Updated: Mar 10, 2021
Want to invest in crypto without having to buy them? Want to make a new passive income stream with bitcoin without having to learn the techno mumbo-jumbo of mining. While it's not difficult to get your hands on a couple dollars worth of BTC, there's a whole lot more money just waiting for anyone willing to learn how mining pools work. In this post, we'll touch upon several aspects of cryptocurrency pool mining including: Why would I want to mine bitcoin? How much money can I make? Is it difficult? While this post is focused on bitcoin mining, it can also be applied to any of the 40+ cryptocurrencies that are also capable of being mined, including popular coins Litecoin and Monero.
Why Mine Cryptocurrencies?
Crypto mining, simply put, is the process of using your computer to verify transactions on the blockchain. Miners are therefore the gatekeepers of the network. Through their mining, they secure the bitcoin blockchain and keep it functioning. Without miners, there would be no network, and therefore no bitcoin.
By utilizing computing power in this mining process, you generate the cryptocurrency. Yes, you can actually generate a cryptocurrency and earn money for doing it. In essence, it's very similar to mining physical gold. Gold is dug out of the earth through the process of mining, and successful miners get to keep the gold they've discovered. Well, crypto also needs to be discovered. In fact, the bitcoin network has set a limit of 21 million bitcoins, less than 3 million of which have yet to be mined.
Five Reasons to Mine Crypto
1) While trading crypto can be risky, mining is a low-risk, cost-efficient way of earning cryptocurrency in the most passive way possible.
2) Mining crypto has resilience to fluctuations in traditional markets like bonds and stocks.
3) When the price of the cryptocurrency tanks, miners have the ability to stop mining. They can restart mining once the price of the cryptocurrency climbs back up enough to make mining profitable again.
4) Cryptocurrency mining is a long term investment that can produce stable cash flow.
5) You can use financial instruments (mentioned in our DeFi post) to leverage mining revenue growth. This can provide miners with a hedge against market downturns and stabilize cash flow.
How Do Mining Pools Work?
If you wanted to mine bitcoin yourself, you would need essentially three things: a) a wallet, b) hardware and c) cheap electricity. While setting up a wallet could pose a challenge, it's actually the hardware that could be time-consuming. It can require substantial investment of your time and money. You would also need to learn how to configure your system. However, even if you did manage to have a) and b), but you have expensive electricity, don't even bother. Mining with costly electricity bills will likely not be profitable for you. This is where mining pools come in.
Mining pools allow multiple miners to combine their computing processing power to mine a bitcoin block faster and more effectively than solo miners. Using our gold analogy, imagine if a hundred miners were searching for gold on the same mountain. If there was gold to be found, you'd likely find it much faster and with less expense than if you were on your own.
In more technical terms, mining bitcoin pools work by conducting a mining algorithm thousands of times per second in order to generate bitcoin. By doing this thousands in fractions of a second, it is more likely that they will reveal a number below the target number – a random number. This number is used to determine how much bitcoin will be given to someone, depending on how large of a mining pool one is a part of and their percentage of power.
Well, some mining pools have had a 20% chance of finding the random number needed to determine the reward. As more and more people join a pool, the random number required goes up exponentially. If a pool gets a random number that generates a reward of 50 bitcoin, they will get 50 bitcoin. If a pool gets a random number that generates a reward of 500 bitcoin, they will get 500 bitcoin.
Make Money with Top Mining Pools
Before we briefly review the top mining pools, first note that an alarming amount of them are in China. At least 20. In fact, mining centralization in China is one of the biggest knocks against the king cryptocurrency. Broken down by the percent of hash power controlled by a pool, it's been estimated that Chinese pools control over 80% of the network hash rate. Even more sobering, the United States has less than 1% of the network hash rate.
All of the Bitcoin mining pools listed below will ask you for a Bitcoin address. This address is required so they send you your passively-earned crypto rewards. Therefore, you will need to create a bitcoin wallet. As I've said many times throughout this blog, use Coinbase to create wallets. My primary reason for this is they are the most friendly to people who are not tech-savvy. They are also insured and very secure.
Top 5 Bitcoin Mining Pools
1. Poolin. Poolin Mining is determined to be an one-stop mining investment service for clients. Their hashrate ranks in the top 3 of mining pools worldwide. They also provide cloud computing services for miners all over the world with a variety of available cryptocurrencies. Managed by Poolin Singapore, Poolin Finance is also a professional financial service platform for digital asset management. To get an idea how much money you'll make, visit this page.
2. Slush. Over 1,200,000 bitcoin have been mined on Slush since 2010. It is the first mining pool ever and currently mines about 11% of all blocks. On their platform, you can explore features such as advanced payouts. You'll also have access to a demo account and a safe learning environment without the need to connect your mining hardware. You can check out their stats here.
3. F2pool. Also referred to as "Discus Fish," F2Pool is a geographically distributed mining pool, helping miners all over the world secure Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and 40+ cryptocurrencies since 2013. It also uses transparent revenue and world leading technology to effectively prevent DDoS attacks. It mines about 20% of all blocks.
4. BTC.com. The world's leading multi-currency comprehensive service mining pool. According to their website, "The most real and transparent mining data, advanced FPPS revenue mode and cutting-edge Smart Pool function, ensure user's ultra-high revenue and punctual payment without any obstacles."
5. Antpool. Antpool is a mining pool based in China and is owned by the giant BitMain. It is the world's leading crypto currency mining platform with over 5 years of experience in mining pool maintenance. They guarantee profits transparency with 100% true hash to maximize your profits. They also pride themselves in having professional customer service to meet all your needs. Antpool mines about 10% of all blocks.
A Lotto Game
Simply put, mining pools are sophisticated versions of a lotto game. Anyone who wants to make money with mining should familiarize themselves with mining pools and the concept of mining pools before getting started. While they may not make you rich overnight, if you have the patience to let your earned bitcoin compound- in addition to its inevitable appreciation- it may just grow into a substantial pot of economic freedom.