US miners join forces to mine only clean transactions

Without mining, nothing works in the cryptocurrency industry. Wether you gamble with your BTC at cloudbet, trade with them on exchanges or if you buy a VPN with Monero, you always need miners. Two of North America’s largest miners are forming the Digital Currency Miners of North America (DCMNA) organization. This is intended to create good conditions for mining in North America – and, with a new pool, only mine transactions that comply with U.S. law. On the other hand, there is no talk of sustainable energy.

Marathon Patent Group and DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. joined forces earlier this year through a non-binding letter of intent to create the Digital Currency Miners of North America (“DCMNA”). This non-profit corporation is intended to create “a better environment for North American miners,” and to launch North America’s first cooperative mining pool.

Marathon will contribute all of its hashpower to the pool, which as of Jan. 5 accounted for 10.36 exahashes per second, or 7.6 percent of the global bitcoin hashrate. This pool promises to ensure high transparency by having all financial information audited by a U.S. auditor. It is also intended to lobby policymakers for good site conditions in North Amerka.

Probably the most exciting “benefit” of this miner, however, is “clean block mining”: the pool will follow the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC’s) compliance standards “and reduce the risks of mining blocks containing transactions associated with nefarious activities.” OFAC writes the blacklists of individuals, companies and, more recently, cryptocurrency addresses with which U.S. citizens are prohibited from transacting. Further, the pool uses software called Walletscore, which checks whether transactions are linked to criminal activity.

The founders hope the pool will strengthen North America’s mining landscape

“Currently, companies like us depend on Pool, which is based in Asia, to connect us to the Bitcoin network,” Marathon’s Merrick Okamoto explains, “and we’re frustrated by the lack of transparency and audited data.”

That miners, as the party that selects transactions, would also assume the position of censors was inevitable sooner or later. DCMNA’s push, however, only carries concern for not getting its own hands dirty. Efforts to stop other miners from putting illegal transactions into blocks as well are apparently not on the table at the moment – and would also be extremely unrealistic given a hashrate of probably less than 10 percent. The issue of censorship in bitcoin mining is complex, however, and there are theories that it would also be possible for a minority of miners to force the others to comply with regulation as well.

However, the press release completely omits what is probably the more important issue: the source of the energy used for mining. The pool could have announced that it would at least make an effort to base its mining on renewable energies. The fact that it does not do this could indicate that the North American miners feed their operations to a greater or lesser extent with conventional energies, for example old coal-fired power plants in the “Roast Belt”, the formerly highly industrialized area in the north of the USA.