Bitcoin mining pools are still in great demand, even in 2020. Changelly is always on guard to provide you with the latest learning materials about crypto essentials. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about Bitcoin pools, starting from basic definitions and the best mining pools to get bitcoins and ending with all the nuances like the mining payouts schemes, etc. Dive into a comprehensive bitcoin guide with Changelly.
What Is a Mining Pool?
A mining pool is a united group of miners who share their computational resources (hashing power) over the network in order to find the next block and get a reward. Mining might be costly in terms of electricity and equipment costs. With combined hashing power, miners manage to find new blocks efficiently and in a much cheaper way.
Pool Concentration in China
Since the very beginning of mining activity, China has been the most attractive place to set up a mining pool for many reasons. The most important factor is that China supplies cheap electricity. Bitcoin or any other Proof-of-Work-based cryptocurrency requires a pretty big amount of electricity. Therefore, China seems to be the right place to start a mining pool. That is why major Bitcoin mining pools are located in China.
However, according to the latest news, China might soon lose its leading position in the mining industry.
A Bitcoin wallet is one of the miner’s essential tools. Moreover, every mining pool will ask you to provide your Bitcoin wallet address for payouts. For every block discovered, miners get a reward. Where should a miner store coins? The correct answer is: in a secure Bitcoin wallet or in a multicurrency wallet that allows to store a range of cryptocurrencies. We’ve already observed top-20 Bitcoin wallets to use in 2020. You can also check our guide to the best multi currency wallets.
The Biggest Mining Pools
As mentioned above, the biggest bitcoin mining pools are located in China for “electric bills” reasons. However, a significant part can also be found in the USA, Russia, etc. We are going to observe the most popular and trustable ones.
Hash rate: 129.65EH/s
F2pool was the first Chinese project of its kind. Currently, it is the best crypto mining pool 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 China’s best Bitcoin mining sites and around the world. The website supports English, Spanish, and Chinese. What services does F2pool offer? F2pool charges 2.5% as a mining pool fee when mining. Both Android and iOS apps are available for personal account management. Simplicity and reliability – that’s what miners value f2pool for.
Notably, f2pool mined Bitcoin block number 629,999. This was the last block before the third Bitcoin halving that happened this year.
Hash rate: 16.070 EH/s
The second-largest mining pool is also situated in China. BTC.com takes 13.6% of hashrate within the Bitcoin network. BTC.com mining pool is run by a Chinese-based giant company Bitmain which is also behind Antpool and Antminer ASICs.
However, some users complain about support work and troubles with reward’s withdrawals. Yet, BTC.com has been on the market for quite a while, proving its consistency and taking the third position in our top list. The pool utilizes several payment systems, including FPPS and PPS (will be explained below).
Hash rate: 126.14 EH/s
Location: China, Hong Kong
Poolin follows the motto of “Making the world a better place through decentralization.” Being the third most popular Bitcoin mining pool on the market, Poolin lets users mine not only Bitcoins but also 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 provides a range of cool features like average transaction commission, an internal PIN token, which serves as proof of participation in the Poolin community, and much more.
Hash rate: 128.09 EH/s
ViaBTC was founded in 2016 in China as “an innovation-intensive startup.” Following this description, ViaBTC has been working hard to prove this ambiguous statement. In 2020, ViaBTC offers a range of opportunities to get not only Bitcoin but also other cryptocurrencies.
The service allows for cloud mining, group or solo, and so on. ViaBTC introduces an all-in-one mobile application for iOS and Android devices so the users can monitor cryptocurrencies’ hashrate in real-time.
Hash rate: 14.3 EH/s
As mentioned above, Antpool is another project of the industry’s behemoth Bitmain. Being oriented primarily on Chinese miners, this mining pool provides a suitable environment for BTC mining.
Antpool allows discovering blocks for the broadest range of cryptocurrencies, including ETH, RVN, ZEC, AXE, BTM, and many others. Since it offers to mine different types of digital assets, it has introduced a relatively new feature called Smart Pool.
Smart Pool schedules your hashrate so that you can get the most profitable cryptocurrency and, as a result, get higher profits.
#6. 1THash & 58coin
A relatively new pool was developed by a Chinese company Chengdu Wanyou Computing Technology, in 2018. Since then, 1THash has continued to grow and evolve, turning into a popular platform. It is a Bitcoin-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. The platform provides the English language making it available for the rest of the world as well.
