Many beginner miners meet the term “pools for mining” and do not always understand its meaning. In this article, we will analyze what it is and how best to mine – alone or in a pool.
What are mining pools?
You probably already know that the process of selecting a hash of the block, then in principle, and in mining, it has a large computational complexity. It is one of the most important parameters for the miner, since it is the change in complexity that determines his income. In the early years of the production of crypto currency, the complexity was not high, there was a single, so-called “solo” mining. A solution to the computational problem could be obtained even on a single computer processor, so each miner worked alone and was himself rewarded in the form of a whole block.
As interest in crypto-currencies grew, the complexity of tasks increased and a single computer could no longer find many solutions. With complexity, the reward (in money terms) for the found block also increased, and the miners decided to join forces – to create pools of joint mining.
Mining pool (mining pool) is a server that distributes the task of calculating the signature of a block between all connected participants. Each member entering the pool sends a pool of capacity of its equipment to decrypt the block and its contribution is estimated using so-called share. As soon as one of the shares finds a suitable hash, the pool announces the readiness of the block and distributes the reward. Even if the capacity of the device is low, the participant will receive a share in the total earnings commensurate with his expenses (electricity, working time for calculating the block).
The pool has better chances to find a block of transactions and receive a reward than a single miner. For example, ASIC, one of the productive integrated circuits for mining at a cost of several tens of thousands of dollars, can demonstrate performance up to 6 TH / s (6,000,000,000,000 hashes / second). This speed seems huge, but in fact it is only about 0.00005% of the main mining speed for today, which is determined by the maximum number of hashes to determine the correct (10,400,000 TH / s) and is constantly increasing.
Based on simple calculations, the owner of such an ASIC farm can be guaranteed to receive a reward from the server (12.5 coins) only after 24 days of continuous operation of the equipment. On the one hand, it is very good, but not everyone is ready to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to purchase equipment, provide the necessary conditions for its work and spend on electricity. Therefore, participation in the pools for the production of electronic currency for many is the most acceptable option.
How to choose a pool for mining?
When studying the parameters of a particular service, it is necessary to take into account several important components of successful mining in order to determine which pool is more suitable for you.
One of the most important criteria is the popularity of the pool. Pools with small capacities will not be able to bring you a fast and at the same time a fairly serious profit. Pool ratings are best checked on special resources (for example, Blockchain.info or BTC.com), which are trusted by miners.
An important factor is feedback about the pool. To make an objective decision about the choice of the pool, it will be expedient to study several such profile sites as bitmakler.com, compare the reviews and thus determine the choice of the appropriate pool.
Also, you need to evaluate the capacity of your equipment before you bet on a specific pool for mining. Outdated equipment will run on wear and may quickly become unusable if the pool is too busy. In addition, associated electricity costs may not be covered by e-money earned by mining. Therefore, if you decide to participate in mining together with other members of the pool, if necessary, first update the video card and raise the performance of other elements of your equipment.
And, finally, familiarize yourself with the conditions for issuing remuneration and the conditions for withdrawing the currency, as well as find out what commission the pool takes. So you can calculate what earnings, in what terms and for what actions you will receive, and also have a clear idea of how to withdraw it.
The main systems for calculating remuneration in pools
PROP (Proportional) – the reward for the block is divided strictly in proportion to the share of shires sent by each miner. Once the block is found – the counter of the received share is reset and the count starts from zero. This is the simplest system, but payments are extremely unstable, especially for small pools.
PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) is also a proportional distribution, but smoother. One of the most difficult to understand systems, at the same time, the most effective for the pool, and for stable miners. The payment is calculated for the number of shards sent not for the time elapsed between the two blocks found, but for a fixed number of certain time intervals called “shifts”. The number and duration of “cipher” each pool chooses at its discretion.
PPS (Pay Per Share) – a fixed payment for each ball accepted by the pool. In this case, the pool assigns a fixed fee for the ball. From the user’s point of view, such a system is the most “fair”, since all the work performed is paid, regardless of its result-that is, it does not matter whether the blocks are found or not. But for a pool, this approach carries serious risks – as long periods between blocks and unblocked blocks result in losses – the pool pays an award to the miners in advance from the reserves, but does not receive the income itself. Therefore, on pools with the PPS system, a high commission is usually set – usually from 3 to 7%.
The most well-known and common pools for mining
The most important rule, which was originally used as the basis for pooling for mining, is decentralization. No one within the pool should have a processing power of more than 50% of the total capacity of the entire pool. The same rule applies at the pool level as such: no single pool can have more than 50% of the total capacity of all existing pools. So, the famous mining pool Ghash.io reached this mark two years ago and its members were asked to leave the service for network security reasons.
Now there is quite a lot of mining pools. The most famous of them are:
- F2Pool (about 0.5 TH / s) – has almost 20% of the world’s hashrate. It was the first service that fully implemented the principles of decentralization in the work of the pool, thus securing users against the theft of rewards and other unfair actions on the part of the interested parties. Recommends immediately withdraw money from the accounts, since everything that remains there after 90 days, goes to the development of the pool.
- AntPool (about 0.32 TH / s) – this Chinese pool has about 18% of the world hash. Particularly noteworthy is the total absence of a commission for withdrawal of funds. There is a choice of the Russian-speaking interface.
- BTC China (about 0.23 TH / s) – is significantly weaker than the said competitors (about 10% hashtrait), but still very good. Limited to the interface in Chinese and English, therefore not so popular among those users who do not speak these languages sufficiently.