Soon after the release of MineCube, we were forced to add a limit of 10 worker purchases per day to all users. We did it so that our limited availability at the time would not run out quickly when a few big buyers hit the market, as happened during the first few days. The issue was, replenishing the worker supply takes time, as miners need to be delivered, installed, etc. This limit is however not a good long-term solution, and not what we had in mind for the v3 of MineCube.
There are two main goals that we wanted to fulfill with MineCube v3. The first one is, we want to ensure availability of workers every time a user opens the app. The second one is, we want every user to be able to buy as many workers as they want without restriction. As we have seen, these two requirements are difficult to satisfy at the same time. If we allow users to buy workers without restriction, workers run out quickly because of one or two users buying thousands of workers at once. If we impose a daily limit, people who want to buy in bulk need to spread out their buys too much. While it was difficult, we believe we have found a way to fulfill both goals.
Our solution consists of 3 main pieces:
- A supply-chain system that automatically places worker orders every day based on current demand trends.
- A daily limit to all users buying directly from the app, with the possibility to increase it with registered SCC masternodes.
- An OTC Desk for purchases larger than 2500 workers.
The Supply-chain System
In order to ensure the permanent availability of workers we need to find a robust and automatic way to adjust the supply to the current demand. For that, we will establish a target amount of workers that we will aim to keep as reserve. If the number of workers available sinks below this level, we will increase the size of our miner orders accordingly so that when they arrive they push us well above it again. If we start to accumulate many more workers than the target level, we will start placing smaller miner orders until it adjusts.
This way every time a user opens Minecube, there will be plenty of workers available. If demand for workers increases, within a few days supply will increase as well. That is the reason we want to always keep a reserve; to accommodate for these few days of delay while we wait for the larger orders to arrive. If demand for workers falls, supply will stop growing and we start selling from the reserve to reach the target level again.
Daily Limits and SCC Bonus
For the supply-chain system to work, we need to make sure that reserves are large enough to satisfy the demand for a few days. This would be impossible without a limit, as a single user could buy the entire reserve in one go and we would need to wait several days to be able to replenish it. A daily limit for regular buys is therefore unavoidable.
However we see this as an opportunity to reward SCC holders by adding an extra layer to the SCC bonus program. Shortly, each registered SCC masternode will increase the daily worker purchase limit by 2 workers. Therefore, this limit can be increased from 10 to a maximum of 30 with 10 registered SCC masternodes.
Because there is a great number of users that have been waiting for a long time to be able to buy workers, the first few days or weeks demand will probably fluctuate drastically. Once all of these users have done their purchases and the situation stabilizes we may revise the daily limit and/or the bonus increase.
To accommodate larger worker buys, we want to offer the possibility for users to make bulk orders. Starting today, buyers have the chance to place an order of 2500 workers or more by opening a discord ticket. In order to do it, you need to provide some data like your StakeCube username, and the number of workers you want to purchase. For these large orders you must have enough funds in your StakeCube account to make the payment. Once the transaction takes place we will deduct the funds from your account and place an order with our providers. You will then have to wait for the order to arrive to be assigned the workers.
For worker orders of 10000 or more the waiting period is estimated at 7 to 9 days. For orders between 2500 and 10000 it might be a bit longer, as we will group these smaller orders together to place an order of 10000 or more with our mining provider.
These large OTC orders would make it very difficult to convert the SCC necessary to finance miner purchases without dumping the market, therefore we will be accepting only Bitcoin or stablecoin payments for them.
Split MineCube Pools
Some problems the current design does not address are obsolescence of the machines and price fluctuations in miner prices. A user coming to StakeCube in 2 years who wants to buy workers would be forced to buy from a pool that includes 3 year old machines. These machines will probably be a lot less efficient that the ones added later on, reducing the profitability of every worker. Moreover, because miner prices determine the number of workers added, price increases cause the hash rate in the pool to dilute, as proportionally more workers than miners are added with each new purchase.
To tackle these two effects, we have decided that we will move to a system with time-split MineCube pools. With this new system, workers will be shares from one pool, instead of being shares from all the miners on MineCube.
When we release this feature, we will add all miners existing to that date to the first pool, which we’ll call Pool 1. From that point on, we will start Pool 2, and add new miners only to Pool 2. All workers sold after we open Pool 2 will be shares only from Pool 2. Workers from Pool 1 will continue to be a share from Pool 1 only. The miners contained in Pool 1 will keep running until they become unprofitable, as was always the plan. After enough time has passed we will repeat the process, opening Pool 3 and adding all new miners only to that pool from that point on.
Users will only receive rewards from the pools they have workers from. This guarantees that workers being sold by StakeCube at any one point are shares in a miner pool that includes only the newest machines. Worker rewards for any of the pools are expected to continue for years and with this system they will be more stable, as they will not be affected by the addition of new workers and miners.
How often we will start new pools is something we haven’t decided yet, and because this step will require extra development, it can only arrive later in the year. Once we have more concrete plans for this we will reveal more details in a later article.
MineCube Workers as SCP Contracts
A feature that has been requested by many users is the ability to sell back MineCube workers. We want to take this even one step further, making MineCube workers into bearable assets that can not only be sold but also swapped or sent to other users.
This is achieved through the recent implementation of smart-contract capabilities for the SCC blockchain, SCP or StakeCube Protocol. With it, we can create assets that represent workers in each of the mining pools we described in the previous section. For example, MC1 could be assets representing a worker in MineCube Pool 1, MC2 those in MineCube Pool 2, and so on. These workers could then be sold or swapped at different prices according to their profitability, or simply sent from one user to another.
We believe this concept of decentralized mining contracts is revolutionary, and we are currently researching which possibilities it could unlock.
Percentage Allocation Payouts
Another feature that we want to implement is the possibility to split MineCube payouts into several coins with percentage allocations to each of them. For example, a user might want to receive 40% of the payouts in SCC, 40% in BTC and 20% in DASH. We want to make this possible and we built MineCube with the aim to be able to switch to this system in the future. This is still coming, but we cannot specify exactly when, as it will take some development to fully implement it.
The Icing on the Cake
To incentivize users to choose SCC as payout option, we will reduce mining fees from 5% to 3% when SCC is the payout coin selected. This will come into effect in April.
Once we move to the percentage allocation payout system, the fee reduction will be applied only to the SCC allocation.
Additionally, and to encourage more users to take advantage of the SCC masternode bonus, we will reduce mining fees by 0.1% for each registered SCC masternode down to 1% with 10 SCC masternodes. For SCC payouts this will reduce the mining fee from 3% down to a minimum of 2% and for all other payout coins from 5% down to 4%.
As you see, we have extensive plans for the improvement of MineCube. We hope this answers some questions about the future of Minecube and we look forward to seeing these solutions in action.