Hash rate: ???
Location: Czech Republic
Should you use Slush Pool or not? The platform was introduced on November 27, 2010, by Satoshi Labs. This fact makes Slush pool the oldest Bitcoin mining in the industry. In the summer of 2017, the site became the leader in Bitcoin mining. After the Bitcoin fork, BCH appeared, and Antpool shifted part of its capacity to Bitcoin Cash, which led to Slush Pool’s leadership. In 2017, the pool introduced a fixed commission of 2%. In 2018 Slush Pool ranked third for the share of production of the first cryptocurrency.
Even though the Slush pool is currently in maintenance, it still takes around 1.7% of the market share.
#8. Huobi Pool
Hash rate: 14.175 EH/s
Location: Hong Kong
Initially based in China, the Huobi cryptocurrency exchange has met several obstacles on the way to the top charts. However, it could make it and now takes the leading position in the industry. Like another crypto giant Binance, Huobi stepped into the mining waters and succeeded.
Huobi Pool primarily focuses on two types of cryptocurrencies based on the Proof-of-Work algorithm (BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, etc.) and delegated Proof-of-Stake (dPoS)-based EOS. Being one of the most reliable services on the market, it provides suitable environments for efficient crypto mining.
#9. Binance Pool
PoW Hash rate: 13.29 EH/s
Location: Malta (initially China)
Binance established its rights on the crypto market in 2017. Since then, the Binance ecosystem has been growing rapidly. Today, Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the industry that offers a wide range of crypto products, including a Bitcoin mining pool.
Just like in other crypto sectors, Binance Pool managed to succeed. It currently takes a share of 8.1% of all miners. It allows users to mine blocks for blockchains built on the SHA-256 hashing algorithm (BTC, BCH, BSV) and Ethash. Binance pool is not as big as others, yet it provides native UX/UI, which is recognizable by users.
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Bitcoin Mining Pool Comparison
Type of Reward
BTC, BSV, BCH, ZEC, ETH, LTC, XMR, GRIN, etc.
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, GRIN, GRIN31, BEAM, CKB, DCR, etc.
Every miner knows that having a trustable Bitcoin wallet as well as reliable bitcoin software is essential. We’ve recently updated our guides to top-20 Bitcoin wallets to use in 2020 and Bitcoin mining software. However, we will never tire of repeating the importance of doing your own research or DYOR, for short. If you are reading this article, then you definitely deal with the digital world. It is vital to remember about security when interacting with both digital and crypto spaces.
Mining Pools vs. Cloud Mining
Do not be confused with mining pools and cloud mining. We’ve already talked about pools and how they work. Miners unite in order to sum their computational resources and discover the next block. Each miner uses his/her own mining equipment (hardware, software, etc.). Cloud was created for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive mining rigs but are still willing to mine cryptocurrency.
To put it simply, a user pays a cloud provider so that the latter can use its resources to mine crypto assets. Meanwhile, a user will get a reward. In this case, users don’t need to obtain equipment but still get a reward.
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Which Countries Mine the Most Bitcoins?
The number of countries that mine the most Bitcoins directly correlates with the electricity bills. Bitcoin mining consumes a lot of electric power. As we’ve already told you, China provides the cheapest electricity alongside access to top-notch hardware and software. Therefore, it is no surprise that the vast majority of Bitcoin mining pools are located in China.
Well, we’ve already described the reasons for China’s mining popularity. It is also worth mentioning that China is a center for companies that produce equipment (hardware). The industry’s leading providers like Bitmain are also situated in China. With all that in mind, China will be the mining leader for quite a long time.
The second-largest provider is the United States of America. Despite the fact, the US government regulates the cryptocurrency market, the number of Bitcoin mining pools and companies is quite large. According to Cambridge stats, it takes second place in the Bitcoin mining map.
As can be seen above, the rest of the countries which mine Bitcoin is as follows:
Russia takes the third position and 6.9% of mining performance
Kazakhstan obtains 6.17%
Malaysia has 4.33%
Iran provides 3.82%
Canada, Germany, Norway, and Venezuela have 0.82%, 0.56%, 0.48%, and 0.42% respectively.
