Mining – rest in peace? Well, many cryptocommunity members have such reasonable fears. The Coin Shark has already written about the possible future of mining industry, however, today mining is still an important and necessary part of cryptocurrency market, and hundreds of thousands of users find the opportunity to gain money out of it. Today The Coin Shark will tell about the most popular pools for Bitcoin mining.
What is a pool?
Mining pools are groups of miners who combine efforts to generate blocks in a blockchain of a particular virtual currency. As the complexity of mining (the amount of computational power, necessary to find hash) increased, solo miners had less and less chances to receive rewards. The more miners are there in the system, the more difficult it is to mine cryptocurrency for each particular miner, therefore, users began to unite in pools. In a pool each miner in fact “digs” only a part of the rock with their “digital pickaxe”, and thus the chances of the whole “brigade” to find hash increase significantly. The reward is then divided proportionally to the processing power provided by each miner. Pools are organized similarly to companies, where every member invests some property to form the capital and then receives profit in proportion to their share. Pools are good examples of parallel computing, where a large number of participants independently (and without duplication of tasks) perform separate parallel computational operations, which makes it possible to find the necessary algorithm easily.
What do pools mine?
We say – pools, we mean – Bitcoin. Yes, those days when individual users were successfully mining Bitcoin seem to be something like an ancient “golden age”. Even though some special mining equipment like ASIC-miners appeared, an individual user is still unlikely to successfully mine BTC on their own. So, mining pools became rather attractive for those who decided to earn bitcoin instead of buying it.
Today miners also unite to “extract” other popular coins. For example there are many pools for Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Monero, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Gold, Zcash, etc., even though many of them can be successfully mined by individual users with graphic cards or even processors.
Popular pools for Bitcoin mining
Chinese pools have always been leaders of the mining industry, however, the first pool ever is the Czech Slush Pool. It was founded in December 2010 and became the first bitcoin mining pool. Since then, Slush Pool miners have mined more than a million BTC and the service itself has become one of the most popular pools all over the world. Slush Pool has many secure servers in different countries, and user accounts are protected with two-factor authentication. Users of this pool can also mine Zcash. Slush Pool is indeed rather popular and has a very good reputation, however, its market share is smaller, compared to Chinese services.
Antpool is a large Chinese pool and one of the top mining pools on the market. In addition to bitcoin, users can also mine Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bytom, Monero, Siacoin and Dash. This pool pays daily rewards and is rather stable. Antpool also offers cloud mining with its HashNest service. The pool is owned by a Chinese company Bitmain – one of the largest and leading manufacturers of mining equipment. In addition, the company is also engaged in artificial intelligence development.
F2Pool is a popular Chinese service, operating since 2013. This pool supports a large number of coins – except for bitcoin, users have an opportunity to mine 14 more altcoins (including such popular cryptocurrencies, as Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, Zcash, etc.). The service also enables its clients to mine several virtual currencies at the same time. F2Pool was a market leader in terms of hash rate for a long time, and today remains one of the top cryptocurrency pools.
BTC.com is an another large Chinese pool that currently leads the market. This one of the largest and most popular mining platforms was launched in 2016 and is also owned by the company Bitmain. In late April 2018, BTC.com reported to have mined 17-millionth bitcoin. So there are only 4 million coins more to come. Although the pool does not publish statistics on the number of users, Alejandro de la Torre, BTC.com vice president for development, told Coinlife that there are more than a million people using the service.
Viabtc is a true “Asian tiger”, founded in 2016, that became one of the mining industry leaders less than in one year. Like many other pools, it was initially “specialized” in bitcoin mining but introduced some other popular altcoins throughout its operation. Today its users can also mine Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Dash. Moreover, the pool offers cloud mining services. What is interesting about Viabtc is that it often has different loyalty programs to attract new users and strengthen relationships with “regular customers.”