Stratum mining protocol
The [[stratum[[ overlay protocol was extended to support pooled mining as a replacement for obsolete getwork protocol in late 2012. The mining service specification was initially announced via Slush's pool's website. Shortly thereafter, alternative "cheat sheet" style documentation was provided by BTCGuild. As the extension lacks a formal BIP describing an official standard, it has further developed only by discussion and implementation.
- 1 Protocol
- 1.1 Overview
- 1.2 Methods (client to server)
- 1.3 Methods (server to client)
- 2 Software support
- 3 Criticism
- 4 References
Methods (client to server)
The result from an authorize request is usually true (successful), or false. The password may be omitted if the server does not require passwords.
Indicates to the server that the client supports the mining.set_extranonce method.
Server should send back an array with a hexdump of each transaction in the block specified for the given job id.
mining.submit("username", "job id", "ExtraNonce2", "nTime", "nOnce")
Miners submit shares using the method "mining.submit". Client submissions contain:
- Worker Name.
- Job ID.
Server response is result: true for accepted, false for rejected (or you may get an error with more details).
mining.subscribe("user agent/version"[, "extranonce1"])
The optional second parameter specifies an extranonce1 the client wishes to resume working with (possibly due to a dropped connection). If provided, a server MAY (at its option) issue the connection the same extranonce1.
The client receives a result:
[[["mining.set_difficulty", "subscription id 1"], ["mining.notify", "subscription id 2"]], "extranonce1", extranonce2_size]
The result contains three items:
- Subscriptions. - An array of 2-item tuples, each with a subscription type and id.
- ExtraNonce1. - Hex-encoded, per-connection unique string which will be used for creating generation transactions later.
- ExtraNonce2_size. - The number of bytes that the miner users for its ExtraNonce2 counter.
mining.suggest_target("full hex share target")
Used to indicate a preference for share target to the pool, usually prior to mining.subscribe. Servers are not required to honour this request, even if they support the stratum method.
Methods (server to client)
The client should send a result String with its name and version.
client.reconnect(["hostname", port[, waittime]])
The client should disconnect, wait waittime seconds, then connect to the given host/port (which defaults to the current server). Note that for security purposes, clients may ignore such requests if the destination is not the same or similar.
The client should display the message to its user in some reasonable way.
Fields in order:
- Job ID. This is included when miners submit a results so work can be matched with proper transactions.
- Hash of previous block. Used to build the header.
- Generation transaction (part 1). The miner inserts ExtraNonce1 and ExtraNonce2 after this section of the transaction data.
- Generation transaction (part 2). The miner appends this after the first part of the transaction data and the two ExtraNonce values.
- List of merkle branches. The generation transaction is hashed against the merkle branches to build the final merkle root.
- Bitcoin block version. Used in the block header.
- nBits. The encoded network difficulty. Used in the block header.
- nTime. The current time. nTime rolling should be supported, but should not increase faster than actual time.
- Clean Jobs. If true, miners should abort their current work and immediately use the new job. If false, they can still use the current job, but should move to the new one after exhausting the current nonce range.
The server can adjust the difficulty required for miner shares with the "mining.set_difficulty" method. The miner should begin enforcing the new difficulty on the next job received. Some pools may force a new job out when set_difficulty is sent, using clean_jobs to force the miner to begin using the new difficulty immediately.
These values, when provided, replace the initial subscription values beginning with the next mining.notify job.
Tables showing miner/server support for Stratum mining protocol:
The mining extensions have been criticised as having been developed behind closed doors without input from the wider development and mining community, resulting in various obvious problems that could have been addressed had it followed the standard BIP drafting process.
The mining extensions were announced after the community had spent months developing a mostly superior open standard protocol for mining (getblocktemplate). Because stratum's mining extensions launched backed by a major mining pool, GBT adoption suffered, and decentralised mining is often neglected while stratum is deployed.