Although this may not be something you’ve thought about very much, understanding who is mining the most Bitcoins is vital to understanding the way that the Bitcoin network works.
What is a Bitcoin mining pool?
Bitcoin miners are a group of “miners” who are indulged in solving a block for earning bounty/reward. The reward is equally split among themselves according to their contributed mining hash power. Bitcoin pool is a way to mine their resources and to share their hashing power.
A valid proof of work should be presented in order to gain reward. Initially, generating a single block was taking years for slower miners and then Bitcoin mining pool came into existence, where the miners would receive a portion of block reward and the blocks would be generated quickly. There are various Bitcoin mining pools and choosing the most popular one is quite enticing. It is preferred to choose a small Bitcoin pool to avoid potentially harmful concentration of hashing power.
Bitcoin pools across the globe
China rules the world in terms of possessing the largest number of Bitcoin pools. Bitcoin pools are ranked based on the hash power controlled by a pool. Here is a list of the Biggest mining pools with their hash power based on information from Blockchain’s pool share chart.
Starting from the largest pool and ending with the smallest.
AntPool (25.2%), BTC.TOP (11.2%), BTC.com (10.2%), Bixin (8.1%), BTCC Pool (7.3%), F2Pool (5.4%), ViaBTC (5%), BW.COM (5%), BitClub Network (4.8%), Bitcoin.com (3%), SlushPool (2.6%), Unknown (2.3%), GBMiners (2%), BitFury (1.9%), CANOE (1.2%), 1Hash (1.1%), Telco 214 (1.1%), Eligius (1%) BATPOOL (0.9%), Waterhole (0.6%), ConnectBTC (0.6%), Bitcoin India (0.2%), Solo CKPool (0.2%), BitcoinRussia (0.2%).
Before getting started with mining
There are a variety of mining pools for various cryptocurrencies. As the size of the pool increases, the payout decreases, as it is to be shared among many miners. There are different reward types that you should be aware of before mining.
Pay-per-Share (PPS) – The amount is fixed for each user which is paid whenever a share is submitted.
Proportional – The users are awarded proportionally to the amount of share contributed by them.
Score-based – This method gives prominence to the newer shares than older shares and the user is awarded proportionally based on the time of submitting the share.
Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) – This is similar to the proportional type but varies in rewarding each share in multiple rounds.
Full Pay-per-Share (FPPS) – It is similar to PPS but includes dividing transaction fee among miners along with rewards. The transaction fee is distributed according to the miner’s hash power.
Shared Maximum Pay Per Share (SMPPS) – It is similar to pay per share but will pay you less what the pool earns.
There is a difference between mining pools and cloud mining. Mining pools involve a group of miners sharing the rewards as per their share, but cloud mining involves a service provider whom you have to pay for mining and in turn, you get the rewards.
Before joining a mining pool:
You’ll need a bitcoin wallet. Why?
This is because all Bitcoin mining pools will ask you for a Bitcoin address that will be used to send your mining rewards and payouts.
The Biggest Mining Pools
The list below details the biggest Bitcoin mining pools. This is based on info from Blockchain’s pool share chart:
Top 10 Best Bitcoin Mining Pools 2020
AntPool is the largest Bitcoin pool in terms of its hash power based in China. It is operated by the world’s largest Bitcoin hardware manufacturer called Bitmain Technologies. You can create an account in AntPool without paying any fee, but a Bitcoin mining hardware is required along with mining software which can be downloaded later. The interface is quite ergonomic. Your earnings can be viewed on your dashboard and you can monitor your hash rate on a minute, an hour or on daily basis.
Fees and Payment
Creating an account in AntPool is free. Well, you are allowed to opt for peer to peer solo mine with your hardware (1% fee) or can choose between PPLNS (0% fee) and PPS (2.5% fee). The fee charged on the transaction is hidden and it is not disclosed by AntPool. Bitcoin transaction fee has been increased recently and AntPool keeps 1-2 bitcoins for itself collected from each block, which is not shared with high volume miners.
