How to Choose a Cryptocurrency Mining Pool (2024)

Once you understand cryptocurrency mining and have decided to try it out, you may join a mining pool because you're more likely to be rewarded for your work. However, choosing a mining pool can be challenging—there are many to choose from and several questions to answer.

Find out what you should look for in a mining pool and how to decide which one you should join.

Key Takeaways

  • You may need to buy specialized, expensive equipment to compete in a mining pool.
  • It's important for mining pools to be fair in work assignments and transparent in their operations.
  • Payout and fee schemes are essential because they can eat into your profits.
  • The combined mining pool hashrate is more important than its size, but the size of the pool also helps you gauge its trustworthiness.

Choose Your Mining Pool Equipment

You're able to mine various cryptocurrencies on a variety of devices if they are capable. Most mining applications can use a graphics processing unit (GPU) or central processing unit (CPU). However, GPU and CPU mining are not as profitable as they used to be. Mining difficulty has increased to a point where they cannot compete with the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) specifically designed for mining.

There are several ASICs available for purchase from online retailers. When choosing an ASIC, it's crucial to understand hashrate—or the rate at which the ASIC can perform the mining work. The higher the hashrate, the faster you'll mine—but you'll pay more upfront. The other consideration is energy consumption.

For instance, the Goldshell KD5 ASIC has a hashrate of 18 Th/s (terahashes per second) but has a price tag of between $11,000 and $18,999 and consumes about $200 worth of electricity per month on average. An older model, the Goldshell KD2 ASIC, has a hashrate of 6 Th/s and consumes about $227 in electricity per month—its price varies from about $3,500 to $27,599. You're likely to find only used models available from third-party sellers, and manufacturers rarely have any stock of their best machines because of the demand.

You'll also need to ensure you meet the minimum network connection speed to the pool server. Additionally, cooling the room your miner is in will raise your cooling bill significantly because it will generate heat.

Ensure the Mining Pool Is Transparent

The mining pool operator must perform fairly to ensure transparency and trustworthiness among the pool's members. For instance, you should investigate whether the total hash rate declared at the pool level appears to be true. You should also look for signs that the pool operators use lower payout schemes—you want to ensure the mining is worth your time and expenses.

If the mining pools you're considering don't have a real-time dashboard that brings transparency, you might consider another pool.

Review the Pool Payout Scheme

If you have low-end hardware mining devices, you should avoid pools with higher thresholds for making payments. You'll have less computational output, which will lead to lower earnings.

Many pools use the pay-per-share (PPS) or the pay-per-last-n-shares (PPLNS) methods for their payment schemes. If the pool uses PPS, you receive a fixed amount per submitted share of work. Generally, you're paid when your share is submitted.

PPLNS pays miners using a weighted system—the pool is paid when a block is mined, and the reward is divided among the pool. The number of shares you've submitted is divided by the total number of shares submitted by the pool, which is multiplied by the block reward—the cryptocurrency reward for creating a new block on the blockchain.

Other payout methods are full pay-per-share (FPPS), which adds transaction fees into the calculation, and pay-per-last-n-groups (PPLNG). There are several others, but PPS and PPLNS are the most common.

Look for Mining Pool Stability

Another critical factor to consider before joining a pool is assessing its stability. Stability refers to whether the pool experiences any downtimes, which affect your mining ability and profits. Generally, you'll need to find information about the pool's history, such as:

  • Does the pool offer a secure connection like a VPN, or does it only use an open connection?
  • Is it vulnerable to DDoS attacks (common with increased pool activity)?
  • Has the mining pool withstood and repelled any attacks?
  • Has the pool experienced any lengthy downtime?

Many users post in Reddit groups where you can find discussions, tips, and announcements that can clue you into past issues. However, they may not always be trustworthy. Cryptocurrency is still new enough that it is hard to find valid, reliable sources.

Review the Pool Fees

Nearly all pools require fees, but some are structured to operate without them. For example, the oldest mining pool still in operation is SlushPool—they charge a pool fee of 2% of your reward and a payout fee of 0.0001 Bitcoin on payouts under 0.005 Bitcoin. P2Pool is another of the oldest pools left—it has no fees, but its hashing power might be lower because it is strictly a peer-to-peer mining pool without a mining farm operating as the central miner.

Weigh the Mining Pool Size and Power

In a mining pool, the number of coins mined over a period is proportional to the pool's computing power. In general, the more participants a pool has, the less time it takes to mine—pool size can equate to more or less computing time.

A small pool of the latest ASIC miners can outperform a large pool of older or slower equipment. The combined hashrate of the mining pool is what determines which pool performs better.

Larger pools have a higherprobability of creating blocks due to their larger computing power, while smaller ones generally take longer. A mining pool's size can also reflect its trustworthiness to someextent. For example, a pool with many active miners suggests that the pool and its management are trusted.

Choose Your Mining Pool

Once you've weighed the attributes of different mining pools, you should be reasonably comfortable picking out the one that works for you—and your budget. It's important to note that you can join a mining pool armed only with your personal computer if it has a compatible GPU, but gains will be much lower. If you're only looking for a few dollars a month to spend, GPU mining is an acceptable way to use equipment you already have for small rewards—and a mining pool can help you increase those rewards if you choose your pool carefully.

Can Anyone Join a Mining Pool?

Anyone that has the equipment and a desire to mine cryptocurrency can join a mining pool.

How Do I Join My Mining Pool?

Choose your pool based on your criteria and add the stratum address in your software. Then, connect your wallet, configure your client, and start mining.

