There are two ways to mine: Solo mining and mining with a pool. Solo mining is useful if you have a very high hashrate compared to the rest of the network. When you mine in a pool, you collaborate with others to find blocks. In the very long run, solo mining is always more profitable – but beware of the variance. For stable returns, mine in a pool. If you don’t mine a block solo at least every day or so we advise to mine in a pool. Smaller pools have higher variance, but in the long run only the fees should make a difference.
There are difference fees and reward systems. The most popular are PPLNS, or round based PPLNS. “Pay Per Last N Shares”. This means you get a share of the total reward based on your % of shares submitted to the pool. The N shares defines over how long a period this is calculated. In practice, this means for a large N shares number that there is a “ramp up” period before you get full payment. PPS is Pay Per Shares. This means you get paid a fixed number for each share. Over the long run a PPLNS system always pays more, but has higher variance. This is due to fees. It is important to verify if the pool pays transaction fees too – for bitcoin these fees are starting to add up. For example, transaction fees can add up to over 10% of the total miner reward…
- Here are pools we can recommend in no particular order (this is a non-exhaustive list) :
- CKpool. The lottery solo pool ! Solo mine here without hassle. 0.5% fee.
- Kano pool. Very well run pool. Does not pay out less than 0.0001btc. 0.9% fee. PPLNS
- F2pool. Chinese pool, PPS. 3% for bitcoin, ethereum and zcash.
- Antpool. PPLNS or PPS. 0% fee / 1.5%. Does not pay transaction fees.
- CoinMine. Has a variety of pools, ETH and ZEC included, 1% fee.
- Coinotron. ETH, ZEC and other pools. 1% fee.
- Nicehash. You can rent hashrate or sell your hashrate here. Very user friendly and they have their own miner. Highly recommended, but 3% fees will add up over time. You get paid in btc regardless of the algorithm.
- ETHpool. 1% fee ETH pool. They also have Flypool for ZEC.
- SlushPool. Operating since 2010 ! 2% fee but pays out transaction fees.
- MiningPoolHub. Great pool, Multi-coin mining, 0.9% fee.