One of the biggest ethereum miner is making thousands of small transactions some worth less than a couple of dollars.
In the past 24 hours we counted 15,850 transactions with Ethermine continuously demanding on-chain resources in what looks like a very inefficient manner.
In the past six days some 100,000 transactions have come from just Ethermine, an ethereum pool that generally has about 25% of ethereum’s hashrate.
Nanopool too is continuously flooding the network, sending around at times less than $4:
Ethermine has made in total more than 22 million transactions, or about an entire month of ethereum’s network usage.
Nanopool too has performed some 13 million transactions, far more than the biggest eth poo, Spark Pool.
These transactions are effectively free for miners as they’re basically paying themself, but everyone else who runs a node will have to bear the cost of this free network usage.
This flood of transactions is probably to pay their own small miners, but it would make far more sense if such payments were made monthly, or if say earnings of $200 are reached, instead of daily sending around a dollar when many smart contract users have to pay more than a dollar in transaction fees.
There are reports transactions with a fee of $5 are not confirming. For simple transactions a fee of $0.20 would now probably be sensible, but for some smart contract transactions fees can be $2 or more even when the network is not congested.
More than 100,000 transactions are now pending waiting for confirmation as demand for the ethereum network has increased while capacity has been limited by miners to the equivalent of about 1MB per ten minutes.
Unlike in bitcoin where this limit is hard coded, in ethereum it can be changed by miners through a simple vote.
Both Ethermine and Nanopool is refusing to change the limit, with these spam transactions perhaps aimed at increasing fees at zero cost to either Ethermine or Nanopool.
Had there been asics on ethereum, the algorithm could have been changed were it determined a cartel had formed that was gaming the network.
As it stands, little can be done, but to wait for Proof of Stake (PoS) which is to begin its journey hopefully in January.
Small miners can however have a say by moving to a pool that is voting the limit up and preferably to one that doesn’t mindlessly spam the network.