Once the mining hardware is acquired, you need to consider joining a reliable mining pool.
Mining Pool Explained
Mining pools are a cooperation of miners, dividing block rewards in accordance with the provided mining hash power.
Although mining pools stay enticing to the ordinary miners, as they make the rewards easy to foretell, their power is largely concentrated in the pool owner’s hands.
However, there is always another option for miners – to direct the hashing power to an alternative mining pool.
Consolidation of Mining Pools
Before going into details regarding the best Bitcoin pools to join, it should be mentioned that most of them are centralized in China. Bitcoin is still the best cryptocurrency to mine. Moreover, Bitcoin mining pools are mainly Chinese-managed, i.e., websites and support are in Chinese.
According to the latest estimates, the hash rate is unequally distributed between major mining pools, and around 81% is concentrated in China-based pools. Currently, consolidation of mining pools on the territory of China is believed to be one of the most substantial issues.
Major Mining Pools
The following hash power share chart provides detailed information on the power distribution between the leading mining pools:
Being the oldest and simultaneously the most reliable pool, Slushpool’s share is only 9.6%, and yet it stays one of the most popular options for amateurs.
BTC.com currently has the biggest share, supports multiple currencies and mines around 15% of all blocks.
Based in China, Antpool has been in the industry since 2014. The pool supports multiple cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, etc.
Slushpool was launched in 2010 and was the pioneer in the mining industry. It is still on the list of the most renowned mining pools worldwide.
F2Pool has been in the industry since 2013. It is one of the “ancient” Bitcoin mining pools launched in China.
ViaBTC is another China-based newcomer. Their team has representatives from Tencent and other famous Chinese companies.
BTC.top is not a public pool and, therefore, the access to it is currently restricted. It was founded in China, and its website is available only in Chinese.
DPOOL is a Chinese pool available only for Europe, Asia, and North America.
Bitclub.Network is a recognized mining pool. However, most of the reviews imply that it is not reliable.
Bitfury is proven to be a reliable but private mining pool. It cannot be joined currently but operates with no fees.
58coin is a comparatively new pool founded in China. Unlike most Chinese pools, 58coin is no longer private, and its website is available in several languages.
Evaluation of Mining Pools
In case you are worried about the locations, nearly all the pools still have servers outside of China. Therefore, connecting to alternative servers can solve that problem for most of the miners concerned.
Cloud Mining Explained
Mining pools still seem to be a confusing topic for people. First of all, to get enrolled with the mining pool of your choice you need to purchase mining hardware. That way you will be capable of splitting profits.
Moreover, mining pools are often mistaken for cloud mining. While the essence – mining Bitcoin – for both is the same, cloud mining depends on cooperation between you and the service provider that actually mines, and you gain the rewards.
Best Countries to Mine Bitcoin
Location mostly depends on electricity prices. According to the fact that mining is centralized, around 15 companies own the majority of hash power volumes, and nearly all of them are located in China. However, only a limited amount of countries can do both mining and transferring a certain amount of Bitcoin.
China is the country mining and exporting the biggest amount of Bitcoin. Cheap electricity made it possible to acquire the majority of hash power. Moreover, a lot of energy is directed to the mining facilities on purpose by the local power companies.
Unlike China, a small number of mining pools is based in Georgia so far. However, it is considered to be the second most profitable area for mining. One of the factors is soft regulations, even when this industry is still considered to be a risky investment in Georgia.
Bitcoin mining in the US is currently at a setback phase. Unfortunately, politics and international relations dictate the rules of the game even in the mining industry. Mainly, the stand-off between the USA and China is causing the decline.
The above-listed countries mine around 80% of Bitcoin. The rest is distributed between other countries and smaller pools.
Pools and Miners
Miners can switch their hash power to any pool anytime. That is the reason for the market to change regularly. Bitcoin miners are vital for the industry and stability of the currency itself as well as the ecosystem.
Antpool is known for being the prime example of a successful Bitcoin mining pool.
Joining Antpool is simple and free. However, you should remember that besides the hardware you will also need mining software. It will help you direct the hash power to the chosen pool.
In order to start working with Antpool, you can sign up here antpool.com.
The pool states that it has a 0% transaction fee. However, 1 or 2 Bitcoins might be obtained by the pool. Therefore, the issue of undisclosed fees makes the trustworthiness shaky. Besides, Antpool has been a part of the Bitcoin upgrades issue, which was based on the Segwit feature not implemented by the pool.
BlockTrail claims Bitfury to be the third leading Bitcoin mining pool. However, it is crucial to emphasize that the access to it is restricted, i.e., you cannot enroll if the mining hardware is not located in the warehouse. Moreover, Bitfury sells different types of hardware like mining servers, cooling, etc.
BTCC is a China-based mining pool. Besides mining, the company has a wallet and Bitcoin exchange.
BTCC has servers worldwide which make it effortless to connect to the pool. Moreover, the pool is not keeping transaction fees exclusively to itself. BTCC shares them with miners.
Creating an account is an essential step that needs to be taken if you want to join the pool. Other basic steps are acquiring the needed mining software and a Bitcoin wallet. The following video is a how-to manual, describing how to start working with Slushpool: