Mummolin, Inc. has successfully raised $6.2 million in seed funding to kickstart OCEAN, a project aimed at decentralizing Bitcoin mining on a global scale. The funding round, headlined by Block CEO Jack Dorsey, also drew support from notable entities such as Accomplice, Barefoot Bitcoin Fund, MoonKite, NewLayer Capital, and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund.
New Push To Decentralize Bitcoin Mining
OCEAN, heralded as a major shift in mining seeks to disrupt the traditional mining pool model, which has been critiqued for fostering centralization. Long-time Bitcoin Core developer and Mummolin co-founder, Luke Dashjr, emphasized the need for a change in the role of mining pools for BTC to maintain its decentralized ethos.
He stated, “OCEAN is a new type of pool that enables miners to be truly miners again. We are launching as the most transparent pool and also the only non-custodial pool where miners are the recipients of new block rewards directly from Bitcoin.”
Traditionally, mining pools have held exclusive custody of block rewards and transaction fees, distributing them among miners. This model has raised concerns about the potential for pools to withhold payments. OCEAN’s approach, offering non-custodial payouts directly from the block reward to miners, aims to mitigate these risks and reduce the pools’ influence over miners.
Mark Artymko, co-founder and President of Mummolin, remarked, “By offering transparency and a mechanism for miners to be paid directly by Bitcoin itself, we make the network radically more robust.”
Jack Dorsey’s involvement is a notable endorsement of OCEAN’s mission. “Our contribution to OCEAN comes out of a deep respect for their mission.” He added, “I think it’s a phenomenal team. I know Luke; I’ve interacted with him for some time, and I was inspired by the vision and most importantly the execution.”
Dorsey also noted that OCEAN is solving a problem that “all of us feel – further centralization of pools and mining pools that could plague Bitcoin.” In the official press release, Dorsey further commented, “When I see a project that is good for Bitcoin broadly, and that’s also good for me and my companies personally, it becomes a simple decision for me and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Remarkably, the initiative has already attracted its first customer, Barefoot Mining, with its CEO, Bob Burnett, calling it “the most significant new company announcement in the Bitcoin world over the past few years.”
The announcement was made at the Future of Bitcoin Mining Conference, set against the backdrop of Barefoot Mining’s repurposed 150-year-old hydroelectric dam in South Carolina, which is now dedicated to mining.
Decentralization Efforts Move Forward
OCEAN’s launch comes at a time when the BTC mining landscape is dominated by centralized pools like AntPool and Foundry USA. Over the past year, both pools combined for 52.7% of all blocks mined. While these pools are made up of geographically dispersed miners and any individual miner can change their pool at any time, improved decentralization in line with the ethos of Bitcoin is an aspirational goal.
In parallel, DEMAND, a BTC mining firm, recently introduced the first two mining pools operating on Stratum v2, another initiative aimed at enhancing decentralization in the mining ecosystem.
OCEAN’s entry into this space signals a growing trend toward diversification and decentralization in mining. The company plans to unveil further phases of Bitcoin decentralization improvements and upgrades in 2024.
At press time, BTC traded at $38,136.
Featured image from Miami Herald, chart from TradingView.com