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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bitcoin Mining Pool Comparison

This is my comparison of the most active bitcoin mining pools out there, I did this test with my AntMiner S4 (2 TH/s) SHA256 ASIC Miner running @ 218 Mhz (+18 Mhz, %9 OverClocked) and for a period of 1 week:



BTC Guild

  • Pool Hashrate: 14,000 TH/s 
  • My Hashrate: up to 2.1 TH/s
  • My 24 Hour Average: .025 BTC
  • Fees: BTC Guild deducts a 2% fee from total reward of any block reward. The remaining 98% is credited to site users under the Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) method. Information on how this method works is available in the support section. Amounts shown on your dashboard have already had the fee deducted. Orphaned blocks are not credited.
  • Security: Standard Login Protocol, SSL Security. Ability to lock bitcoin wallet address so no changes can be made.
  • Average Round Duration: 180 Minutes
  • Reward Method: Pay Per Last N Groups (or shifts). Similar to PPLNS, but shares are grouped into "shifts" which are paid as a whole.
  • My thoughts: Don't waste your time here, it's not very profitable as their fees suck up a 2% and then the payouts seem to be weak by comparison, especially if you do the math yourself. So unless ranking is what you're after that's the only unique feature this pool has, teams and rankings. But no way to find users, so pointless. Payouts are done at a BTC value of your choosing, fees for less than .01 BTC.


Slush's Pool

  • Pool Hashrate: 10,000 TH/s
  • My Hashrate: up to 2.25 TH/s
  • My 24 Hour Average: .035 BTC
  • Fees: Pool fee is 2% (calculated from block reward and transaction fees). Fees from bitcoin transactions are paid to miners that are using Stratum interface. An active hashrate gives you a score based on participation.
  • Security: Extra Secure 2 Factor Login Protocol, SSL Security.
  • Average Round Duration: 240 Minutes
  • Reward Method: Score based system: a proportional reward, but weighed by time submitted. Each submitted share is worth more in the function of time t since start of current round. For each share score is updated by: score += exp(t/C). This makes later shares worth much more than earlier shares, thus the miner's score quickly diminishes when they stop mining on the pool. Rewards are calculated proportionally to scores (and not to shares). (at slush's pool C=300 seconds, and every hour scores are normalized)
  • My thoughts: This was the first and longest running pool on the internet and you can tell why. The scoring hash-rate fluctuates based on your activity, so this feature heavily benefits long term miners, if you come and go you will not score/earn well.  It has a user driver suggestion feature that allows you to vote and depending on your hash rate is how much your vote is worth. New features being added all the time and this is the most stable and user friendly mining experience I had, if the pool hashrate jumps a little more it will be just as profitable as BTC China. Payouts are done at a BTC value of your choosing, fees for less than .01 BTC.


BTC China

  • Pool Hashrate: 18,000 TH/s
  • My Hashrate: up to 2.5 TH/s
  • My 24 Hour Average: .025 BTC/day
  • Fees: 0% Pool fees.
  • Security: Standard Login Protocol, SSL Security.
  • Average Round Duration: 60 Minutes
  • Reward Method: Score based, similar to slush's pool.
  • My thoughts: The pool's site is not in English so an in-browser translator is needed to make use of this pool (like google translator). It does have details statistics and graphs just like slush's pool, but is glitchy and has long page load times so it can be frustrating at times. But it does squeak by with more payouts, so as long as you don't care about monitoring this is the best bet for you. Site has 2 daily payouts to the wallet account of your choosing (if it is above a .01 BTC) or to their own currency exchange and pay system. 


Ghash.io

  • Pool Hashrate: 50,000 TH/s 
  • My Hashrate: up to 2.25 TH/s
  • My 24 Hour Average: .025 BTC
  • Fees: 0% Pool fees.
  • Security: Extra Secure 2 Factor Login Protocol, SSL Security. (although the 2FA doesn't show up all the time)
  • Average Round Duration: 45 Minutes
  • Reward Method: For SHA-256 and scrypt mining GHash.IO relies on PPLNS (“Pay per last N shares”), a reward distribution system, according to which the compensation is given out to shares in an opening beginning with the last registered share going backwards up to a certain number of shares. Shares outside of the opening are not being compensated. Shares are considered to be hashes smaller than the target for difficulty 1. Every hash has the possibility of being a valid share, which equals to 1 in 232. For the reason of gaining a more dispersed and predictable sequence, miners group into pools. In the end, miners are rewarded with coins according to their shares.
  • My thoughts: Very large number of stale and rejects. Probably due to the large number of users, but even when I found a faster server it was still producing 25% stale returns, which means you don't get credit. So my active hashrate of 2.25 TH/s was always below 2 TH/s and on some servers was knocked down to just over 1 TH/s! So unless you have massive amounts of power at your disposal this will not be a good investment of your time.

AntPool

  • Pool Hashrate: 35,000 TH/s 
  • My Hashrate: up to 2.25 TH/s
  • My 24 Hour Average: .04 BTC
  • Fees: 0% Pool fees.
  • Security: Extra Secure 2 Factor Login Protocol, SSL Security. (2FA only shows up when editing settings)
  • Average Round Duration: 90 Minutes
  • Reward Method: For SHA-256 relies on PPLNS (“Pay per last N shares”), a reward distribution system, according to which the compensation is given out to shares in an opening beginning with the last registered share going backwards up to a certain number of shares. Shares outside of the opening are not being compensated. Shares are considered to be hashes smaller than the target for difficulty 1. Every hash has the possibility of being a valid share, which equals to 1 in 232. For the reason of gaining a more dispersed and predictable sequence, miners group into pools. In the end, miners are rewarded with coins according to their shares.
  • My thoughts: Quite possibly the best pool around, for a pool that has more powerful competition it regularly brings in 15 blocks a day and I have seen up to 30! I have had the most success in this pool and it has servers located all over the world as well as a p2p setup in addition to their main pool, the p2p has drastically different payouts as there is a much lower pool turnout. But their main "SOLO" pool is a money maker!

*Ongoing list to be updated and not in any order of ranking or preference.

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