NoM as P2P mining infrastructure for Bitcoin

Inspired by the discussion for dynamic Plasma, I’m coming up with a brand new development that seeks to decentralize the mining pools found in Bitcoin.

Every use in NoM can act like a “solo-miner” and use PoW to generate Plasma and issue feeless transactions.

I’m thinking out loud now: is it possible to recycle this PoW and mine actual Bitcoin?

I’ve come across Braidpool, a new concept that seems to check all the boxes:

  1. A peer to peer network of miners to disseminate shares:
    We already have a p2p network of “miners”: they are the users of NoM.

  2. A rewards calculation algorithm that incentivizes miners to disseminate them at the earliest.
    Very interesting because we already have this mechanism: you want your transaction to be issued as soon as possible.

  3. Payment channels to make payouts to miners so that a constant amount of blockspace is required, independent of the number of participating miners.
    Here’s where PTLCs come into play.

  4. An anonymous hub that can’t deny rewards payouts to miners.
    Can Pillars be those anonymous hubs? They already issue payouts for hundreds of delegators.

In P2Pool the network difficulty is adjusted so that the pool finds one share every 30 seconds. This results in smaller miners struggling to find enough share and makes P2Pool economically nonviable for them. In Braidpool, this is not the case. Each miner participating in Braidpool can choose the difficulty they mine at so that they generate a share at an interval of their choosing. Small miners will mine at low difficulty to generate a share every 10 seconds, while large miners will mine at a much larger difficulty to find a share every 10 seconds. Both the difficulty and the share period can be configured by the miner.

I’m remembering some parts of the whitepaper that compares Pillars to mining pools. Is the whitepaper so forward thinking? The more I read, the more interesting those ideas become… I’m trying to connect some dots here.

We should definitely explore this subject.


Let me summarize what you are thinking about to make sure I understand.

  • P2P mining pool (so we don’t need to join a pool and dox)
  • PTLC to make payments to miners (anon)
  • Generate PoW for TXs and “use” it to mine Bitcoin while not being used for plasma.

Is this correct?

I’m wondering if Miners can generate PoW for plasma, store it up, and then sell it for TXs. I’ve talked to @vilkris about this and there are limitations. But if we can get miners involved we can really accelerate growth. Need to be able to store the plasma, and use it for different TXs on different addresses.


Users that want feeless txs via PoW will need to participate into the P2P mining pools (setup around a Pillar hub).

Actually we can store the mined Bitcoins in a TSS controlled by the Pillars. And use that Bitcoin to pay fees for embedding information into the Bitcoin blockchain.

Generate SHA-256d PoW to mine Bitcoin while it is being used for feeless txs. Basically merge-mine Bitcoin while generating Plasma for feeless txs.

  • NoM can become the first decentralized mining pool for Bitcoin, strengthening the hashrate, while increasing the number of mining peers (more users on NoM => more hashrate => more BTC mined => more TVL => more users, positive feedback loop)
  • it can become the first network to acquire Bitcoins by mining them in a trustless way
  • it can use mined BTC to embed information into the Bitcoin blockchain (tapscripts) by paying fees and unlock a myriad of use cases (including the “Holy Grail” aka Bitcoin DeFi)
  • it can become the first decentralized network to simultaneously mine, hold and use on-chain BTC trustlessly, providing added value and acting as a Bitcoin L2
  • creates a symbiotic relationship with Bitcoin by providing hashrate in exchange for block space (mine & pay sats/vbyte)

A couple questions:

What kind of hashrate are you expecting these p2p mining pools to realistically achieve? Considering we can roughly say that 1M laptops = 1 flagship Antminer.

Is the user providing the hashpower getting the bitcoin reward or does the reward go to the TSS?

If difficulty is converted into plasma, then what’s stopping an attacker from using a cheap old ASIC and hogging all the PoW plasma, unless regular users also use ASICs?

If properly incentivized, some people might spin up some old ASIC equipment. From the whitepaper: "the pillars can outsource the proof of work, acting as mining pools to amass resources and rewarding accordingly the clients that supply them with computational power. ". Think of Plasma as a byproduct of merge-mining Bitcoin and PoW delegation rewards. Some people will mine for Plasma, others for ZNN or both. A market will emerge.

Ordinary users will generate Plasma regardless of PoW, QSR fusing or even burning ZNN as fees in order to issue transactions on the network.

