I (http://kolobara.com) am the main developer/operator of the btc♡xt pool. I will write down here the idea behind it so I can reuse it for all the questions I'm getting. Currently I'm home for Christmas and don't spend much time in front of the computer, sorry to everyone waiting on an answer from me.
A few months back I was reading the mining thread over at bitcointalk and was disappointed with the current state of mining pools. There are multiple areas where I think we can improve over the current situation. So I decided to start working on a proof of concept pool on my own (https://xkcd.com/927/).
The 2 main points I wanted to address:
1. Technical limitations.
All recent pools I saw just reuse MPOS (https://github.com/MPOS/php-mpos), there is zero innovation. I think we can improve here a lot and will discuss btc♡xt's architecture more in a blog post next year.
2. Transparency issues.
Pool operators have all the power. Basically they decide how each block they mine looks (size, transactions, ...). They should communicate better their views and not stay silent around issues we are facing now.
In the beginning of this month I wrote the FAQ, put it on a page, used my current work in progress pool implementation as the backend and posted a link on bitcoinxt subreddit. This is how btc♡xt was born.
I didn't do any marketing between miners because I still want to have some breaking changes and downtime, don't want myself to get locked in. I made some bad decisions in the beginning and want to rewrite parts of the pool. This is one of the reasons why we have almost no hashrate right now.
I currently work for CERN and now that LHC is up und running again I don't find much free time to work on the pool, but here are some priorities for me and a roadmap for the development:
1. Unify the GBT and stratum backend in one. [End of January]
2. In February because of work related events I will be traveling and not able to work on it.
3. Develop a detailed stats page for miners so they have more insight in their miners/earnings. [This will probably be version 1.0. Mid March]
After this I will start to market the pool more aggressive and rent around 1-2Ph/s to bootstrap it. We will offer our infrastructure to solo miners and miners that choose PPLNS payout, but if we manage to have a reasonable hashrate we will also offer PPS payouts.
Hopefully I will set up a blog and post more frequent about the development. Currently I also hire people to help me out with less technical parts. Depending on how successful it is I'm going to be able to invest more money into it.
Does it have any chance of taking off?
People like to ask why don't miners switch to bitcoinxt pools, but the truth is most of the mining power is owned directly by the other pools. There is a much smaller market to take away from big pools. We hope that by providing a technically superior solution with more transparency is going to be enough to take a part of the market.