Introduction

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)1, so 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 pools2 run. The 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.

More Information

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

Footnotes

  1. Some pools like grcpool technically have a couple of accounts, but the main idea is the same 

  2. Technically one place (the Gridcoin Discord Wallet Bot) does sort of act as more traditional staking pool, but that is secondary to its main purpose