Late last week some minor drama occurred on the old forum when a certain large SPV mining pool which has caused headaches for Bitcoin's network stability before had some of their IP addresses published publicly.
Bitcointalk user Kano revealed that a part of the SPV mining process used by F2Pool (nee. Discus Fish) and likely others involves connecting miners to other pools in order to more rapidly detect block changes and generate an empty block header to feed to their miners sooner than they could otherwise. The connected listening "miners" at least as implemented by F2Pool at the time of this outing did not actually mine on the connected pools making their detection easier.
In response to Kano publishing four IP addresses associated with F2Pool1 a Bitcointalk user identifying as "macbook-air" affiliated with F2Pool claimed to have "blacklisted" Kano's pool. When asked for clarification they offered:
We will not build on his blocks until our local bitcoind got received and verified them in full…
Which really it seems is a small step towards what everyone wants F2Pool to do in the first place, validate blocks before building on them. Of course macbook-air's statement continued with:
This guy leaked our IP addresses to the public, I pm him kindly and begged him to remove them but he refused. If we ever got DDoSed due to his post, we have no choices but point our domains to his pool.
Which is par for the internet. Par for the current state of Bitcoin mining is an upcoming softfork which may be triggered in coming weeks while F2Pool and fellow SPV mining pool Antpool continue to enjoy a substantial portion of the total Bitcoin network hashrate. This conflict between overly ambitious power rangers and overly careless miners can be expected to lead to another round of whining about "consensus" rules implemented with less than quite consensus because the BIP process is broken.
This tension highlights the importance of users running fully validating nodes of their own, since a substantial portion the Bitcoin networks mining power negligently doesn't find doing so to be all that important. Further this should raise serious concerns for anyone who might be tempted to surrender to the efforts of social engineers to promote measures which would increase the difficulty of running a fully validating Bitcoin node.
188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, and 18.104.22.168 who all identified as the address 1J1F3U7gHrCjsEsRimDJ3oYBiV24wA8FuV when mining. ↩