Can I Mine Bitcoin Without Joining a Pool?

Yes, you can. However, joining a pool is a much more profitable way to mine Bitcoin, especially since its difficulty increases with every miner that joins the network. To be competitive, it's best to join a pool unless you have the resources to create your own or buy multiple state-of-the-art ASIC miners.

The Bottom Line

If you want to participate in cryptocurrency mining, a mining pool is the best way to join in because of the competitive nature of the reward process. Once you understand how wallets and mining work, it's pretty simple to join a pool—most have instructions on how to join. The hard part is knowing what to look for in a pool that lets you know it is reputable and will pay off.

The comments, opinions, and analyses expressed on Investopedia are for informational purposes only. Read ourwarranty and liability disclaimerfor more info. As of the date this article was written, the author does not own cryptocurrency.

How to Choose a Cryptocurrency Mining Pool (2024)


How to Choose a Cryptocurrency Mining Pool? ›

Choosing the right mining pool requires careful consideration of various factors, including fees, payout structure, size, hash rate, reputation, location, security, and user support. By evaluating these aspects, you can select a mining pool that best suits your needs and maximizes your Bitcoin mining endeavors.

How to pick the right mining pool? ›

Choosing the right mining pool requires careful consideration of various factors, including fees, payout structure, size, hash rate, reputation, location, security, and user support. By evaluating these aspects, you can select a mining pool that best suits your needs and maximizes your Bitcoin mining endeavors.

Which crypto mining pool is most profitable? ›

  • Binance. Binance stands out as a premier destination for establishing a Bitcoin wallet, facilitating the exchange of over 150 different cryptocurrencies. ...
  • Slush Pool. ...
  • F2pool. ...
  • Pool BTC. ...
  • ECOS. ...
  • Via BTC. ...
  • Antpool. ...
  • Poolin.
Mar 4, 2024

How to choose what crypto to mine? ›

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Crypto to Mine
  1. Mining Difficulty. ...
  2. Hardware Compatibility. ...
  3. Energy Consumption and Electricity Costs. ...
  4. Environmental Impact. ...
  5. Long-term Viability. ...
  6. Market Volatility. ...
  7. Security and Regulations. ...
  8. Bitcoin (BTC)
Feb 26, 2024

How to check if a mining pool is legit? ›

Unrealistic Promises: Be wary of mining pools promising unusually high returns or guaranteed profits. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fees and Payment Practices: Scrutinize the pool's fee structure and payment policies. High fees, hidden charges, or delayed payments can indicate a scam.

Is it profitable to join a mining pool? ›

Benefits of a Mining Pool

Mining also pools require less of each participant in terms of hardware and electricity costs, thus increasing the chances of paying any associated expenses and profiting.

What is the average pool fee for mining? ›

Before deciding to join a particular pool, miners should pay attention to how each pool shares its payments among members and what fees, if any, it charges. Typically, pools may charge between 1% and 3% as pool fees.

What is the easiest crypto to mine for profit? ›

Historically, Bitcoin (BTC) has been one of the most lucrative cryptocurrencies to mine due to its high market value. However, other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR) have also been profitable for miners, depending on market conditions and mining hardware efficiency.

What is the easiest most profitable crypto to mine? ›

Litecoin (LTC): Litecoin is often referred to as the silver to Bitcoin's gold and remains a profitable coin to mine for miners with Scrypt ASIC mining hardware. Litecoin offers faster block times and lower transaction fees compared to Bitcoin, making it an attractive option for both miners and users.

Which crypto mining gives highest return? ›

Top Cryptocurrencies for Mining in 2024
  1. Bitcoin (BTC) Bitcoin is undoubtedly the best crypto to mine. ...
  2. Ethereum (ETH) Ethereum is a decentralized platform that enables smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). ...
  3. Vertcoin (VTC) ...
  4. Cardano (ADA) ...
  5. Litecoin (LTC) ...
  6. Ravencoin (RVN) ...
  7. Monero (XMR) ...
  8. Grin (GRIN)
Feb 21, 2024

Which miner is most profitable? ›

The Bitmain Antminer S21 Hyd 335T is the most profitable Bitcoin mining machine currently, followed by the Canaan Avalon Made A1266, and MicroBit Whatsminer M50S. If you want to mine other cryptocurrencies, the Bitmain Antminer KS3, Bitmain Antminer D9, and Bitmain Antminer K7 are all solid choices.

Is crypto mining worth it in 2024? ›

“Overall, despite the sharp pullback in BTC spot price, the mining model remains highly profitable for most of the leading miners,” Vafi says. Canaccord Genuity has “outperform” ratings for each of the four mining stocks mentioned.

Is it better to buy crypto or mine? ›

Potential for higher returns: In certain situations, mining can be more profitable than simply buying Bitcoin. This is because miners are rewarded with newly minted Bitcoin, which can appreciate in value over time.

Do mining pools report to IRS? ›

Yes, the IRS typically classifies crypto mining as a business activity, which means you can deduct business expenses. Here are some common deductions for those mining Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies: Mining Pool Fees: Most of our clients who mine crypto do so through a mining pool.

Are mining pools safe? ›

Mining pools are not inherently bad for cryptocurrency, but they have become a concern because of the amount of energy used and the control and influence exerted by small groups of well-funded people.

Does mining pool location matter? ›

The right location can be the difference between a profitable mining operation and one that barely breaks even.

Should I mine solo or in a pool? ›

Solo mining is safer and more stable but requires patience and a large investment. Pool mining is riskier and requires more equipment, but it offers more stable and fair rewards.


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