AntPool does not have and payout threshold and makes a payment every day for balances over 0.001BTC around 10 AM UTC. Every Bitcoin block is rewarded by 12.5BTC by AntPool.
AntPool consists of two-factor authentication, wallet locks, email alerts as security measures. Well, the pool operators perpetuate their own forums and consists of easy and simple documentation for the main tasks miners do in the pool.
Antpool is the largest and a popular Bitcoin pool with a sleek interface for new miners to start with. You can choose between PPLNS and PPS which is an added bonus. A lot of cool options are available when buried deeper in the pool. The payouts are pretty good. AntPool comes with great security measures.
The payouts should be reduced as it is a big pool. The transaction fee is not disclosed by AntPool.
2. Slush Pool
Slush Pool is the first Bitcoin Pool launched in the year 2010 by the name Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server. The site got its first blockchain in the year 2012 and since then over 15000 blocks were mined by this site. Slush Pool is run by Satoshi Labs, the Czech based tech company. The first offline Bitcoin wallet and the first Bitcoin-centric world map was created by Satoshi Labs in addition to the mining stratum protocol which is being used by the other mining pools. Slush Pool stands unique for using Score based method, where the old shares are given lesser prominence than news shares at the start of the round. This method avoids the risk of getting cheated by other miners if they shift pools within a round. A demo account is provided for all the new miners to test before actually signing in. This is helpful for new miners. Users will be updated regularly with graphs, information, and news through release notes or their social media accounts.
Fees and Payment
A standard transaction fee of 2% is fixed and is shared with the miners. A threshold is set for the balance over 0.0002BTC and the payments are made regularly once the threshold is hit by the user. Score based method allows a fair distribution of rewards among miners.
Slush pool as two-factor authentication, wallet address locking along with a read-only login token, which is provided by the users if someone else is monitoring your Bitcoin mining. Slush Pool runs on highly secured servers, which protects the Bitcoin wallets of the user.
Slush Pool is a well established oldest mining pool. The interface is slick with a unique feature of the score-based method, which avoids the risk of being cheated.
The transaction fee is slightly high compared to other sites. Even Though using Score-based method is an advantage, user’s score quickly decreases once stopped mining.
F2Pool is one of the largest Chinese Bitcoin pool, launched in the year 2013. It is better known as Discus Fish mining pool in the world of Bitcoin mining. Apart from Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Zcash are mined here. The difficulty level in mining is based the hash power, as the site uses stratum mining protocol and vardiff. The site comes with an English interface and is simple and easily understandable.
Fees and Payment
F2Pool operates on the PPS reward system and charges a fee of 4% which is quite lofty. The payouts are made every day by setting a limit on withdrawal, i.e 0.001BTC.
The site works on HTTPS protocol and consists of Bitcoin wallet lock feature. You are not allowed to change your email address once registered, but the site lacks in utilizing two-factor authentication.
F2Pool allows mining of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Zcash. The payout threshold is really low and offers regular payouts.
The fee (4%) applied is quite exaggerating when compared to other pools.
4. BTCC Pool
BTCC Pool is a Chinese pool launched in the year 2014. It is a Bitcoin-based company which also runs Bitcoin exchange, wallets and print physical bitcoins and more. The site consists of an official account called WeChat, where miners can track their hash power, pool hash power, and the network, provided with detailed statistics.
Fees and Payment
BTCC Pool is very transparent, as it shares the with its miners. The site also rewards 1-2 BTC worth transaction fee for every Bitcoin block to the pool. The payouts are regular and are made to the user’s desired wallets. The payments are instant to BTCC wallets and require 30 min to pay for other wallets. The site operates on PPS model (with 2% fee) and follows stratum mining protocol. Lately, BTCC announced about switching to a new transparent model of cryptocurrency mining called FPPS and has also announced that it would start offering 1% mining fee for bitcoin miners. BTCC rewards its miners with 12.5 BTC, which is equally split among themselves.
BTCC is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pool along with its own exchange and wallet services. The site consists of the transparent fee structure and has also introduced FPPS model to its site. The reward offered by this site is really good.
