Joining a mining pool can help you save money and earn more, but only if you join the right one. Here are the 5 best crypto mining pools that you can choose.
Cryptocurrency has never been this accessible to anyone before. Whether you access the market from your computer or smartphone, on the bus or back at home, you can set up an account and process the transaction in only a matter of minutes, even seconds! Not only buying and selling, but you can also generate the coins yourself.
Like precious metals, digital currency is mined, but obviously not from the earth. Instead, cryptocurrency is mined on the blockchain by using advanced computer technology to solve advanced math problems. To keep the decentralized blockchain secure, every crypto transaction must be validated. The miners solve the math problems and validate the transaction. In return, they will generate digital coins from doing so. So, instead of actual miners that carry shovels and pickaxes, crypto miners are more like math problem solvers.
However, crypto mining is not that easy because it requires high computer specifications and a tremendous amount of power. Not only that but not every successful mining operation will be rewarded because the rewards are only given to the user who solves the problem first.
Mining the coins on your own can be tricky, especially for the more popular cryptos such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. Therefore, many individual miners decided to work collaboratively to create a stronger side by pooling their resources across the internet to perform complex calculations and generate blocks of data. This is called a mining pool.
The same logic can be found when the lottery jackpot reaches an extraordinarily high amount, many friends would pool their money together to buy a lot of tickets and increase their chance of winning. And like the lottery pool participants, the mining reward will also be split proportionally amongst each participant.
While mining pools can indeed make mining faster and easier, it wouldn't be wise to join the first option you see. Not all mining pools offer the same method, rates, and rewards so you need to choose one that uses the type of method you prefer. You should also make sure that the mining pool is safe and have had a good track record of trustworthiness. Finding a good mining pool is crucial because it's going to save you money. In this article, we'll reveal five of the best online mining pools today that you can pick.
1. Slush Pool
If you're looking for a classic, original pool with an undoubtedly excellent track record, Slush Pool is the easy answer. Slush Pool has been around since 2010, often known as Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server with over 1.25 million BTC mined to date. It has servers in various places including the US, Europe, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and China. It's currently the oldest public pool still operating actively with a pool Hash rate of 5.33 Eh/s. For over a decade, Slush Pool has built an excellent reputation especially for its stability and accuracy, as well as security and customer satisfaction.
The sign-up process is quite smooth, and you can create a demo miner, which is similar to demo accounts in brokers. You can try the feature to familiarize yourself with the dashboard and navigate through the platform before you decide to register. Apart from that, the website's appearance is flexible and user-friendly as it offers both a simple and more advanced interface for expert miners. There are also other interesting extra features such as advanced remote monitoring and a mobile app.
In terms of fees and payment, Slush Pool offers a standard 2% fee, which you can share with other miners. In addition, you will have the option to set your minimum pay-out as little as 0.001 BTC. It means once you reach this sum, the platform will automatically send your earnings to your account. However, be aware that there are additional fees for any pay-outs under 0.01 BTC.
Another great thing about the payments is their famous score-based payment method, which allows the rewards to be distributed fairly among Bitcoin miners. You can find this information on the website in the section "mining rewards". It contains a detailed explanation of how pay-outs are measured by each user's scoring hash rate. However, bear in mind that your score will drop if you switch to other pools and then return to Slush Pool.
When it comes to large pools, Antpool is definitely on top of the game. Antpool holds roughly 15% of the total hash rate of the Bitcoin mining pools at the moment. The pool is owned and operated by Bitmain Technologies Ltd, a well-known firm based in China, which also manufactures the Antminer series of ASIC mining devices. Antpool has servers all around the world including Germany, the US, China, etc.
Other than that, the pool supports peer-to-peer mining protocol that would link your device to the one nearest to you during setup, in order to get a better and faster connection. Antpool also has a great user interface even though the company has mostly grown from hardware sales.
Regarding user's earnings, Antpool is quite transparent and offers several options, including PPS+, PPLNS, and SOLO. Users can also get notifications via email, SMS, and Wechat based upon hash rate thresholds that are set by the user. Once you place your account and wallet address, you can start mining and receive your payment daily between 08:00-10:00 AM Beijing Time (the minimum pay-out is 0.001 BTC).
