Gigahorse Fees

unexpected costs

Posted by on June 22, 2023 · 3 mins read

So back at the start of the year, I added support for the Gigahorse closed-source GPU farmer of the Chia blockchain. While GPU-supported plotting and farming was an interesting enhancement to the Chia ecosystem, I was less than enthused by the Gigahorse offering. Therefore, I generated a grand total of 2 Gigahorse-proprietary plots, simply for testing the new support in Machinaris.

My biggest concerns with Gigahorse included:

  1. The closed source binaries approach. While understandable due to the developer fee, I always prefer open source software where I can get it.
  2. The single Gigahorse developer. Despite Madmax coding circles around the entire “Chia Network Inc” (CNI) development group, it was clear that he is a single point of failure for Gigahorse.

Dev Fees

After apparently negotiating with CNI for months, eventually the Gigahorse developer chose to implement a set of dev fees to get paid for his work. Fair enough, as his work was at least 6 months in ahead of what CNI was able to do themselves. As shown in the screenshot of his Github README, the dev fee should be capped at just over 3%.

However, a keyword above is “on average” as the fee is collected by grabbing entire block rewards occassionally, averging out to the percentages above. One user on Reddit reported hitting a stretch where they encountered a much higher fee rate, closer to 17%.

Basically, the fee is being collected probabilistically, which no doubt does average out to the ~3% quoted by the developer, across all users over time. However, one can understand the frustration of a particular user experiencing higher than average fee collections.


So, clearly one needs to be mindful of the average keyword in the statement about fees. As someone who dabbles in crypto tech, not a business-oriented farmer, I was not interested in buying GPUs solely for this project. I am quite glad to have kept my setup simpler, despite forgoing the possibility of earning a few extra dollars from my hobby farm.

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