Bitcoin mining is still one of the most relevant ways to earn BTC. However, because of the rapidly rising mining difficulty, the requirements for mining equipment are growing, too. While some five years ago you could mine BTC with your smartphone, today even the most powerful graphics cards prove to be inefficient.
Before you start using your ASICs, GPUs, or whatever piece of equipment you have, you need to decide which type of mining to choose. There are two: solo and pool mining. Before Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry became widespread, solo mining was very common: miners had enough technological capacity to mine new blocks and enjoyed generous BTC rewards.
Before 2017, the complexity of mining and the general hash rate used to be low. However, as the number of miners increased, so grew the need for powerful equipment and energy-intensive farms. Now, in 2020, building your own mining rig is quite expensive and is not always financially justified.
The solution? Hunt for BTC together with other miners!
What is a Bitcoin Mining Pool?
When miners’ own capacity proved to be lacking, they decided to combine the power of their equipment. This is how mining pools appeared. A mining pool is a website that divides the big task (calculations) into small ones and distributes them between the capacities of different devices connected to it. When a group of miners generates a block, it shares the award among all participants. The more tasks are solved by a miner’s device, the more BTC its owner will get.
While mining pools will not generate BTC for you, they will help you find people you can combine your power with. Some websites also offer Bitcoin cloud mining. Such platforms allow users to form miner groups and distribute the reward in a fair, transparent way.
Is It Profitable to Mine Bitcoin in 2020?
Well, the short answer is yes, of course. Now, let’s get to the longer answer.
Despite the appearance of a significant amount of altcoins, Bitcoin is still the most popular crypto out there. At the moment of writing this article, its cost is $5,160.99, and none of the altcoins is even close to reaching that. However, this popularity also has a price.
Since there is a finite amount of bitcoins and a lot of people are after them, solo mining it would be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible. That’s where Bitcoin mining pools are coming in. By combining your computing power with others, there is a higher chance of you striking the prize block. And even though you will have to share it and pay a fee, it is still better than having nothing besides electricity bills.
Current Bitcoin Hashrate Distribution
On this pie chart, you can see the Bitcoin mining pool distribution by the share & hash rate:
As you can see, the most popular BTC mining pools are F2Pool, Poolin, Antpool, BTC.com, OKExPool, and ViaBTC.
F2pool was the first Chinese project of its kind. Currently, it is the best crypto mining tool in terms of the number of supported currencies. Initially, they only focused on Bitcoin, but then ETH was introduced in 2015, and by 2019, they added a wide variety of other coins.
BY 2020, F2Pool again took the first place, growing its hash rates, so it remains one of the best Bitcoin mining sites in China and around the world. The website supports both English and Spanish.The current transaction fee is 1.36%.
So, what’s so special about this platform? F2Pool is a decentralized platform, which makes it more trustworthy for the client.The platform’s reputation has never been tarnished. Both Android and iOS apps are available for personal account management.
Simplicity and reliability – that’s what miners value F2Pool for.
Hash rate: 18,839.87
Poolin lets the user mine Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Litecoin, Decred, Dash, ZCash, Monero, and Electroneum on ASICs and graphics processors from Nvidia and AMD. It supports several reward systems including PPS, FPPS and PPLNS. The payments are made once a day at 12 AM (UTC+2). The minimum withdrawal amount depends on the cryptocurrency.
Although Poolin is a young project, it has quickly become one of the top 10 BTC mining sites as it not only supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies and payment methods but also has such cool features as:
mining profitability calculator;
personal account available on Android and IOS (the application displays network hash rate and provides access to the mining profitability calculator);
moderate transaction commission (1.07%);
an internal PIN token, which serves as proof of participation in the Poolin community.
Hash rate: 10,174.24 PH/s
The AntPool project was established in February 2014. The creator, Bitmain Technology, manufactured ASIC devices that needed to be tested. So, this is why the company launched its own mining pool. The project turned out to be successful and met the expectations of both developers and users.
Already in the middle of 2014, the project became one of Bitcoin mining leaders. In May 2016, Antpool management announced support for Ethereum and Litecoin. Later in the same year, Ethereum Classic, Zcash and DASH were also introduced. In August 2018, AntPool announced the transition to the SegWit2X protocol.
Aside from offering group mining, Antpool also supports the cloud mining feature in solo mode. The platform and their customer service are both available in different languages.
The funds can be withdrawn daily, and the commission is minimal. The only condition for the withdrawal is the presence of a new block. There are three payment methods available:
Pay Per Share (PPS) – a payment on receiving the share. Miners receive rewards only when they provide proof of work;
Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) – rewards are awarded for a certain number of points sent by the miner in case the block is in the pool. There are no commissions in this case;
Solo – the entire reward for the found hash goes to one miner. The commission is 1%.
Hash rate: 11,281.91 PH/s
BTC.com was first launched in 2015 as a block explorer. While this function remains, BTC.com has evolved since then. Now, it offers a variety of services to its users, including the mining pool and a wallet. While it remained largely unnoticed before now, by 2020 BTC quickly rose the ranks, making it one of the most popular BTC mining pools.
What made it so big?
Firstly, developers managed to increase the hash rate;
Secondly, they managed to ensure continuous development and release of new features and services, allowing for a regular increase of their userbase.