Next on the list is ViaBTC, a Chinese-based mining pool established in 2016 that has served users from no less than 130 countries. ViaBTC offers secure and professional cryptocurrency mining services and some other related products, namely crypto wallet named ViaWallet and multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. It is one of the top mining pools that support over a dozen coins including the popular Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dash.
The mining fees in ViaBTC are quite flexible because users can choose how they are paid. The default choice is PPS+ (Pay Per Share Plus), but users can also choose PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) and SOLO.
With PPS+, the pool basically pays the miner for each valid share that is submitted. This is great for a stable payout as the pool bears the risk of orphaned blocks. If you pick PPLNS, the payout will be calculated by the miner's hash rate contribution and factoring in the last N difficulty rounds for when the block is found. There are transaction fees and an additional small fee for the maintenance of the pool assigned to the miners. So PPLNS can lead to higher payouts in the long term, but miners are subjected to unstable yields. Meanwhile, in SOLO, the entire reward will be awarded to the miner that solves the block with only a small maintenance fee.
Another great thing about ViaBTC is the level of transparency provided. This includes real-time and detailed statistics of the pool and miners' status and hash rate. Also, there are some valuable tools such as profit calculator, Tx accelerator, and many more.
BTC.com is another widely-known mining pool in the world of cryptocurrency. Before its branding as a mining pool in 2016, BTC.com had already established itself to introduce an innovative Bitcoin wallet and build its own blockchain explorer.
As for now, the pool is categorized as medium-sized with a number of servers located in Germany, the US, and China. The pool also supports only a couple of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Decred, and Nervos CKB. In addition, there are some interesting features to enjoy such as customized overclocking software to increase revenue, mobile pool apps, and professional customer support. Not only that, but Windows users can also add and configure miners easily using the BTC tool and BTC Smart Agent.
When it comes to payment method, BTC.com uses the method called FPPS (Full Pay Per Share), which means that it calculates a standard transaction fee within a given time, adds it to the block reward (currently 12.5 BTC), and then distributes the whole to miners as with traditional PPS. Splitting the transaction fee like that, especially when they are high, is a great way to go so it might add to the popularity they've got now. BTC.com also has a relatively low payout threshold at only 0.001 BTC.
KanoPool is a relatively small mining pool that was established in 2014. Despite being one of the smaller pools in the industry, KanoPool keeps growing and expanding their business by providing low mining fees and an easy setup process. One of the useful features is that registration is actually optional.
So when configuring your miner, you're only required to enter your BTC wallet address as the username and you can start mining right away. However, if you decide to register, you can view more detailed statistics about the mining pool as well as your performance.
If you take a look at the website, you'll find that the layout is very simple. The interface is not super user-friendly, but it does have a two-factor authentication as an extra layer of safety. Also, you won't find a detailed tutorial on the website because all of the information you need to get started is available on the help page. Nevertheless, Kano is an active participant in the BitcoinTalk forum, so sometimes they answer questions about the pool there.
Regarding the payment method, KanoPool uses the PPLNS (Payment Per Last N Shares). The 'N' is five times the network difficulty, immediately after a block is found. When it comes to fees, KanoPool sets a relatively low number of 0.9%. The transaction fees are included in the block reward.
The Bottom Line
Crypto mining can be pretty challenging if you do it yourself because you need to have the right software, have the necessary mining hardware, and the strong power resource to get it going. Thus, joining a mining pool can be very useful in many ways.
Nevertheless, you need to pick the right pool that can provide the best terms and environment for you because as you can see, the pools vary in size, payment methods, and fees. If you're new to crypto mining, it would be wise to join a large and well-established mining pool to gain some experience. Once you feel comfortable and satisfied with your work, you can optimize your earnings by joining smaller or low-fee pools. In short, always do a cost/benefit analysis and weigh the pros and cons of each option before joining a mining pool.