Hpool, the group behind the world’s biggest Proof-of-Capacity mining pool, been a leading member of the Iron Fish community since May 2022. In addition to providing feedback to the engineering team, Hpool has supported users on the Iron Fish Discord, offered educational materials via Twitter, and more.
We caught up with them to learn more about the company and how they think about crypto.
What does Hpool do?
Hpool was founded in 2017. We’re a Singapore-based company operating in multiple global locations. We are a node service provider for various public chains and an aggregation service provider for computing and storage power. One of our major focus areas is offering infrastructure for secure, stable, and efficient Web 3.0 digital currency mining.
Hpool offers bug submission, super node building, and community outreach services for the public chains we support.
Our existing operations support Chia, Arweave, BHD, Mass, Aleo (Testnet phase), and Iron Fish (Testnet phase). We work to build a reputation for reliability – all project nodes have been running stably since 2017 and have successfully resisted various node attacks.
The current volume of supported projects is the largest in the industry.
How did you get started?
A group of technology enthusiasts founded Hpool with a vision for blockchain technology and its widespread adoption. In the early days, Hpool focused on solutions to replace high-energy consumption PoW consensus with greener alternatives like PoC – Proof of Capacity – to secure new chains.
With time and the growth of Web3, we’ve expanded our involvement broadly to address decentralized network infrastructure.
What makes you different from other mining pools?
Since we started in 2017, Hpool has amassed considerable experience in node operation and maintenance.
We have extensive expertise in blockchain infrastructure development and pride ourselves on our consistent reliability: we offer 24/7 support, and our systems have resisted hundreds of DDoS attacks over the past months. We provide 100% uptime on systems built with the latest technologies.
We have a user base of about 300,000, with 150,000 user devices connected to our mining pools. Community is a priority, and we work hard to support the projects that work with us.
Our unique position in the market has allowed us to build a network of contacts and resources in the industry that we leverage to remain at the leading edge as a provider of efficient computing, storage, and security solutions.
Why is crypto privacy important to you?
Privacy is vital to the decentralized, mathematical trust mechanisms at the crypto industry's foundation. Current solutions simply don’t meet the privacy and anonymity requirements of the digital world.
Hpool believes that privacy remains a significant roadblock to mass crypto adoption. We’re incredibly optimistic about the future of Zero-Knowledge proofs, which leverage algorithms to generate trust with privacy and anonymity.
What are the major application areas for a crypto privacy protocol?
Privacy protection is one of the biggest application areas for cryptocurrencies. There are innumerable application scenarios where ZK-proofs can bridge data silos and generate value through B2B, C2C, and B2C exchange.
For instance, consider self-certification of individuals on the internet, where individuals can pass KYC (know-your-customer) without disclosing and losing control over private information.
Similarly, if two companies don’t have immediate, complete trust but need to cooperate, they can conduct business or exchange assets through zero-knowledge proofs without disclosing data.
What drew you to the Iron Fish testnet?
Hpool has been following the Iron Fish project since its early days.
In terms of backing, Iron Fish has raised a $27.7M Series A – led by world-class investors such as a16z with participation from Elad Gil, Sequoia, Electric Capital, and many other amazing groups. There is a lot of confidence in the company.
From a technical point of view, Iron Fish protects privacy and safeguards user data while providing each on-chain address with a “view key” that allows the address holder to grant read-only access to others. This is an elegant, AML-compliant solution to the regulatory challenges to privacy-class Layer 1s.
Finally, regarding project positioning, Iron Fish uses PoW consensus, zk-SNARKs, and advances on the Sapling protocol to provide the highest privacy protection for on-chain transactions.
We’re confident that Iron Fish will be a unicorn privacy solution that will play an important role in Web3.
How has it been interacting with the Iron Fish devs?
We have had many productive interactions with Iron Fish builders. From our first official online meeting with CEO Elena, we’ve had an excellent rapport. The feedback and technical communications have been smooth, and we’re excited for testnet phase 3 and mainnet launch!
You’ve made several contributions to the protocol. Can you describe some of them (mining, bug reports, and so on)?
Besides mining, HPool has submitted PRs (Pull Requests), bug reports, and performance optimization recommendations directly to the team via Discord.
PR #1653 was particularly important as it relates to the SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) API interface we developed for capturing and broadcasting transaction data. The API is built on Iron Fish’s algorithm library, and we plan to open-source it.
How have you found the Iron Fish community?
We’re honored to be involved with the Iron Fish project. The team has been responsive, and they’ve always provided timely feedback and solutions. We really appreciate that they discuss and solve problems collaboratively.
The community on Discord is great! It’s diverse, varied, and interesting. At the same time, the separate channels focusing on professional technical questions, user feedback, and design advocacy keep things productive and professional.
What excites you about Iron Fish’s future?
So much: just looking at the whitepaper, Iron Fish will add custom assets, support the issuance and circulation of stable and third-party assets, and add Layer 2 functionality.
Looking ahead, we’re also excited about cross-chain bridges with other protocols supporting privacy for mainstream assets. Iron Fish really aims to be the privacy layer for Web3, and we’re thrilled to join them on this journey!
What do you think 2023 will bring for crypto?
The crypto industry is a diverse set of moving parts.
It has always had characteristics similar to "digital gold” while acting like US and technology stocks.
In the coming year, cryptocurrency and distributed applications, etc., are likely to converge more and more, and we believe that protocols like Ethereum, Solana, and Aptos will tilt the balance to behave more like US tech stocks.
The crypto industry has a very fast cycle. Hpool remains incredibly optimistic about technological developments in crypto, especially for Iron Fish, and we believe that the industry will flourish.