Comparison of mining pools
Reward types & explanation:
- PPS - Pay Per Share. Each submitted share is worth certain amount of BTC. Since finding a block requires <current difficulty> shares on average, a PPS method with 0% fee would be 50 BTC divided by <current difficulty>. It is risky for pool operators, hence the fee is highest.
- SMPPS - Shared Maximum Pay Per Share. Like Pay Per Share, but never pays more than the pool earns. 
- Prop. - Proportional. When block is found, the reward is distributed among all workers proportionally to how much shares each of them has found.
- PPLNS - Pay Per Last N Shares. Similar to proportional, but instead of looking at the number of shares in the round, instead looks at the last N shares, regardless of round boundaries.
- Score - Score based system: a proportional reward, but weighed by time submitted. Each submitted share is worth more in the function of time t since start of current round. For each share score is updated by: score += exp(t/C). This makes later shares worth much more than earlier shares, thus the miner's score quickly diminishes when they stop mining on the pool. Rewards are calculated proportionally to scores (and not to shares). (at slush's pool C=300 seconds, and every hour scores are normalized)
Visual examples of the various payout methods
|Name||Location||Hashrate (GHash/sec)||Reward Type||Transaction fees||Fee PPS||Fee Prop / Score||Audits||Protocol||Launched||Forum Thread||Homepage|
|21bitcoin||CN, HK||2||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-20||||Link|
|ArsBitcoin||USA||190||SMPPS||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-15||Link||Link|
|bestbitcoinminingpool||Australia||3||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-07-01||||Link|
|Betcoin.co Pool||USA||5||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-07-07||Link||Link|
|BitClockers||USA, EU||80||Prop.||kept by pool||2%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-05-27||Link||Link|
|Bitcoin Mining Pool||USA||272||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||Unknown||Link||Link|
|Bitcoin Pooled Mining (Slush)||London||1491||Score||kept by pool||2%||?||RPC||2010-11-27||Link||Link|
|Bitcoins.lc||EU||624||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-05-27||Link||Link|
|BitLotto Pool||Los Angeles||1||Prop||kept by pool||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-08||Link||Link|
|Bitp.it||USA||100||Prop||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-08||Link||Link|
|BTC Guild||USA, EU||2800||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-05-09||Link||Link|
|BTCMine||UK||480||Score||kept by pool||2%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-03-11||Link||Link|
|btcmp.com||Germany||17||Prop||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-28||Link|
|BTCSERV.net||Germany||1||Prop||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-07-09||Link||Link|
|Btcworld.de||Germany||5||Prop||kept by pool||?||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-18||Link|
|CHWpool||Chile||10||Prop||kept by pool||1%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-30||Link|
|Coinotron||Poland||2||Score||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-07-06||Link||Link|
|Continuum||Canada||16||Score||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-05-17||Link||Link|
|DeepBit||Germany||4180||PPS / Prop.||kept by pool||10%||3%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-02-26||Link||Link|
|PolMine||Poland||109||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC||2011-06-13||Link||Link|
|Eclipse Mining Consortium||USA / Europe / AU / Asia||50||Prop / Score||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-14||Link||Link|
|Eligius||Germany||430||SMPPS||kept by pool||0.000004%||Yes||RPC (+LP)||2011-04-27||Link||Link|
|Mining Team Reddit (MtRed)||USA, EU||212||Prop||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-05-25||1 2||Link|
|Ozco.in||AUS||41||Prop||kept by pool||1%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-08||Link||Link|
|rfcpool||UK||18||Prop & PPS||kept by pool||7%||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-07-05||Link||Link|
|Simplecoin||Unknown||1.4||Prop||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-02||Link||Link|
|Swepool||Sweden||13||Prop||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-05-14||Link||Link|
|Triplemining||Europe||45||Prop||kept by pool||1%||Yes||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-28||Link||Link|
|x8s||Germany||4||Prop||kept by pool||1%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-08||Link||Link|
|ZA Bitcoin||South Africa||0.4||Score||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-14||Link||Link|
|HydraCoin(OFFLINE)||Italy||4.5||Score||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-06-27||Link||OFFLINE|
|Bitcoinitalia||Italy||4.5||Prop.||kept by pool||0%||?||RPC (+LP)||2011-07-12||Link||Link|
- ↑ Hashrate is given in gigahash/second.
- ↑ Note that pool hashrate is largely irrelevant but can be seen as a popularity measurement. Note however that it is a theoretical security issue if one pool gains above 50% of the total computational power of the network, thus consider joining a pool based on other metrics.
- ↑ Auditing can be accomplished by third-parties if the pool publishes proofs-of-work for every share.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Donations are possible
- ↑ Donations are possible to unlock features
- ↑ Access to Eligius proofs-of-work is available on request.
- ↑ While in testing.
- ↑ Access to proofs-of-work is available on request.