Conceal Community Spotlight: Blackmennewstyle
This is a continuation of highlighting interesting and provoking ideas that Conceal community members are working on. In this release, the topic is a relative newcomer to Conceal but has already shown a lot of cool things in regard to setting up a mining pool. Understanding how mining pools and distribution of hashrate work for a blockchain network is so vital as it could lead to attacks by malicious actors. Conceal, like many other PoW coins since the Merge, has seen network hash swing drastically in many directions between the larger pools, which poses potential threats. Blackmennewstyle has worked on developing a backend framework for building a mining pool on the Conceal Network.
Again, this article comes at a timely intersection of where the majority of hashrate is distributed for Conceal Networks. As projects grow, ensuring decentralizing forces in mining is critical to network health and ensuring bad actors do not have the ability to do nefarious things.
Background on blackmennewstyle
blackmennewstyle is French, originating from the West Indies, and works as a Python lead developer in a web agency. His background in Computer Science as well as working in the IT/data-center realm since graduating with his degree has helped him understand the tech behind blockchain and even heard about Bitcoin in the early days since it was a hot topic in the French IT/Cryptography scene.
He was introduced into mining in 2017, after relocating to southeast Asia to be with his fiancee. Although he lived in a small apartment with issues from the landlord. It wasn’t until 2019 when he bought an apartment that he had space and knew that he wanted to run a mining pool. Unsurprisingly, and like many of us, he learned a lot about mining from YouTube, but would say that these are not the best places to learn. There are tons of critical topics that usually are not covered in influencer-like videos such as node software, network decentralization, pool latency, and pool rewards systems (PPLNS, PROP, etc…). The focus always tends to be around profitability, and while important this isn’t critical to actually designing and optimizing your home rig setup.
Introduction to Conceal
Another key player that introduced him to the Conceal Network was SavageMine. This was all during the pandemic in 2020 and SavageMine did a great job at educating people better than some of his YouTube counterparts and loved how he was always defending Conceal staking approach compared to CeFi/DeFi approaches.
Running Mining Pools
Running his own pool was a goal once getting into mining. It does rely heavily on having a solid background in programming languages and software. Since he works professionally in this realm, it wasn’t too hard to pick up, learn, and develop the skills required to set up a mining pool. The main reason he drove to create his own pools was the same reason he doesn’t like using mining OS, like HiveOS. Having control and understanding all the levers that can be pulled were important to him and it really isn’t that difficult to develop your own mining scripts using barebone OSs, like GNU/Linux Debian, and Ubuntu.
Creating a Conceal Mining Pool
Having already set up mining pools for other blockchain projects, he took on learning how to create one on the Conceal Network. There were some challenges, the biggest one, and this is applicable across nearly all blockchain projects, is that many keep close to the vest the secrets and information that give them an edge. One technical challenge that he wanted to overcome was to not use a lot of different stratum pool software and instead use something that was easily scalable and upgradable.
Some of the must-have skills he would describe for understanding and building your own pool or even becoming a good miner would be understanding the core blockchain concepts, protocols, programming languages, and software used by a project. Another key ingredient is persistence, knowing that there will be a lot of trial and error, experimenting, and potential failures as steps backward are very recurrent. a good miner and a good pool operator must be able, at least to understand how a node software works and be fully aware of its importance. They must be properly aware of all the implications behind most POW algorithms and how they fully extend to the mining hardware. It is very important for them to participate in most of the communities around all the projects they are interested in because a good actor in the crypto space should always want to push the community forward when he/she goes forward.
Open Sourcing the Codebase
blackmennewstyle: I integrated my work for Conceal in an open-source stratum mining pool called miningcore. All the work I have done is available on GitHub: https://github.com/blackmennewstyle/miningcore. I even submitted a Pull request in order to be merged with the main GitHub repository of the project: https://github.com/oliverw/miningcore/pull/1514.
The code source for the HTML website or front-end however is not publicly available, but the website basically just reads the data from the miningcore API, all the magic truly happens in miningcore and anyone can benefit from this work and launch its own Conceal mining pool if they have the necessary skills.
About His Mining Pools
blackmennewstyle: My pool due to its location is probably not suitable for everyone, it’s located in Thailand so miners in South East Asia will probably always be advantaged in terms of pool latency. But I have a miner located in Canada (Acktarius from the Conceal Discord), who claims that the 300ms of latency he is experiencing is not really an issue so far since he is able to find a lot of blocks.
I do not plan to raise my pool fees which are currently only 0.1% for the pool operator. I also offer the possibility to set up the minimum payout from 0.1 CCX up to 100 CCX and I can easily raise/decrease that range if necessary.
You can find more about his mining pools at: