Pools are a way to make crunching easier to start. Their main goal is to make it so that users don’t need to have any Gridcoin to earn rewards for BOINC.
How it Works
Everyone on the pool uses the pool account(s),1so they are all crunching as if the pool was a single user. When the pool stakes, it earns all those rewards and distributes it out to all the users based on how much they contributed to it.
Downsides to Using a Pool
Using a pool is much more centralized than solo crunching. It relies on the pool operator to distribute out all your rewards. Meanwhile Solo crunching does not rely on any one person/group to send you your rewards — it is all done through the network
Differences to Other Cryptocurrencies
Difference to PoW Pools
Gridcoin pools are unlike Proof of Work pools in that the work being done by users in BOINC doesn’t directly impact block production. It only changes the payout when the pool stakes. This also means that pools have much less direct influence over the blockchain than in other cryptocurrencies
Difference to Other PoS Staking Pools
Unlike Proof of Stake pools, no one sends any coins to the pool for it to stake. While a pool like this could still work in Gridcoin, this is not how the main pools run.2The current pools acquired enough Gridcoin to stake at a reasonable rate before they started operating as their main purpose is sending out BOINC rewards
It is worth noting that there would be limited benefit in trying to create a staking pool in Gridcoin without doing any work in BOINC. The reward for just staking is 10 Gridcoin per stake which becomes rather small when spread across many users.
Open Source Pools
Gridcoinpool.ru is open source (repository here) and grcpool has part of its older source code available (repository here)
Other Technical Details of Operation
The operator of gridcoinpool.ru wrote a series of articles detailing much of the more technical details of how pools operate
- “How Gridcoin pools work (if you want to write or own yours)”
- “How to install PHP-Pool”
- “Project introduction for Arikado Gridcoin pool”