Today, Wyoming-based Mummolin, Inc, has announced the successful completion of a $6.2 million seed funding round, led by Jack Dorsey, also featuring prominent investors such as Accomplice, Barefoot Bitcoin Fund, MoonKite, NewLayer Capital, and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, among others. This funding will fuel the launch of OCEAN, a new initiative aiming to decentralize Bitcoin mining on a global scale, according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.
“OCEAN is solving a problem for Bitcoiners that I think all of us feel—further centralization of mining pools that could plague Bitcoin, and how that risks a bunch of Bitcoin attributes that we hold dear,” said Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Block, Inc. “When I see a project that is good for Bitcoin broadly, and that’s also good for me and my companies personally, it becomes a simple decision for me, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The OCEAN pool distinguishes itself as the first transparent and non-custodial platform where miners receive block rewards directly from the coinbase transaction, eliminating the risk associated with traditional pools withholding payments from individual miners. “Traditional Bitcoin mining pools take exclusive custody of block rewards and transaction fees before splitting them up amongst miners. This gives them the ability to withhold payment from individual miners, whether by their own choice or by legal requirement. OCEAN’s non custodial payouts directly to miners from the block reward remove this risk and the pool’s undue influence over miners,” added Mummolin co-founder and President Mark Artymko.
“The role of mining pools must change for Bitcoin to exist as a truly decentralized currency,” said long-time Bitcoin Core developer and Mummolin co-founder Luke Dashjr. “OCEAN is a new type of pool that enables miners to be truly miners again. We are launching as the most transparent pool and also the only non-custodial pool where miners are the recipients of new block rewards directly from Bitcoin.”
When asked by Bitcoin Magazine about what issues in the mining industry today the OCEAN team is motivated to solve, three main areas of focus were presented:
Centralization of block template construction. “Even though hashrate may be distributed globally, the reality is that the intelligent parts of mining (running a full node, sourcing transactions, constructing the block template) are performed by very few individuals and the pools that they control,” said OCEAN’s Global Head of Sales, Bitcoin Mechanic. “This is a disproportionate level of influence by too few over too many and has the potential to hurt Bitcoin.” After the launch, OCEAN will introduce a way for miners to independently perform block template construction while still reaping the economic benefits of being in a pool.
Custodianship. “Most pools today use a payout scheme called Full Pay Per Share. In FPPS the pools pay miners out of their internal treasuries based on the work that the miners do for the pools. In turn, when a block is found, Bitcoin pays the pool directly. In this fashion the pool becomes the de facto custodian of funds and sits in between the miners and Bitcoin, much like a big Bitcoin bank account,” explained Jason Hughes, VP Development & Engineering. “This introduces significant counterparty risk to miners similar to keeping Bitcoin on an exchange.” OCEAN is non-custodial, and when miners use OCEAN, they get paid directly from the Bitcoin network in the coinbase transaction.
Transparency. “Most pools do not give miners visibility into the underlying transactions that they are committing their hashrate to. This opaqueness creates a scenario of zero checks and balances where pools can do what they want without having to answer to their miners until after blocks are mined,” expressed Dashjr. “In contrast, OCEAN takes a transparency-first approach by publicly disclosing all transactions included in our block templates to miners before mining. This exposure is self-auditing and creates a natural incentive for OCEAN to always act in good faith. We give miners greater knowledge of block construction so that miners can choose where to direct their hashrate.”
As OCEAN aims to revolutionize Bitcoin mining, it anticipates rolling out additional phases of Bitcoin decentralization improvements and upgrades in 2024. For more information, you can visit their website at OCEAN.xyz.