What are mining pools?

Mining pools are group of miners who contribute their hash power/mining resources together to solve cryptographic problems that lead to the finding and creation of new blocks/ bitcoins. The bitcoins/blocks that are found by the mining pool is shared among miners as rewards based on the hashrate contributed each miner.

Why should I join mining pools?
The odds of you mining alone and finding a new block are very slim. Instead, you join a group of miners who work together and share rewards proportionately, there by making your payout sequential and predictable.

How mining works in a mining pool?

In simple terms, your machine is a worker bee which will connect to one of the mining pools and a work gets allocated to solve a portion of SHA-256 puzzle and based on the overall rewards you will receive your share and the reward depending on how much hashrate you contribute to solving the cryptographic problems or equations to acquire the new blocks. There are various mining pools but to choose a profitable mining pool, it is preferred to join a small mining pool to avoid concentration of hash power by too many users. If there are too many users, then the mining reward would be shared among too many miners, making it time consuming to get a decent income out of the mining process.
Majority of the bitcoin pools and over 60% of the general hash power in the world are concentrated in China as a result of the low cost of electricity in the region. There are various variety of mining pools as a result of the advent of numerous cryptocurrencies. As the size(users/miners) of a mining pool increases, the payout reduces as it would be shared among many miners. The following are the different type of reward system used in mining pools to pay miners.

Proportional – The users are rewarded proportionally to the hash power they contribute to solving a cryptographic problem that finds a new block.

Pay-Per-Share(PPS) – The amount is fixed for each user which is paid whenever hash power is submitted ‘

Full Pay-Per-Share(FPPS) – It is similar to PPS but includes transacting fee. The transaction fee is distributed according to the hash power contributed by miners.

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 shares.

The major difference between mining pools and cloud mining is that; mining pools involve group of miners mining together and sharing the output according to the shares/ hash power contributed by each miner while in cloud mining, you have to buy a mining contract from a service provider who has the hardware and in turn you get the rewards. Below is a list of some of the best mining pools;

1. Antpool 

Antpool is the largest Bitcoin pool and is based in China. Antpool is thr pool with the largest hash power and produces about 25% of all the bitcoins in global circulation. It is operated by the world’s largest Bitcoin hardware manufacturer Bitmain Technologies and has servers around the world. Antpool works with a peer to peer mining protocol that links your device to the nearest setup for a valid connection. Currently , according to Antpool, miners are not charged to use the pool but BTC transactions charges still remain undisclosed. The pool releases 12.5BTC as reward when a new block is found and is shared among its miners. 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. Your earnings can be viewed on your dashboard along side your hash rate, both can be monitored.

  • 2. is yet another Bitcoin mining pool based in China. Founded by a Chinese investor Jian Gorom, the company started its operations in 2016 as a private mining pool and cannot be joined. Since the advent of, the hash rate of this pool is about 3100 Petahash/second(PH/s), making it possible for the pool to produce between 11.2% to 14% of the Bitcoins in global circulation. Reward is divided among miners in the pool weekly. Many feels that participation should be open to the multinational community in order to add more credibility to its services, but no report have been confirmed if the project team will be granting access for international participation.

