Mining the more popular cryptocurrencies like Litecoin and Bitcoin is no longer an activity you can expect to profit from as a solo enterprise. The solution is to join a mining pool, a series of connected servers working in unison across an internet connection that pool their considerable resources to generate data blocks. Whatever reward they make between them is then split among all the pool's participants.
Here are some of the best mining pools to consider joining in 2018.
Slush Pool is the longest established mining pool currently in existence, as well as one of the largest, accounting for 11.4% of all mining activity. Boasting a simple sign-up process and a comprehensive website offering a lot of advice to less experienced miners, Slush Pool is a popular place to start off for newcomers. Minimum pay-out thresholds can be set as low as 0.001 BTC, though setting it so low attracts additional fees from the service.
The largest mining pool currently in operation, AntPool represents double the output of its more established competitor, SlushPool, accounting for almost a quarter of the world’s Bitcoin mining. It is owned and operated by a Chinese firm, known as Bitmain, which also produces a bestselling range of ASIC devices for miners (AntMiner). Antpool’s greatest benefits lie in the high quality of its servers (AntPool utilises P2P protocols to ensure more reliable and faster connections), coupled with low payout thresholds and daily payments.
Before developing as a mining pool, the company behind BTC.com was already well-known and well-respected within the cryptocurrency community for creating a bespoke blockchain explorer and a powerful wallet for Bitcoin users. Currently accounting for 20% of mining activity worldwide, BTC.com is a direct rival for AntPool’s position at the top of the table. Currently set-up for the mining of Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin alone, it remains a popular choice among miners, due to its habit of sharing transaction fees as well as Bitcoin rewards among its members.
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