The attacker will spam with PoW, but the Bitcoins generated as a result will go to the network. Also from the whitepaper: “self-balancing difficulty algorithm that will use both ASIC-friendly and ASIC-resistant hashing algorithms” and “will balance between ASIC-friendly and ASIC-resistant hashing algorithms in order to improve network security and obtain a higher degree of decentralization”. Plus users will have a multi-lane system for transactions, they won’t be limited in any way.

Right now I’m gathering all the pieces of the puzzle.


If we were to go forward with this, how much time will it take approximately to implement it?

@aliencoder are you considering this section of the whitepaper in your thinking? Seems like this is a separate topic than what you are researching now.

I had some Questions :sunglasses: but it’s okay if they are hard to answer at this point in time …

So Zenon as a whole is a P2P btc mining pool, where each pillar is a miner and the btc goes to the tss?

Say the pillar outsources its PoW, making the pillar itself a small mining pool. Can that also be P2P? Or does it need to be more like a traditional mining pool, as the 3rd party miners need to trust the pillar which has control over rewards distribution and fees charged, and if the pillar goes down the mining stops? Why would 3rd party miners enter into a traditional mining pool with pillars if the future is P2P, is it cos they are incentivised by mergemined ZNN rewards too, is that the tradeoff?

And you say regular non-pillar ZNNAliens can have their PoW for transactions recycled, do they get rewarded in proportion to their hash contribution too, are they considered part of the pillar’s pool? Is that where the Braid implementation comes in, because it’s friendly to small miners? Doesn’t Braidpool have a minimum difficulty level though, so people below the threshold won’t be able to generate any shares? I guess their reward is they get to have a feeless transaction, regardless of any BTC reward … and the recycled PoW is a public good which indirectly benefits them because it benefits zenon overall

From what I understand @aliencoder wants to make the protocol a mining pool, not build a business model where pillars outsource PoW. Trustless mining pool.

I’m pretty proud of my summary so please don’t ruin it Alien.

The main thing is to get it right from the beginning. And then focus all dev effort into it.

I’m considering all sections and adapt them to today’s reality.

P2P mining means that every network participant will be able to merge-mine, regardless of their status in the network (user, staker, delegator, node, etc).

Vires in numeris

Pillars already have a pool of delegators: merge-mining can be used to further incentivize less potent hardware to participate. This is important because small miners can offset their costs by generating ZNN, while benefiting from the price exposure (larger miners with more hashpower are generating BTC for the network as a whole).

Furthermore, the BTC that will get mined is a collective good of the network (that will be used for other network operations aka paying for block space), increasing the overall value of the network. Pillars can reuse this PoW and “anchor” it into the ledger: “strengthen the ledger by adding weight into it (i.e. recording the resulting work of the PoW link”.

The mining will be done peer-to-peer: Pillars will only do “miner share accounting”, but with ZNN instead of BTC. The resulting BTC will go into the network’s “treasury”.

“Since small miners are able to find shares at their chosen difficultly, they can claim rewards for all their PoW shares.”

Exactly this is the objective. But we need to carefully design it in such a way that is both technically and economically feasible.


I think I understand better now. It seems like Zenon’s hash rate can’t really be forced overnight, there’s an organic growth/positive feedback loop at play where more use of the NoM is required, since it’s not a mining business as such as the BTC would be a public good rather than paid in proportion to hash contributed. Very interesting


Solo-mining is back in town.

Peer-to-peer merge-mining will be game-changer for miners that wish to secure additional revenue for their operations.


(post deleted by author)

Laymans terms…

By locking BTC in NoM, I can become a BTC miner and earn BTC.

is this correct?

(post deleted by author)


The definition of a BTC miner does not change. They provide PoW to the BTC network in exchange for the ability to mint a block when successful. If merge-mining with ZNN, they will reuse the PoW to do some NoM stuff in exchange for some benefits.


NoM stuff = merge-mine ZNN & BTC, add weight onto the ledger via PoW share-blocks and receive ZNN in the process. The mined BTC go into a network wide TSS for decentralized custody.

Furthermore, NoM’s BTC will be used to allocate Bitcoin block space for smart contracts that will get executed on NoM. Native, on-chain BTC, not a wrapped representation of it.


Ok got it. I was pretty confused on the topic. This and some discussion in the tg helped make it clear. ty.

I didnt understand this part. How is NoM BTC native BTC?

It’s not NoM BTC. It’s literally NoM’s BTC, as in native BTC owned by NoM (pillar’s TSS).

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