Inactive accounts of users possessing some earnings in it will be suspended by the site after 90 days of inactivity. The earnings will be acquired by the site.
Eligius is one of the smallest Bitcoin pool based in the US, launched in the year 2011. After signing up, the users are provided with pretty good stats and graph, which will give users an idea about earning. Users will also be allowed to view the stats of other users in the leaderboard that features the hash power of users. This is a cool feature for all the miners. The site also offers to merge mine Namecoin.
Fees and Payment
The site operates on PPS (0% fee) model. A threshold is set in order to earn Bitcoins. A user must possess a minimum of 0.04194304 BTC in order to qualify for obtaining payouts. Once the threshold is hit and when the block is found, a user will receive the payout. Even though you stop mining for few days, your earnings will be added to the payout queue. This allows even the users with a small amount of hash power to gain something in their wallets.
Any changes which are to be made requires being signed by your bitcoin wallet address, which is also your username. The stats of their pool have their own GitHub.
You can easily join this site, as registration is not required. The site works on zero percent fee and also provides a telephone number as a customer support system.
You are required to hit a threshold value in order to qualify for payouts. The interface is quite disjoint.
BTC.com is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pool owned by Bitmain, creator of AntPool. The site works on stratum mining protocol and VarDiff. The site was launched in the year 2015 and has its own wallets along with mining pool.
Fees and Payment
BTC.com stands out to be transparent by sharing the transaction fee with its miners. The site operates on PPS model with an average fee of 1.5%. It takes 2 hours for the site to send payouts to the users. It completely depends on the Bitcoin network. However, BTC.com tries to send the earnings within a short period of time.
Cloudflare is implemented by this site to protect against DDoS attack and ensures that the benefits and hash power is not lost.
BTC.com operates worldwide and maintains transparency with miners. The site offers a good support system and security.
Sometimes sending payouts might require some time, as it depends on the Bitcoin network.
7. BW Pool
BW Pool is a Chinese Bitcoin mining pool with a user-friendly interface. Apart from Bitcoin, the site offers to mine Litecoin and Ethereum. The site works on stratum mining protocol and vardiff.
Fees and Payment
The site also offers transparency by sharing transaction fee with miners. It follows PPLNS, PPS, and SOLO payment methods with an average fee of 1%. The minimum payout is 0.001 BTC.
The site offers to mine different cryptocurrencies long with a simple goof-proof interface. Apart from mining, it offers many other digital services and works on cloud computing.
The site does not offer any merge mining.
Bixin is again one of the largest Bitcoin mining pool based in China. Bixin is also servicing people with its wallet. Bixin comes up with regular updates with its simple interface making it easy for the users to view it.
Fees and Payment
Bixin uses PPS (4%) model for the distribution of rewards. Payouts are quick and are made every day.
The site is secured against DDoS attacks.
Bixin comes with this cool feature, where the user can predict rewards in advance
Users from China are preferred to use this site. The fee charged by the site is quite lofty.
Bitfury is a private pool located in Georgia. Bitfury is the producer of mining hardware and chips. Bitfury is working to make Bitcoin decentralized. It mines about 11% of all blocks. Bitfury operates with zero % fee.
10. ViaBTC Pool
ViaBTC is a newly launched Bitcoin mining pool consists of Bitcoin, Litecoin and BitcoinCash mining pool. ViaBTC follows PPS (4% fee) and PPLNS (2% fee) payment modes. The minimum payout offered by this site is 0.0001 BTC. The site works on stratum mining protocol and vardiff by offering sleek monitoring system and also provides merge mining.
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As you can see there are various Bitcoin mining pools offering different services along with different rewards. An option of solo mining might hit your mind, as you can bang complete rewards without sharing it, but It is suggested to join a pool if you are new to this world of mining. Mining pools come with many advantages as well. It is the time for you to get started with mining. It is very easy to create an account, similar to signing up for any Bitcoin exchange platform. The main criteria for getting started with mining pool is that you should possess a mining hardware. Apart from this requirement, mining has been made simple with various mining pools.