How to Choose a Cryptocurrency Mining Pool

How to Choose a Cryptocurrency Mining Pool

5 minute read

Before you dive into cryptocurrency mining, you would probably join a mining pool for a higher probability of earning rewards. However, selecting the right mining pool could be daunting, with numerous options available and various factors to weigh. Let's explore what you should consider when choosing your mining pool.


  • Mining hardware: Concrete investment might be required for specialized mining implements.
  • Transparency and fairness: The more open the mining pool activities, the better.
  • Payout and fee mechanisms: These could significantly impact your earnings.
  • Hashrate vs. size: While the combined hash power has more weight, the pool's size could attest to its reliability.

Hardware for Your Mining Pool

Cryptocurrency mining is feasible on several devices, provided they meet the technical requirements. Typically, you would need a graphics processing unit (GPU) or central processing unit (CPU). Nonetheless, due to increased mining durations and energy usage, mining via GPU or CPU is less profitable now than in the past.
Therefore, it is recommended to use a dedicated cryptocurrency mining rig known as an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). You can also construct multi-GPU computers explicitly for mining, but they hold significantly lower computational power compared to an ASIC.
Numerous ASICs are available for purchase online. When opting for an ASIC, you must comprehend the "hashrate," a metric for the mining speed. A higher hashrate correlates to quicker mining, but it also means a pricier initial investment—an energy consumption aspect is also essential to consider.
For example, the Goldshell KD5 ASIC possesses a hashrate of 18 Th/s (terahashes per second), costs close to $65,000 and uses electricity worth around $200 monthly on average. In contrast, an older model, such as the Goldshell KD2 ASIC, posts a hashrate of 6 Th/s and consumes roughly $71 of electricity monthly, with a price tag of approximately $27,000. The older model may be less expensive initially, but it can struggle to compete with miners owning more powerful rigs.
Another consideration aside from just the cost and performance of your equipment, is that you should meet the minimum network connection speed to the desired pool server. Additionally, compensate for the heat production from your miner as it could significantly elevate your cooling expenses.

Transparency of the Mining Pool

In order to determine if a mining pool is reliable, its operator must maintain transparency and fairness among all members. This involves examining whether the overall hash rate declared by the pool is accurate and whether their payout schemes are profitable enough for your mining efforts.
It is advisable to find another pool if the ones you are considering do not have a real-time dashboard that ensures transparency.

Understand the Pool's Payout Scheme

If you employ low-end mining devices, it would be wise to avoid pools that have high threshold for making payments since you will have lower computational output, which means lower earnings.
Most pools use either the Pay-Per-Share (PPS) or Pay-Per-Last-N-Shares (PPLNS) systems. With PPS, you receive a predetermined amount per share of work submitted. On the other hand, for PPLNS, the number of shares you've submitted gets divided by the total number of shares from the pool to determine your block reward.
Other include Full Pay-Per-Share (FPPS), which factors in transaction fees into the rewards, and Pay-Per-Last-N-Groups (PPLNG). PPS and PPLNS are largely more common.

Assess Mining Pool's Stability

Evaluating a pool's stability is another vital aspect to consider before joining. Stability measures the pool's operational continuity and how frequently it experiences downtimes, which can impact your mining performance and yield. Generally speaking, you'll need to source information about the pool's track record, including:
  • Whether the pool offers a secured connection similar to VPN, or merely provides an open connection.
  • Its susceptibility to DDoS attacks (a common risk with increased pooling activity).
  • Its resilience to withstanding and countering any form of attacks.
  • Any incidents of extended periods of downtime.
There are typically support pages at many pools where you can access discussions, advice, and announcements, providing insights into past stability concerns.
While you can look up online for any incidents of pool downtimes, these may not always be credible. Given that cryptocurrency is still emerging, it's challenging to find valid and trustworthy sources.

Check the Pool Fees

Pools usually have fees, but some operate without them. For instance, SlushPool, the oldest operating mine, charges a 2% pool fee. In contrast, P2Pool operates free of charge but this might mean lesser hashing power.

Consider the Size and Power of the Mining Pool

In the context of a mining pool, the count of coins mined within a specific period correlates with the computing power of the pool. Generally, mining time decreases with an increase in pool participants: the bigger the pool, the less computing time required.
A smaller pool equipped with the most recent ASIC miners could outperform a larger pool that utilizes older or slower equipment. The combined hashrate of the mining pool is the determining factor of its performance.
Larger pools, due to their superior computing power, have a higher chance of generating blocks, whereas smaller pools usually take longer. The size of a mining pool may reflect its reliability. For instance, a high number of active miners in a pool can indicate the trustworthiness of the pool and its management.

Selecting Your Mining Pool

Having analyzed the characteristics of various mining pools, you should be capable of picking the one that aligns with your needs and budget. Remember, your personal computer with a compatible GPU can also be used to join a mining pool, though the earning rate will be slower. If your goal is minimal monthly earnings, GPU mining can be an effective way to utilize your existing equipment for modest rewards. Carefully choosing your mining pool can help maximize these rewards.

Is It Possible for Anyone to Join a Mining Pool?

Yes, anyone with the necessary equipment and enthusiasm to mine cryptocurrency can join a mining pool.

How Does One Join a Mining Pool?

Join a pool that meets your needs by adding the stratum address to your software. Subsequently, link your wallet, configure your client, and commence mining.

Is Independent Bitcoin Mining Viable?

Yes, it is entirely possible to mine Bitcoin independently. Nonetheless, pooling is usually a more lucrative method of mining Bitcoin, especially because the difficulty of mining increases with each coin earned. Thus, joining a pool remains the top recommendation unless you possess the resources to launch your own or can afford multiple advanced ASIC miners.
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