Bitcoin can be profitable in numerous ways. For crypto enthusiasts and pro traders, buying and selling Bitcoin is the go-to move. But another way to earn money with cryptocurrency is via Bitcoin mining.
A computer with mining capabilities solves complex mathematical puzzles and creates new coins. In return, a Bitcoin miner earns rewards. However, this process is slow, so groups of cooperating miners join Bitcoin mining pools and share the rewards.
Mining pools are on the rise, and as with any business and industry, the top players stand out. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the five biggest Bitcoin mining pools.
What Is a Bitcoin Mining Pool Exactly?
The elusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, designed the network so a single block can be mined every 10 minutes.
This pace is maintained by altering the difficulty of the already complex mathematical problems. Solo Bitcoin mining used to be the norm, and miners had the chance to get substantial rewards.
These days, earning coins via solo mining is virtually impossible. You need three things for Bitcoin mining: a competitive mining computer (rig,) affordable power supply, and excellent mining software.
Unfortunately, the cost of hardware, software, and especially the power outweighs any potential profit. That’s why the fourth element of Bitcoin mining is membership in a mining pool.
Bitcoin mining pools are no novelty, though. Slush Pool was the very first mining pool ever created and has been around since 2010.
It’s located in the Czech Republic and has had its ups and downs among the top 10 international mining pools.
Top Bitcoin Mining Pools
Finding the best Bitcoin mining pool is vital as it can save users a lot of money. It’s not always easy making the right choice as circumstances change frequently. For now, the majority of Bitcoin mining pools are located in China.
However, the Chinese government is planning a crackdown on Bitcoin mining. Therefore, the situation might change sooner rather than later. At the moment, these are the biggest mining pools you can join:
This Bitcoin mining pool is indeed located in China and makes for 16% of all mined blocks. It has been active since 2013 and is available in over 100 countries.
Bitcoin is its primary coin, but it’s also available for mining other popular altcoins. There are over two million active miners who can withdraw their profits daily.
However, the minimum threshold for a pay-out is 0.005 BTC. F2pool calculates rewards by using the Pay-per-Share system and charges a 2.5% fee from miners’ rewards.
This mining pool is also in China and is responsible for 14% of all blocks. It’s owned and operated by Chinese firm Bitmain, which also manufactures mining devices. It has servers all around the world and relies on Peer-to-Peer mining protocol.
When you join Antpool, all you have to do is connect your device to the nearest server for a better and more reliable connection. It also has an easy-to-use dashboard and allows users to choose their mining rewards.
An impressive 11% of all blocks are produced by ViaBTC. A remarkable feat, given that it’s a relatively new Bitcoin mining pool. Even though it’s located in China, miners from all over the world can join and start mining coins.
It’s not only for Bitcoin mining either. ViaBTC supports Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin too. On top of that, it offers a proprietary Bitcoin wallet users will need for storing their rewards. It’s easy to set up, and the miner’s hash rate contribution calculates shares.
This is a public mining pool that mines around 10% of all blocks. It’s a well-established company that has been active since 2016. They have mining servers located in Germany, the US, and China. BTC.com supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and several other coins.
They utilise the Pay-per-Share system, which accounts for the standard transaction fee for a period and adds it to the block reward. The pool also has premium customer support and well-developed mobile apps.
5. Binance Pool
Unlike most of the examples on this list, Binance Pool is not located in China. It’s a Malta-based mining pool that also has one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. They account for around 9% of all mined blocks.
It uses the Pay-per-Share model and offers a guaranteed minimum income. It has a Smart Pool feature that allows users to automatically switch from one hash rate to mine different currencies with the same algorithm.
Are You Ready to Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool?
In the early days of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin mining was significantly different. A solo miner had almost no competition, and the process didn’t require overly sophisticated equipment.
However, that’s not the case anymore, and mining pools are the way to go for most miners. The only challenge is choosing the Bitcoin mining company that fits into your plans.
The five mining pools we’ve discussed are safe choices, for now at least. But with cryptocurrency, things can change fast.