Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new Bitcoin by solving a computational puzzle. This is the way to get digital coins without spending money on the cryptocurrency itself. However, you should have funds to buy mining equipment and get necessary knowledge of the whole mining process.
First, you need Bitcoin mining software and a Bitcoin wallet. In addition, you should have an ASIC miner. Then it is time to select a mining pool. In this article, we will provide you with more detailed information about it.
What is a mining pool?
A mining pool is a joint group of crypto miners who combine their computational resources over a network. When you join other miners in a group, the pool allows finding blocks more frequently. Miners who cooperate in the group agree to share block rewards proportionally. The mining pool shares the rewards after creating a new Bitcoin block.
A mining pool reduces the time for mining of an individual miner. It is more convenient to share the work of each miner in a pool and then split the reward with the members. Miners can redirect their hashing power anytime they decide to change a different mining pool.
Who controls the network hash rate?
When we talk about all the mining pools in general, you will see that their greatest concentration takes place in China. Chinese pools manage around 60% of the network hash rate. According to the statistics, Czech Republic follows China, then goes Iceland, Georgia, Japan and Russia. Many mining pools have Chinese websites and support.
China dominates Bitcoin mining by a very high point. It is an unchallenged world leader in Bitcoin mining. China is a huge manufacturer of the world’s mining equipment and it hosts massive mining farms. In fact, there are six major mining pools to pay attention to.
The biggest mining pools
- Poolin is a public pool, which mines about 18% of all blocks. Poolin mining pool provides a safe and profitable mining pool service for its clients. To ensure the security of mining process, Poolin has developed its unique “Hashrate Firewall”.
- F2Pool is based in China. It mines about 17% of all blocks. It supports mining for more than 40 digital currencies, and the world’s largest mining pool for BTC, LTC, ETH and ZEC.
- BTC.com is a public mining pool to join and mines 15% of all block. It provides an easy to use and popular block explorer, mining pool, highly secure mobile and web wallets.
- AntPool is a mining pool based in China and owned by Bitmain Tech Ltd. AntPool mines about 11% of all blocks. The pool also offers cloud mining and you should not have any concerns about it. AntPool provides cloud-mining service HashNest.
- Slushpool was the first Bitcoin mining pool. Since 2010 its members have mined more than 1.2M BTC in general. Now it mines about 11% of all blocks. It might be the best and most popular mining pool although it is not the largest.
- Bitfury is a private pool. That means you can’t simply join it if you use mining hardware at home. The company Bitfury is a manufacturer of its own mining hardware and runs its own pool.
Mining with AntPool
To get a clearer picture of mining pool operation let’s choose AntPool as an example. Antpool mined its first block in March 2014, it appeared four years after the first mining pool Slushpool. Considering Bitcoin network hash rate, AntPool takes the leading role in the list of Bitcoin mining pools. You can join AntPool for free and the process requires a couple of steps. You already have Bitcoin mining hardware, download mining software and then sign up with AntPool.
The first mining pool SlushPool
SlushPool was the very first mining pool. We can see the statistics that its users have mined more than 1 million Bitcoins over the last decade using its services and software. Since its start, the pool has had its ups and downs. Actually, Bitcoin’s story itself has not been all that smooth. However, for now the results of SlushPool operation are positive and impressive. The only minus of the service is that transaction fees are quite high comparing to other services.
Cloud mining vs mining pools
You might be puzzled with the ways for mining Bitcoin, but it is not that difficult. When we talk about mining pools, it means that you have mining hardware and you join the pool to split profits. Cloud mining works differently. Cloud mining is when you pay a service provider, it mines for you and you get the reward.
You should be very careful with cloud mining. Most of cloud mining companies are actually scammers. A company can claim about its guarantees and existence of mining hardware, but you should trust only proven names. To start, you learn more information about the AntPool cloud mining.