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What is PPLNS vs PPS? What is Uncle Mining?

  • Staff

    More questions about pool mining and pool payouts.

    This information is from some various pools FAQ. Essentially, PPLNS makes the payouts more fair for those who stay connected to a pool, which is better for stability overall anyway.

    What is PPLNS?

    PPLNS is short for “Pay Per Last N Shares”.

    The current proportional reward system is round based (PPS). One round is the time between the first share after the last found block and the share which solves a block.

    PPLNS however means that we no longer consider valid shares of one round, but we consider a number N of shares, no matter if they’re apart of the round or not. The number N is currently for each blockchain twice the difficulty.

    Why should I use PPLNS vs PPS?

    PPLNS favors constant and/or occasional loyal pool members over pool hoppers. Pool Hoppers are betting for a “quick win” with low shares per round. If the round exceeds a certain amount of shares they “hop” to another proportional pool which started a new round more recently. This assures better rewards for pool hoppers over occasional or constant miners which are loyal to their pool. Pool hopping however implies that pool hoppers need to know when a round is started and how much shares are considered for reward. This is very easy with proportional reward system. While using PPLNS, this is no longer true.

    I’m only an occasional miner. Will I lose shares if playing/being offline?

    This depends, sometimes you will be lucky and sometimes you won't - much like block effort. As a loyal pool member you will have an advantage over pool hoppers - because you aren't trying to predict when a round starts/ends you will not miss out on effort for blocks

    For more information on PPLNS, please check out:

    What is Uncle Mining ?

    An uncle is a block that would be considered an orphan because it's not on the longest chain (it's an alternate block at the same height as your parent).
    So the uncle mining would have:

    1. Decrease the incentive to centralization by rewarding the miners who produce stale or orphan blocks again because they are not part of a large pool and then hear about blocking later (due to network propagation delays)

    2. Increases the safety of the chain by increasing the amount of work on the main chain from that done in the uncles (so no work, or at least much less work, is wasted in obsolete blocks)

    Credit: TheOtherGuys / give-me-coins


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