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5/22/2021

Will I have to re-plot for pools?

Yes.

But Whyyyyyyyyy?

Plotting takes a long time, and that's by design. If people could make plots at the snap of a finger, there wouldn't be any scarcity of plots, and scarcity is a crucial part of determining value.

However, this also makes it pretty frustrating for those who have already created a lot of plots and now have to make them again. So why is Chia making us do this?

Note - you don't HAVE to re-make any of your plots; it's only necessary if you'd like to join a pool. You can even farm solo AND farm in a pool at the same time.

At first, Chia developers didn't intend to have pools at all, until a chat room participant made a compelling case for why they're important. It seems nobody predicted just how quickly they would be needed, and Chia launched its mainnet without supporting pools.

The astounding growth of Chia netspace was a surprise to everyone, including the Chia developers themselves. It soon became clear that smaller farms (always meant to comprise the bulk of the Chia network) had little chance to win any XCH coins when the network was growing so quickly and their plots made up a tiny percentage of the total.

The Plot Thickens

Fortunately, the Chia developers have been working hard on a mechanism we can use to farm plots together, and receive XCH rewards on a more regular schedule. The way this will work is through the magic of smart contracts.

When the new Chia software is released (expected at the end of this month), farmers will create portable plots, or as I call them, porta-plotties. The reason they're called "portable" is because farmers can move their plots to a new pool whenever they want, simply by updating a smart contract that links their plots with a pool.

How Does this Smart Contract Work?

Using the new Chia software, you'll create a "pool group" and create plots that belong to this group. These plots are tied together in a contract that allows them to be pointed at a particular pool (Belly Flop Club, for example!). Then to join that pool, you'll pay a tiny fee to establish this contract on the Chia blockchain.

How tiny is the fee? At the time of this writing, it'll be one-trillionth of an XCH coin, or "1 mojo". You can even receive mojos, for free, from a faucet like https://faucet.chia.net.

Nice, Nice... Then What?

As part of a pool you'll win rewards when you or somebody in your pool wins a block. This can happen multiple times a day or not at all. However, your total winnings are ALWAYS based on (Your netspace) / (Chia netspace).

The logic goes like this:

  • Imagine there are 1000 plots in the world and you own 10 of them.
  • Your rewards will wind up being 1%... over time.
  • Will you win every 100th block? No, and you could even lose 300 in a row. Or you could win 300 in a row.
  • Eventually, though, you know that your win rate will approach 1%, and your total earnings will reflect that.

This makes sense, right? Now imagine the same scenario except:

  • You're in a pool that owns 500 plots.
  • Over time your pool's win rate approaches 50%.
  • Hooray! As a pool member, you're winning every other block!

You used to win every 100th block, but now you're winning every 2nd block. This is good right?

Yes, but UNDERSTAND:

You win more frequently, but your winnings are split with the other pool members.

So in this scenario, since you own 10 of the pool's 500 plots, you're entitled to 2% of what the pool wins.

i.e., you win 50 times more often, but you win 1/50th each time.

So Why Join a Pool at All?

Regularity.

You can farm solo, and it might make sense for people with very large farms, but most Chia farms have an "Estimated Time to Win" of... Months? Years? Decades?

It'd be oh-so-sweet if you hit the lottery and win with your small farm - and you might. But the advantage of joining a pool is that, by joining forces with other Chia farmers, you can earn a smaller amount on a regular basis. It's as simple as that.

Thanks for reading!

And subscribe to the Belly Flop Club waitlist to get an email when we're open for BIZNISS.