  • 3. is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pool owned by Bitmain, it was developed by Blocktrail in 2016 and was later acquired by Bitmain creator of Antpool. It is the most popular mining pool in the industry of cryptocurrency and also owns The platform is known for offering online hot wallets and presently maintains a hashrate of 5.88 Exahash per second(EH/s) which is about 20% of all the available hash power in the world making it possible to produce 10.2% of the total Bitcoins in global circulation. The has powerful security infrastructured setup to make sure that investments are safe. The site works on startum mining protocol and vardiff. charges a fee of 1.5% on transactions, information that it shares with it users. Payouts are sent in less than two hours depending on the Bitcoin network congestion . rewards its miners through Full Pay Per Share(FPPS), calculating a standard transaction fee within a stipulated time and increases a block reward of 12.5BTC and shares it all its miners just like the Pay Per Share(PPS) but higher and better. Its servers are presently positioned in both China and Germany.
  • 4. Bixin
    Bixin is a China based cryptocurrency mining pool owned by Bit Star Technology. The company started its operations in 2014 as a crypto wallet service provider but later got its own pool in 2015. Bixin comes up with regular updates with its simple interface, making its easy for user access. Bixin is a reliable , safe and stable platform to mine Bitcoin and is available for public participation. The pool contributes 8.1% of total Bitcoin blocks but doesn’t disclose how much it charges for transacting either. It uses the Pay Per Share(PPS) system to reward its users. Rewards are proportionally distributed according to hash rate contributed by miners in finding the new block.
  • 5. BTCC
    BTCC is a public China based mining pool created in 2014. This mining pool is accountable for the production of 7% of the total Bitcoins in global circulation. It is a Bitcoin-based company which runs Bitcoi Exchange, Wallets and print physical bitcoins. The platform provides user friendly interface which enables users to keep track of their hash power, mining pool hash power, mining statistics and the netwotk. The pool charges 2% transactions fee and reward its miners with 12.5BTC. BTCC shares all its information with its users and is credible and reputable because of its transparency both for payout and charged fees.
  • 6. F2Pool
    F2Pool also known as Discus Fish Mining Pool in the mining industry is yet again another China based mining company launched in 2013. F2Pool is a public pool and allows public participation. Users can decide to mine optional cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Zcash. The difficulty level in mining is based on the hash power as the site uses stratum mining protocol and vardiff. F2Pool also support the mining of other cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Monero and Siacoin. The site adopt user exclusive information on mining rewards, transfers and sending of payments. The pool charges 4% as transacting fee. The reward system adopted in this pool is the Pay Per Share(PPS) system. F2Pool adopt HTTP protocol to ensure the security of miners funds. Being one of the largest pools the site contributes 5.4% of Bitcoin in global circulation.
  • 7. ViaBTC
    ViaBTC is a newly launched China based Bitcoin mining pool. Although recently launched in 2017, this pool has already produced 5% of the Bitcoins in circulation and counting. Cryptocurrencies that can be mined in this pool include Bitcoin, Litecoin and BitcoinCash. ViaBTC operates Pay Per Share 4% fee and Pay Per Last N Share 2% fee payment system. The minimum payout offered by this site is 0.0001BTC. The site works on stratum mining protocol and vardiff by offering sleek user interface for monitoring hash power, real time market updates of the cryptocurrencies mined in the pool. The system also provides merge mining.
  • 8. BWPool
    BWPool is also a China based pool, it has a user friendly interface and contributes 5% of the total Bitcoins mined globally. As a public pool, it allows users to mine Ethereum and Litecoin in addition to Bitcoin. The site works on stratum mining protocol and vardiff. The average transaction fee is 1% and the company ensures transparency by sharing this information with its users. BWPool payment system include Pay Per Share(PPS) Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) and SOLO.
  • 9. is an entrepreneurial investment club where the entrepreneurs come together to leverage Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to make money. This entrepreneurial community has been around for three years and the network allows users to mine Bitcoin , Ethereum, Monero, Zcash, Dash, and Ethereum Classic. This mining platform has already contributed 4.8% of the Bitcoins in global circulation.
  • 10. Slush
    Slush Pool is the first Bitcoin Pool launched in the year 2010 with the name Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server. It mines 11.5% of hash power in the network and is known for its accuracy and stability. The site got its first block in the year 2012 and have mined over 15000 blocks since then. Slush Pool is run by Satoshi Lab, a Czech based technology company. The first offline Bitcoin wallet 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 system, where the old shares are given lesser prominence than new shares at the start of the round. This method avoids the risk of getting cheated by older miners if they shift pools within a round. A demo account is provided for all new miners to test before actually signing in. Slush Pool is user friendly to new miners as it has detailed explanations on how mining rewards are measured by miners hash rate. Users will be updated regularly with graphs, information, and news through release notes or their social media accounts. The site has a fixed transaction fee of 2% and payments are made once a miner hits 0.0002BTC threshold. Slush Pool uses two-factor authentication to enhance security.
  • 11. Bitfury
    Bitfury is a US based mining company located in Georgia, Bitfury is a company know for production of mining hardwares and chips. Bitfury mines about 11% of all Bitcoins in global circulation. It is a private pool that works towards making Bitcoin decentralized. Bitfury is private and therefore cannot be joined. The pool charges no transaction fee and has strong security protocol and infrastructure to ensure the safety of miners funds.