Really great to see the level of discussion and thought going into this thread.
I agree the issues @shea256 described around miner centralization are a problem - they’ve personally deterred me from mining as well.
Our discussion about miner centralization has mainly focused on the role of miners as security providers and block builders. I’d also like to highlight that mining also serves as a method of distributing new STX. It’s important that this be as fair as possible.
I like that @GM-Chung 's solution tries to align our incentives more closely with bitcoin’s and our vision.
A thought experiment:
Imagine we set a 10 satoshi price limit on bidable BTC per block. At current STX market prices winning a STX block for 10 satoshi would be a really great deal. 10,000 people want to bid. At this point, the limit on horizontal scaling is now becomes BTC block size transaction capacity…roughly 2500 transactions per block. Bitcoin miners select which of the 10,000 bids are accepted and it is in their best interests to pick the ones paying the highest bitcoin transaction fees.
At this point, the bitcoin bid via PoX is tiny compared to the the BTC transaction fees paid to get your bid accepted in a block. The system starts to look less like PoX and more like proof of burn…but instead of burning the BTC (sending it to an unspendable address), it’s being paid to BTC miners.
So what this proposal does is put an upper cap on the amount of btc sent via PoX - the is the max cap times the max transactions that fit in a bitcoin block and give the excess to BTC miners. In this situation, can a BTC miner who is also mining STX essentially mine for free by including his STX mining transaction(s) for free?
Same question about censorship.
I also wonder if there are volatile market situations where a miner could use this as a low cost option on STX. For example, could a miner decide to not send the BTC transaction after winning and be “slashed” if the price of BTC suddenly increased vs STX so that he felt it no long rational to pay the amount he bid?
If the pool determines the voting protocol instead of the stacks consensus algorithm, how do we know anything about the degree of decentralization of the mining pools?