Hash rate: 6,825.75 PH/s
ViaBTC is a large mining pool that provides cloud mining of popular cryptocurrencies. The pool’s competitive advantage is its paid “transaction acceleration” service that increases the priority of BTC transactions. The so-called AsicBoost function makes BTC and BCH mining more cost-effective.
When the cloud mining service was first launched on the site in October 2016, only BTC was supported. And then from August 2017 to February 2018, the developers also launched BCH, DASH, ZEC, ETH, ETC and XMR mining.
Aside from group mining, ViaBTC also has cloud mining in solo mode. The website is available in Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese and Russian languages. The application on Android and iOS allows monitoring hash rate and profit. In addition, there is also an online Mining Profit Calculator.
ViaBTC supports three payment options:
Pay Per Share + (PPS) – payment upon receipt of the share. Miners receive remuneration only when they provide proof of work. The commission is 4% for the block and 2% for the transaction;
Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) – the reward is awarded for a certain number of points sent by the miner if the block is in the pool. The commission is 2%;
Solo – the reward goes to one miner, the commission is 1%.
Hash rate: 6,263.23 PH/s
OKEx is one of the major multicurrency exchange platforms, so it should come as no surprise that its developers decided to expand their business further. Thus, OKExPool was born. Right now, it is one of the biggest mining pools out there, allowing users to mine various cryptocurrencies.
It was created by a Chinese developer team, and like many other Chinese mining pools it has a few issues:
OKExPool has problems supporting non-Chinese clients;
The overall quality of the platform lacks polish;
Other than that, OKEx is a good platform for miners, as it keeps growing and developing.
Hash rate: 5,165.47 PH/s
A relatively new mining pool that was developed by a Chinese company Chengdu Wanyou Computing Technology in 2018. Since then, 1THash continued to grow and evolve, turning into a popular platform. It is a BTC-oriented mining pool, so developers can concentrate solely on improving user’s interaction with Bitcoin mining. However, that also means that you won’t be able to mine altcoins on the same platform, so if you prefer to have multiple crypto at hand, you should probably look at other platforms. It also concentrates on Chinese miners, so there is no English language available at the moment this article was written.
Hash rate: 5,368.49 PH/s
Huobi Pool is a multi-currency pool that was founded in 2018 on the basis of the Huobi Global cryptocurrency exchange. The first cryptocurrency supported by the site was Bitcoin, and, later, the platform introduced mining of BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, and DCR, as well as GRIN, SC and TRTL. The main advantage of Huobi Pool is the support of PoW mining in combination with DPoS voting modes for EOS. The pool became the world’s largest EOS voting platform.
Huobi Pool is positioned as a multi-purpose and multi-currency mining platform. It supports FPPS model rewards for BTC and ETH, as well as the PPS model for other cryptocurrencies. When it comes to EOS Super Community, this service provides users with professional DPoS voting in the EOS cryptocurrency network. At the time of writing this article, the transaction fee was as low as 0.78 %.
9. Slush Pool
Hash rate: 3,815.67 PH/s
The platform was introduced on November 27, 2010 by Satoshi Labs. In the summer of 2017, the site became the leader in Bitcoin mining. After the BTC fork, BCH appeared, and Antpool shifted part of its capacity to Bitcoin Cash, which led to SlushPool’s leadership. In 2017, the pool introduced a fixed commission of 2%. In 2018 SlushPool ranked third for the share of production of the first cryptocurrency.
The pool features a hybrid reward system, a combination of PPLNS and PROP:
Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) – the award is given based on the number of balls sent by the miner in the case of finding the block by the pool;
Proportional (PROP) – the reward is calculated proportionally to the contribution of each pool member to the mining process.
The Chinese competition with low commissions has additional fees that the user learns about during the withdrawal process. SlushPool’s management has eliminated those by setting a 2% fixed withdrawal fee. They use the Score method to calculate fees, which does not allow participants to connect to other mining pools. Developers also introduced automatic withdrawal, but it is only available if the threshold value is reached.
Hash rate: 2,293.55 PH/s
Another Chinese mining pool, BytePool was launched in 2019, which makes it a newcomer, especially compared to some other pools on the list. Currently, BytePool supports BTC and ETH, which is more than enough in terms of the most popular crypto, though there is still room for improvement. Despite the fact that BytePool was launched very recently, its team has been working on it since 2016, adding a lot of polish to the platform.
Despite that, BytePool shares the same flaw that most Chinese mining pools have: it targets mostly Chinese-speaking auditory. So you will need to adapt to use its features at 100%.
Hash rate: 2542.69 PH/s
Another newcomer to the mining pool scene, Rawpool was first launched in February 2018. With Chinese miners being the most active in the world, it comes as no surprise that this mining pool is also developed by the Chinese team.
It is also one of the very few Bitcoin Cash-oriented mining pools. Rawpool operates on the Full Pay-Per Share (FPPS) approach and has a VIP program, offering 24/7 support and consultation to their most prized users, along with a lower fee (the standard being 3.5%).
Solo mining is expensive and not always cost-efficient, so you can achieve better results by joining forces with peers. We hope our Bitcoin mining pool overview can help you make an informed decision and increase your crypto riches.
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