Bitcoin runs on its miners.
These energy-intensive operations, mostly run out of China, both produce new bitcoins and process transactions for tokens already in circulation. Every time a token changes hands, mines process the complex algorithms that unlock the blockchain and record a new owner. They are, in every real sense, the backbone of the Bitcoin network.
Mining bitcoin is also the only way for the blockchain to produce new bitcoins, awarding them to miners as they are digitally unearthed. As a result, successful bitcoin miners can run a very profitable business in this era of high-value bitcoins.
Yet, as the network has grown in popularity this process has come to require increasingly intense amounts of computing power. Without spending a fortune it’s almost impossible for individuals to set up a mining operation with a realistic chance of reward. So companies have set up mining pools.
A mining pool connects users into a networked mine. They dedicate a portion of their computer’s processing power to the overall operation, and in exchange get a portion of the created bitcoins. By joining a bitcoin mining pool you can contribute to the network… while also getting a realistic chance at earning some bitcoins in the process (albeit in small amounts).
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While reviewing mining pools, one of the most important terms you should know is “hash rate.” This is the speed at which a mine processes the bitcoin algorithm. A hash is a mine’s attempted answer, and the rate is measured at hashes per second. Below we have represented this as “Pool Share,” each mining pool’s percentage of the overall hash rate across the Bitcoin network. (A pool share of 20.9 percent, for example, means that this mining pool provides 20.9 percent of the Bitcoin network’s overall hash rate.)
If you are interested in getting onboard, here are some of the very best you can consider:
|Mining Pool||Description||Fees||Pool Share||User Friendliness||Reputation||Blocks Mined Total||Score|
|BTC.com||BTC Pool is run by Bitmain, which also operates Antpool. It was founded in 2015 and has operations in China, Europe, and the United States.||4%||20.29%||9||8||11,469||4.5|
|Antpool||Antpool is located in China. Run by Bitmain which also operates BTC Pool, it has been in operation since 2016.||2.50%||15.95%||6||10||9,015||4.5|
|ViaBTC||ViaBTC is located in China. One of the world's largest mining pools, it was launched in 2017.||2%||10.99%||7||9||6,211||4.3|
|Slush||Slush Pool has operated since 2010. It operates globally, and was the first organized mining pool for Bitcoin.||2%||9.88%||7||9||5,585||4.0|
|F2pool||F2Pool is a diverse mining pool which can mine numerous cryptocurrencies and has operated since 2013. It is also known as Discus Fish.||3%||7.71%||9||8||4,360||3.8|
|BTC.top||BTC.top is a private pool and not open to public participation. It launched in 2016.||N/A||11.28%||2||8||6.373||4.0|
|Bitclub||Bitclub is a mining pool which has been accused of operating a cryptocurrency ponzi scheme. Its reputation has taken a significant hit.||0%||2.44%||6||3||1,379||2.8|
|BTCC||BTCC is one of the largest mining pools in China. It also operates in Japan and launched in 2014.||2%||3.55%||8||8||2,008||3.5|
|Bitfury||Bitfury has operated since 2014 and is a private pool which cannot be joined.||0%||3%||2||6||1,431||3.0|
|58COIN||Launched in 2017, 58Coin operates out of China.||0.05%||1.01%||6||7||571||2.0|
|BitMinter||Bitminter operates in the United States, Europe, and Canada. It was launched in 2011.||1%||0.02||5||6||10||2.3|
|Kano CKPool||Kano CKPool operates in countries across Europe and Asia and was launched in 2017.||0.90%||0.45%||6||6||255||1.0|
|BW Pool||A moderate sized pool, BW Pool was launched in 2014 and operates in China.||1%||1.66%||8||8||939||2.8|
|BCMonster||BCMonster is one of the smallest mining pools in operation, although it has operations in the U.S., Europe, and China and was launched in 2013.||1.00%||0%||7||7||16||1.0|
|BTC Guild||Although recently closed, BTC Guild deserves mention on this page due to the fact that over the past year it mined a significant share of all bitcoins.||N/A||6.11%||N/A||8||32,935||3.5|
|Ghash.IO||GHash is a Dutch mining pool which was launched in 2013.||0%||4.29%||8||7||23,083||3.8|
|Bixin||Bixin is a Chinese mining firm launched in 2014.||4%||2.48%||8||8||1401||3.0|
|DPOOL||DPOOL is a firm launched in 2018. Its servers can be accessed from Asia, Europe, and North America.||0%||1.26%||7||7||711||2.5|
|GBMiners||GBMiners is an Indian firm. Although reviews claim that it is one of the fastest growing pools in the world, it was launched in 2016 and remains a small share of the total Bitcoin hashrate.||0.90%||1.05%||3||2||592||2.0|
|BTPOOL||BTPOOL is operated by Bitmain, the same firm which owns BTC.com and Antpool. It was launched in 2017.||0%||1.03%||7||8||583||2.3|
|Bitcoin.com||Bitcoin.com's mining operation was launched in 2017 and, due to its domain, is one of the most well-known mining pools.||0%||1.00%||5||5||566||1.5|
|WAYI.CN||WAYI.CN is a Chinese mining pool that was launched in 2017.||N/A||0.93%||5||4||525||1.5|
|CanoePool||CanoePool, not to be confused with KanoPool, was launched in 2017 and operates in the United States.||3%||0.79%||5||6||444||1.0|
|Poolin||Poolin is a mining pool launched in 2018 out of China.||N/A||0.64%||6||4||360||1.3|
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