OCEAN Mining has posted an update to their pooling software allowing miners to individually choose between a set of different block designs to mine on. Miners can currently choose between these three models:
- The default OCEAN Knots model, which filters any registration transaction, and imposes an additional OP_RETURN limitation of up to 42 bytes on transactions using OP_RETURN.
- Bitcoin Core patched with Ordisrespector update, filtering registration transactions.
- The default Bitcoin Core model which does not implement any additional transaction filters.
This new option is a stepping stone towards their ultimate goal of enabling Stratum v2 to allow any miner using the pool to build the block model of their choice while mining with the pool. There is, however, a catch. For all miners using either the default Knots model or the Bitcoin Core + Ordisrepector patch, OCEAN will continue to honor the 0% promotional fee from launch. However, for all miners choosing to use the Bitcoin Core model by default, a 2% pool fee will be attached to their pool contributions.
OCEAN’s decision to implement transaction screening was not a popular choice, as evidenced by the significant backlash caused by the policy’s late announcement after the pool’s official launch. This new model selection option is a reaction to this backlash, but it is not them turning around and abandoning their position that signups and other classes of transactions are harming the Bitcoin network. They apply a 2% fee to Core-created templates to discourage their users from selecting that template, which they believe creates a negative impact on the network as a whole.
Ultimately, what happens depends on OCEAN users. The economically rational thing to do is for everyone mining with OCEAN to select the default Bitcoin Core model, as this will be the model that produces the maximum amount of revenue generated from block production. However, on the downside, the 2% fee applied to this model and not the others must be taken into account. If the fees charged by OCEAN for using the Core models are greater than the difference in profitability between the Core model and the other models, then the answer as to which is more economically profitable is not so simple.
But ultimately, it is the miners themselves who will make the ultimate decisions based on their economic and ideological motivations, which is what OCEAN ultimately decided to do: put the decision-making in the hands of the miners themselves- same.