Just like there are bitcoin mining pools, there are also Ethereum mining pools. Ethereum mining pools work in a similar way. Resources are pooled together then contributed to the Ethereum blockchain to increase the chances of earning a block reward.
After setting up your Ethereum mining hardware, software, and wallet, you’re ready to join an Ethereum mining pool.
One of the unique things about Ethereum mining is that it’s ASIC-resistant. ASIC devices changed the bitcoin network permanently by creating hashrates 100 times higher than the most powerful GPUs. Today, it’s virtually impossible to mine bitcoin without an ASIC device.
Ethereum has avoided the ASIC craze. Because of differences within the Ethereum network (like the use of the Ethash algorithm), ASICs have no advantage when mining Ethereum. However, things are slowly starting to change, and Ethereum may lose its ASIC-resistant status in the near future. In April 2018, it was reported that China-based miner maker Bitmain has developed an ASIC mining chip designed specifically to process Ethereum transactions. The Antminer E3 chips are expected to retail for $800.
Nevertheless, ordinary miners like you can still join an Ethereum mining pool. Here’s what you need to know about the top Ethereum mining pools available today.
The Top 10 Ethereum Mining Pools
Ethpool and Ethermine: Ethpool and Ethermine are the two best-known Ethereum pools available today. They’re collectively responsible for approximately 25% of the hashpower on the Ethereum network. Although Ethpool and Ethermine are two different websites, they’re the same pool, which is why they’re collectively the top pool on the Ethereum network.
F2Pool: We mentioned F2Pool in our chapter on bitcoin mining pools. F2Pool is not just a major bitcoin mining pool: it’s also a major Ethereum mining pool. F2Pool caters mostly to Chinese-speaking Ethereum miners and contributes approximately 20% hashrate to the Ethereum network.
Nanopool: Nanopool generates approximately 13% of the hashrate on the Ethereum network. The pool is one of the newest members of the Ethereum mining pool community and was launched in 2017.
DwarfPool: DwarfPool is responsible for mining approximately 13% of Ether on the Ethereum network. If you belong to DwarfPool, then you can also mine Monero and Dash, among other cryptocurrencies.
Ethfans: Ethfans is responsible for approximately 7% of the hashpower on the Ethereum network. It’s another China-based mining pool.
Miningpoolhub: Miningpoolhub is responsible for about 7% of the hashpower on the Ethereum network. The pool has servers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
EthereumPool: EthereumPool launched in 2015 and remains one of the largest Ethereum mining pools in the world today. You can sign up online at EthereumPool.co.
Unknown: Just like bitcoin mining, approximately 6% of all Ethereum blocks are processed by “unknown” pools, including private pools, pools that don’t disclose their identity, and lower-hashrate pools.
How to Compare Ethereum Mining Pools
Comparing Ethereum mining pools is an identical process to comparing bitcoin mining pools. The world’s two largest cryptocurrencies work in a similar way. Both require proofs of work to distribute a block reward. The mining system is similar, with the main differences being the fact that Ethereum is ASIC-resistant and that Ethereum has no fixed supply.
With that in mind, here are the best and easiest ways to compare Ethereum mining pools:
- Pool reputation, transparency, and customer support
- Fees charged by the pool, with typical Ethereum mining pool fees ranging from 1% to 4%
- Geographic location of the pool
- Method of payment and other payment conditions
By paying attention to all of these factors, you can choose the best Ethereum mining pool for your unique needs.