bloXroute, a blockchain distribution network ( BDN ), has recently worked alongside F2Pool to reduce their mining pool uncle rate by more than 50%. F2Pool is a top 3 Ethereum mining pool that saw immense results from bloXroute’s BDN, which leverages advanced networking techniques to scale blockchains.
Ethereum Uncle Rate
On the Ethereum blockchain, “uncles” are referred to as blocks that have been successfully mined but do not get selected on the main blockchain. Since mining has become extremely competitive, multiple nodes are running computations which can result in two miners getting a block approved at the same time. In most cases, the block with the higher proof-of-work will be selected by the Ethereum network. Uncle blocks typically occur due to network latency, and relate to scalability and durability of the network. Unlike Bitcoin, the Ethereum network will compensate uncle blocks with a partial mining reward in an attempt to incentivize independent mining.
The uncle rate is simply the rate at which these blocks ( uncles ) occur. Data from Blockchair shows that recent ETH uncle rates were hovering around 5.00%. Over the last 3 years, these rates have declined due to improved efficiency on the ETH network, but there is still a large opportunity to optimize performance. During the last couple years, uncle rates have consolidated in the 4%-8% range, but the recent work performed by bloXroute has gotten ETH uncle rates at all time lows.
bloXroute And F2Pool
In recent developments, bloXroute has been working with F2Pool to reduce uncle rates. As discussed above, F2Pool is a top 3 ETH mining pool and bloXroute has built a Blockchain Distribution Network ( BDN ) to help blockchains scale. In a blog post by bloXroute, the company stated that they were able to reduce F2Pool’s mining pool uncle rate by more than 50%.
In an attempt to monetize infrastructural capabilities at the network layer, F2Pool first partnered with bloXroute last April. F2Pool has been one of the earliest supporters of BDN solutions offered by bloXroute Labs. By leveraging a BDN, mining pools have the ability to communicate better at the network layer. This can result in faster block and transaction propagation. bloXroute has mentioned that 14 ETH mining pools are using the BDN to scale.
How They Reduced ETH Uncle Rates
In an attempt to reduce uncle rates, bloXroute and F2Pool carried out the following steps:
- F2Pool integrated bloXroute’s hosted gateways as trusted peers to its network of Ethereum mining nodes.
- F2Pool decreased full block latency from mining nodes to bloXroute gateways. In order to send newly mined blocks to the bloXroute BDN as quickly as possible, F2Pool had to adjust their Geth image.
- In a collective effort to optimize infrastructure, bloXroute positioned hosted gateways in areas with lower latency to F2Pool nodes, and F2Pool relocated their nodes based on the location of hosted gateways. This helped both entities optimize geolocation of the ETH nodes according to BDN deployment.
50% + Reduction In Uncle Rates, All-Time Lows
From July to October of this year, bloXroute BDN integration was able to slash uncle rates by more than 50% for F2Pool.
During the earlier stages we can quickly see that uncle rates were hovering around market averages. As time progressed, rates fell by ~ 68% and finished around 1.96%. Based on the historical data from Blockchair above, bloXroute was able to get ETH uncle rates to all-time lows. bloXroute believes that mining pools will continue to struggle to reduce uncle rates until ETH 2.0 comes to fruition. The company plans to continue working with F2Pool and other entities to bring out the full potential in ETH 1.0 .
Earlier this month, bloXroute also outlined how their BDN can further advance the evolving DeFi sector.
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