Comparison of mining pools

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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. [1]
  • Prop. - Proportional. When block is found, the reward is distributed among all workers proportionally to how much shares each of them has found. This method is vulnerable to pool swapping cheat, where a worker would swap to another pool, if this one didn't find a block quickly. Then he would have extra profit on fast rounds, and normal profit on long rounds (because he would be mining on another pool by then). To mitigate this problem pools must introduce extra fees, and hide statistics, so that it is unknown when a block is found.
  • Score - Score based system, the most advanced one. It is a proportional reward, but it is impossible to cheat as described above. 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 more than earlier shares, thus swapping away to another pool on longer rounds makes the cheater's score to quickly diminish. Rewards are calculated proportionally to scores (and not to shares). Statistics can be shown "live" without fear. The score based method is perfect for 24/7 miners. (at slush's pool C=300 seconds, and every hour scores are normalized)
Name Location Hashrate (GHash/sec)[1][2] Reward Type Transaction fees Fee PPS Fee Prop / Score Audits[3] Protocol Launched Forum Thread Homepage
21bitcoin CN, HK 2 Prop. kept by pool - 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-20 [2] Link
ArsBitcoin USA 56 Prop. kept by pool - 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-15 Link Link
BitClockers USA, EU 115 Prop. kept by pool - 1%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-05-27 Link Link
Bitcoin Mining Pool USA 338 Prop. kept by pool - 0%[4]  ? RPC (+LP) Unknown Link Link
Bitcoin Pooled Mining (Slush) London 1491 Score kept by pool - 2%  ? RPC 2010-11-27 Link Link EU 337 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
BTC Guild USA, EU 2330 Prop. kept by pool - 0%[5]  ? RPC 2011-05-09 Link Link
BTCMine UK 480 Score kept by pool - 2%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-03-11 Link Link
Continuum Canada 7 Score kept by pool 5% -  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-05-17 Link Link
DeepBit Germany 2661 PPS / Prop. kept by pool 10% 3%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-02-26 Link Link
Eclipse Mining Consortium USA / Europe / AU / Asia 25 Prop / Score kept by pool 0% 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-14 Link Link
Eligius Germany 353 SMPPS kept by pool ~0.0003%[4] ~0.0003%[4] Yes[6] RPC (+LP) 2011-04-27 Link Link UK 50 Prop Shared - 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-15 Link Link
Mining Team Reddit (MtRed) USA, EU 212 Prop kept by pool - 0%[4]  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-05-25 1 2 Link
NoFeeMining USA 24 Prop Shared - 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-17 Link Link AUS 41 Prop Kept in Pool 0% 1%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-08 Link Link
Simplecoin Unknown 0 Prop kept by pool - 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-02 Link Link
Swepool Sweden 13 Prop kept by pool - -  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-05-14 Link Link
x8s Germany 4 Prop kept by pool - -  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-08 Link Link
ZA Bitcoin South Africa 0.4 Score kept by pool 0% 0%  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-14 Link Link Germany 2 Prop kept by pool - -  ? RPC (+LP) 2011-06-18 Link
  1. Hashrate is given in gigahash/second.
  2. 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.
  3. Auditing can be accomplished by third-parties if the pool publishes proofs-of-work for every share.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Donations are possible
  5. Donations are possible to unlock features
  6. Access to Eligius proofs-of-work is available on request.

See also