The costs of mining Ether can be very high, with electricity costs and the cost of setting up a mining rig that can process at the speed required.
As the rewards of mining can be slow and intermittent, many miners choose to combine their hardware resources and create an ethereum mining pool, increasing the speed at which blocks are processed and the profits paid out.
This post will focus on the two main pools, Ethpool vs Ethermine. For information on other pools, see our post on the top ethereum mining pools.
Miners then share the rewards of the payout on proof of work. Ethereum is the fastest growing cryptocurrency, more than 2000% since its launch, in the market and Ethereum miner’s work for tokens called “Ether”.
Payments to the miners can work on different principles and calculations, depending on the type of pool they have joined.
Ethpool vs Ethermine
Two of the biggest Ethereum mining pools are Ethpool and Ethermine, which run on the same platform and have combined process of more than 25% of the total network hashpower. However the manner in which the pools run, and the risks and rewards are quite different. Both pools run on a global network with servers based the United States, Europe and Singapore, which are fully redundant and run 24/7.
Ethpool is a predictable solo mining pool and 100% of the proceeds are paid to the miner that contributed the most work. By using Ethpool you get the advantages of pooled mining with a solo mining payment scheme.
Ethpool offer miners the ability to mine anonymously and supports all types of Ethereum miners. Full support is offered to miners, including those using Stratum protocol. There is a big reduction in variance so miners earn their payment as soon as their work is equal to the difficulty of the block. The site includes online mining statistics and can help you estimate your earnings, when used with a calculator. The pool fee is currently 1%. Ethpool offers e-mail monitoring of your work in progress and e-mail notification of found blocks. Ethpool has about 12,500 active workers and processes about 5 blocks an hour. Uncles (blocks that are almost correct) are paid on top of full block rewards.
Ethermine works on the PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) payout scheme, which includes a luck factor in the calculation of the payment and favours loyal pool clients versus those that jump from pool to pool.
As with Ethpool, full Stratum support is available and payments are made instantly with the minimum payout being a single Ether. The pool fee for participation is also 1%. Ethermine promises all miners accurate hashtag reporting and low costs due to the efficiency of the mining rigs.
E-mail reporting and tracking is available on Ethermine as well as notifications of invalid shares and detailed per-worker and global statistics. Ethermine has more than 200,000 active workers and process about 35 blocks an hour.
As an alternative to Ethereum pool mining, a miner can use Ethereum Cloud mining, where instead of providing a Ethereum rig and combining resources, an organisation that specializes in cloud mining will do the mining on the miners behalf for a fee and then pays a percentage of the profit made.
Other Mining Pools
Although these are regarded as the two main ETH mining pools, there are other pools available, particularly a few multi currency pools. Check out our article on Nanopool vs. Ethpool to see how these two stack up.