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Jack Dorsey Leads $6.2M Seed Round in Luke Dashjr’s Mining Pool Startup

OCEAN mining pool, which pays miners directly from the Bitcoin network, is aimed at decentralizing mining

Mummolin, a bitcoin-focused startup co-founded by Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr, announced at a one-day event hosted by it in South Carolina today that it has raised $6.2 million in seed funding, led by Jack Dorsey, Accomplice, Barefoot Bitcoin Fund, MoonKite, NewLayer Capital, the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, and other undisclosed partners. 

According to a press release from Mummolin, the funding will support launch of OCEAN, a new type of bitcoin mining pool focused on decentralizing Bitcoin. Luke Dashjr, who is also the Founder at OCEAN, said that “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.”

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Dorsey said, “OCEAN is solving a problem for Bitcoiners that I think all of us feel – further centralization of pools and mining pools that could plague Bitcoin, and how that risks a bunch of Bitcoin attributes that we hold dear.”

First customer of the new mining pool is South Dakota-based Barefoot Mining, whose co-founder and CEO Bob Burnett said, “The new (OCEAN) pool will bring new features and some badly needed diversity to the mining world.”

The debate around pool centralization is not new. It first became a hot topic for debates in the bitcoin community in 2014, when, the then leading bitcoin mining pool, gained 45% of the network’s hashrate. Since then, the crown of the biggest bitcoin mining pool has been worn by various parties, most notably F2pool, Antpool, BTC.COM and ViaBTC. The pools at the center of the current wave of the centralization debate are the DCG-owned Foundry USA and Bitmain-owned Antpool, which collectively own over 55% of the network hashrate. 

Yesterday, bitcoin mining company DEMAND announced the launch of a solo mining pool and a bitcoin mining pool based on Stratum v2, a new protocol for bitcoin mining pools, “to help decentralize the Bitcoin mining ecosystem and improve the health of the Bitcoin network overall”.

Luke Dashjr also founded the Eligius mining pool, which was a popular zero-fee mining pool in the pre-ASIC era when people used to mine bitcoin from homes, and FPGAs as well as GPUs were still commonly used to mine.

Image used above is of a bitcoin mining datacenter in Bratsk, Russia. Image courtesy: BitRiver.