A Note on Pools
A user should do his/her own research in order to select the one that suits best. Sometimes, a miner joins a mining pool without learning all the details closely. For example, different pools charge different transaction fees or offer various payment methods for payouts. We’ve tried to provide you with essential information about each pool mentioned in the list, yet this does not mean we’ve observed everything.
Since we are dealing with the cryptocurrency industry, rapid changes are inevitable.
Why Are Miners Important?
Miners are essential to the crypto industry. In fact, at the dawn of cryptocurrencies, there were no traders but a group of enthusiasts fascinated by the new technological solution created by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Today, there are thousands of crypto traders and entrepreneurs, yet miners are still playing a crucial role in the vast ecosystem of decentralization. Why are they so important?
Let’s start with the definition of a miner. A miner is a person who uses the computing power of his/her device in order to mine (discover) a block. Miners process cryptocurrency transactions that take place within a blockchain. Therefore, we can confidently say that they are “builders of a decentralized space” at some point. They validate transactions in order to place them into blocks of a certain blockchain.
Another important role that workers play is the creation of coins. It is fair to say that the number of BTC hodlers (or just those who possess it) is greater than the number of Bitcoin miners. There wouldn’t be any Bitcoin holders if there were no miners in the network.
Each pool follows its own reward payment scheme. Some of them might offer several ways of a mining reward. The most common ones are:
PPS or Pay per Share. A miner receives a fixed amount of reward according to a provided share.
FPPS or Full Pay Per Share. A miner is rewarded according to each solved share, and a mining pool also covers transaction fees.
Proportional. A miner gets a payout according to the number of valid shares provided during the round.
PPLNS or Pay Per Last (N)umber of Shares. PPLNS payment scheme looks at the last number of valid shares before the block was found regardless of the block boundaries. This is called a time window. When the block is discovered, the system checks for the last N of valid shares provided during a time window. Those who provided a valid number of shares during a time window get a reward.
How Do Pools Pay Members?
How do mining pools share rewards? Once you decide to join it, you will be asked to provide the address of your cryptocurrency wallet. In this way, when the mining of a particular crypto asset will be finished, a pool will transfer a sum right into your digital wallet.
Pay Per Share (PPS) payment scheme is pretty obvious – a miner receives a reward for each share contributed. Each share is worth some amount of cryptocurrency. If a mining pool is unlucky and the block is not discovered, miners still get paid. For this reason, the PPS payment method is not always profitable for pools. However, to compensate for expenses, they charge pretty high fees.
Full Pay Per Share (FPPS)
Just like PPS, a Full Pay Per Share (FPPS) pays rewards for each solved share. However, unlike Pay Per Share, FPPS covers transaction fees as well. A mining pool has to process a transaction to send it to your wallet. Each network charges different transaction fees, but once you find a mining pool that uses the FPPS payment scheme, you don’t need to pay any.
Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS)
The number of shares contributed is different each round due to the luck factor. It might take over 1,000 (or less) shares to discover a block. Miners get paid once the block is discovered. The PPLNS system doesn’t take into account all shares you’ve provided during the round. In this case, PPLNS looks at the last number of valid shares before the block was found regardless of the block boundaries. This is called a time window. When the block is discovered, the system checks for the last N of valid shares provided during a time window. Those miners who provided a valid number of shares during a time window get a reward.
Pay Per Share + (PPS+)
The PPS+ method is a mixed type of two payment schemes described above – PPS and PPLNS. When using such a payment model, mining poos charge transaction fees according to PPLNS, while the block reward is settled the same way as in PPS mode.
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We’ve tried to select the best options for mining. Let’s take a closer look at the best Bitcoin pools so that you can decide which is worth your attention and time.
What Makes Each Pool Unique?
In their core, mining pools aim to provide the same service – allowing miners to unite their computational resources in order to mine the next block of a particular blockchain. However, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. We chose two core mining pools that, in our humble opinion, can be considered the very best in the crypto industry.
Antpool is by right takes a considerable amount of BTC hashrate. The service offers a convenient platform for mining and much more. Despite the fact that the pool is tailored to Chinese users, it also provides a platform for users from all over the world (the English language is available). It enables mining for a range of crypto assets, including Ethereum, DASH, LTC, etc. This pool has multiple nodes spread around the globe and keeps on adding more of them. When a miner connects to the pool, he/she will be automatically distributed to the nearest node.
