Mining pools are one of the integral entities allowing average miners to participate in the increasingly competitive crypto mining landscape. While this is true, there are several factors that miners looking to opt for pool mining ought to consider. One of such is the quality of infrastructures made available. Another is the payout structure determining the share of the reward you are entitled to.
For what is worth, the best approach is to take the time to research some of the top mining pools before opting for one. As such, I have decided to use this opportunity to simplify this process by comparing the features of a few mining pools. Here, I will focus on the functionalities of Hiveon Pool, CoinFly Pool, KanoPool and Viabtc. But first, let us explore the concept of pool mining.
What Is A Mining Pool?
Over the years, crypto mining has become competitive. Therefore, participants are constantly looking for ways to beat the odds. This has led to an explosive development cycle in the crypto mining hardware market. Consequently, miners must adopt the latest and the most sophisticated mining hardware to stand a chance of making profits. Nevertheless, owning powerful rigs might prove futile, especially now that some entities are stacking mining rigs, and thus, making it impossible for private miners with one or two rigs to stay in business.
To continue to make profits, private miners often join platforms where they can pool their computing power to have a better chance of finding new blocks and earning rewards. However, in this case, the mining pool, depending on the type of payout scheme governing the network, distributes earnings according to the shares of each miner in the pool’s hashrate.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the concept of pool mining, the next section will introduce you to the mining pools highlighted at the beginning of this article.
Although CoinFly is a relatively new addition to the crypto mining landscape, it intends to make a name for itself by offering impressive features and enabling a transparent environment for miners. CoinFly provides a high performing and flexible mining pool that values miners’ security and ensures that all its participants are rewarded fairly. Some of its features include DDoS protection, 24/7 customer service, a flexible daily payment scheme and zero commission. For now, CoinFly is focusing on ETH mining. However, it plans to extend its pooling service to other cryptocurrencies soon. One of the impressive things about this pool is that it is part of a robust mining ecosystem, which includes a coin swapping infrastructure and an efficient mining software platform.
Like CoinFly, Hiveon Pool provides a network designed for ETH miners. Also, it offers zero commission and transaction fees. Asides that, Hiveon Pool adopts the PPS+ sharing model, which means that miners are eligible for regular payments, even if the mining pool does not find a new block. The pool pays miners daily so long their earnings are above the 0.1 ETH set as the minimum payout. Importantly, Hive OS users can enjoy subsidized fees when they mine ETH through the Hiveon mining pool.
KanoPool, a Bitcoin mining pool, started its operation in 2014. And since then, it has built a strong reputation in the crypto mining community. One of the selling points of this pool is its low commission. KanoPool charges a 0.9% commission and relies on a PPLNS model to calculate the earnings of miners. Additionally, miners must wait for over 101 block confirmations after each successfully found block before they get paid. On the upside, the mining pool supports two-factor authentication as one of the multi-layer security infrastructure provided to the pool’s participants.
Launched in 2016, China-based ViaBTC has become one of the go-to mining pools for miners interested in a wide array of mineable cryptocurrencies. Apart from Bitcoin, the pool enables the mining of Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash and Zcash. Furthermore, ViaBTC has shown, time and again, that its systems are robust enough to meet the needs of its users. For one, it delivers a 99.9% uptime, which is an impressive feat. Likewise, it supports both the PPS and PPLNS payment models. The fees for the latter is 2%, while the former has a 4% fee.
What Are The Striking Differences Between These Mining Pools?
While researching the functionalities of the above-mentioned pools, I could not help but notice that each focused on enabling a unique approach to offering pooling services. For this article, I will fixate on the supported coins, the payment model, the security features and user experience.
Supported Coins: Of the four mining pools researched, only one can provide mining infrastructure for two or more cryptocurrencies. As earlier mentioned, ViaBTC supports an extensive list of mineable coins, which include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash and Zcash. On the contrary, Hiveon and CoinFly are currently functioning as an ETH mining pool, while KanoPool solely supports Bitcoin mining. It is worth mentioning that CoinFly is working on expanding the number of mining algorithms compatible with its mining pool. Once this is done, I expect it to adopt more coins.
Payment Model: Hiveon and CoinFlyu have both opted for the reliable PPS+ payout structure, which promises miners regular and fixed payments. Besides, these pools, with the help of the PPLNS model, distribute the transaction fees included in each successfully found block. And while you would expect that these pools will mitigate the risks of paying regularly by charging high fees, both have adopted a zero-commission payment scheme. They, however, impose different minimum payout limits. CoinFly allows its users to withdraw earnings as low as 0.05 ETH, while Hiveon’s minimum payout is 0.1 ETH.
On the other hand, KanoPool solely relies on the PPLNS model and charges 0.9% as its commission. This method distributes earnings based on the shares received within a timeframe that eventually results in the solving of a block. KanoPool’s payout scheme requires that miners wait until the confirmation of an additional 101 blocks before it allows miners to withdraw their earnings. For ViaBTC, miners can either choose between the PPS or PPLNS system. Even though this pool’s payout model is flexible, its fees are expensive compared to the other mining pools highlighted in this article.
Security Features: Security is always a pain-point for most mining pools. Nevertheless, it seems that all the pools mentioned in this article are serious about ensuring the safety of their members. For CoinFly, it extends the institutional-grade security infrastructure available on its mining software platform to its pool. And so, it is specifically resistant to DDoS attacks among other mining-related threats. The same is true of Hiveon. KanoPool provides two-factor authentication settings and ViaBTC has a tool that miners can use to verify the ownership of an address.
User Experience: There are a lot of factors that come together to determine the user experience of mining pools. The first is the user interface. Three of the four mining pools have simple and aesthetically pleasing user interfaces, whereas KanoPool’s website is not user-friendly. When it comes to customer support, all have provided helpful materials, which users can access to understand the complex processes of getting started with their mining pools. CoinFly offers 24/7 customer support by enabling email support and actively engaging with miners on Telegram. The same applies to ViaBTC, while Hiveon has a native forum where miners can share insights. For KanoPool, its main feedback mechanism is its Discord channel.
Which Mining Pool Is The Best?
Like I said earlier, all four pools have approached the mining business differently and opted for various functionalities to retain their appeal to certain demography of crypto miners. And so, their viability depends on the features you prioritize. If flexible and cheap payment models are the most important criteria for you, then CoinFly and Hiveon are suitable options. On the contrary, a miner who wants to have access to several mineable coins would prefer ViaBTC. The most important thing is to identify functionalities critical to you and pick a mining pool that shares your sentiment.