more robust and allows the miners to verify their income: Bitcoin mining “as it was intended,” is the headline on the website.
Jack Dorsey explains that they are investing in Mummolin “out of deep respect for the mission.” He knows Luke “and I was inspired by the vision and, above all, the implementation.” How Mummolin will use the money remains somewhat vague. The company, named after a Franco-Belgian saint, Bishop Mummolin of Noyon, said it would “launch several phases of improvements for the decentralization of Bitcoins” in 2024.
An open question remains, however, why a pool that has been live since 2011 but provides less than one percent of the hash rate should suddenly save Bitcoin because Luke and his team received $6.2 million. It’s something of a bet that the mining market will turn upside down.
The payout model through FPPS, “Full Pay Per Share”, has long since become established in mining. In this, miners are paid out according to their shares of the pool’s total hashrate, with the pool initially retaining the income to divide it up later. This model gives miners a regular stream of income, which is apparently more important to them than a non-fiduciary option.
In any case, many Bitcoiners are already struggling with whether OCEAN meets the self-made demands of its own Bitcoin ethos. Less than a day later, the first accusations of censorship were made. The Canadian miner checksum0 mentionedthat a check of transactions and their fees shows that OCEAN does not confirm transactions that contain “any data after op_false”.
Checksum0, who has an old enmity with Luke through the blocksize wars of 2016/17, suspects that OCEAN uses Luke’s Bitcoin fork “Bitcoin Knots”, which has integrated “hard censorship”. This not only mocks the spirit of Bitcoin, but also costs the miners money.
This was confirmed shortly afterwards. Giacomo Zucco, a toxic Bitcoin maximalist from Milan and also on the OCEAN team, explains that Knots only “filters inscription spam” as the pool currently uses Knots “to generate the block template in a centralized manner.” Therefore, “Shitcoin -Spammers” are waiting for the second phase of OCEAN – the decentralization of the template – “to produce their own templates full of s***”.
“Bitcoin Mechanic”, another OCEAN employee, also confirms the accusation with partly identical vocabulary: The pool will “continue to filter inscription spam”, if this bothers you, please use another pool.
This probably sums up OCEAN’s mindset: let them mine somewhere else – if they want consistent payouts, if they want to take fees through ordinal transactions, if they want anything that contradicts the “ethos of Bitcoin”, like a small, fundamental clique around Luke and Giacomo dictated to him.
It is OCEAN’s right to choose which transactions go into the blocks. Every pool has this right. Some refuse to confirm transactions because the US Treasury Department considers their sender criminal, others because Lukes considers them spam. Everyone can do it however they want. However, there is no reason to seriously expect that OCEAN will have a serious impact on Bitcoin with this attitude.