How to Join Antpool
Antpool offers to join it for free. The registration process is quite simple. It is important to note that it provides a series of tutorials on how to prepare. Crypto newbies who like to join it will be content with comprehensive guides on how to start mining cryptocurrencies. If you decide to do it via Antpool, we offer you to read our guides on the best Bitcoin hardware and software.
What Are Antpool’s Fees?
Antpool provides transparent fees. If you want to mine crypto together with other Antpool’s miners, you will meet two options of payment schemes: PPS+ and PPLNS.
F2pool was founded in 2013 and since then has grown into one of the biggest pools the cryptocurrency market can offer. The crypto newcomers will be glad to know that it provides tutorials on each coin offered for mining at f2pool. This is great news for those who are just starting to make their first steps. F2pool enables you to mine other popular cryptocurrencies like LTC, ETH, ZEC, XMC, and many others. Being the largest mining pool at the moment, f2pool has nodes all over the world, providing miners from different countries with a flawless experience.
Fees and Payments
F2pool has one of the highest fees. It charges around 4% of commission fees, while the minimum withdrawal amount has to be 0,001 BTC. This fact may scare off some users, but the pros outweigh the cons (see the pros/cons below) at the end of the day.
F2pool developers warn users in advance about the following fact. If users don’t withdraw funds within 90 days after the payouts, all money will be redirected to the needs. This has to stimulate miners to withdraw funds on time and, at the same time, saves the platform from a large amount of money stored within the platform. It is crucial and benefits both the f2pool and the miners from a security point of view.
F2pool has been on the market for seven years now. The team behind the platform knows how important it is to have a dedicated support team. And they have got it. Again, f2pool perfectly suits newbies. Even if they can’t find the answer which resolves the issues in a decent FAQ or Help Center sections, they can always get a quick response from f2pool’s customer support.
F2pool Pros and Cons
Being the giant mining pool for a range of cryptocurrencies means to be responsible for many things. Obviously, there are both downsides and upsides. We’ve tried to cover them all.
F2pool is a veteran of the industry and has a good reputation. The platform offers lots of cryptocurrencies, which are accompanied by tutorials. F2pool’s UX/UI are super intuitive so that the process of registration, just like the rest of the activity, will be simple and plain. Most importantly, the payouts are regular, so miners can be sure they get their reward on time.
There are probably two main disadvantages that can be met in f2pool. The mining pool charges a pretty high fee. It is almost 4%, which is one of the highest commissions in the market. Another issue is connected with security, so it’s up to you to decide whether it is good or bad. F2pool deactivates miners’ accounts if they are left for too long. Please pay close attention to your email address when signing up. It cannot be replaced if you forget it or lose access to it.
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The crypto industry is ready to provide you with a range of Bitcoin pools. You will definitely find the one that suits you the most. Just a quick reminder of what should be taken into consideration:
Reliability. Check the reputation of a platform. Read the reviews on trustable sources;
Hashrate. Check the hashrate;
Payment scheme. Pay close attention to a payment scheme provided by the bitcoin mining pool;
DYOR. Do your own research in order to find a pool that will work for you perfectly.
Bitcoin Mining Pools – Q&A
Here we answer to the most popular questions regarding the mining pools for Bitcoin.
How does the mining pool work?
Mining pool works in the form of a platform which accumulates those who want to share their computational resource, or hash rate, to network in order to generate a block and get a reward.
Are Bitcoin mining pools worth it?
Yes. It gives a lot more chances to find the block. The mining difficulty is very high so solo is a waste of time.
Is it better to mine solo or in a pool?
If you mine is pool, it will bring you a lot more constant profit but in smaller amount compared to solo mining. It also takes years to find a block alone in the Bitcoin blockchain.
How long does it take to mine 1 Bitcoin?
It takes 10 minutes, or 600 seconds. The ASIC miner needs 72,000 GW of hashing power to generate a block.
What is the most profitable Bitcoin pool?
To the moment of writing the article, F2Pool has the biggest hash rate share, which is 15%. NovaBlock mining pool has the lowest fee per block – 0.22 BTC, which is only 3.6% of the whole block reward.