Choosing a mining pool out the dozens that are operational can seem like a daunting task. Which pool is the “best” for an individual miner depends on that miner’s goals, equipment, and preferences. Here are a few steps for evaluating mining pools.

See a list of all mining pools.

Size

With more hashrate comes a higher probability of regularly solving blocks and claiming rewards. Joining a larger pool generally offers more regular payouts. Smaller pools with fewer machines and lower hashrate aren’t significantly more profitable than solo-mining without a pool altogether. But an individual miner has the advantage of potentially claiming a larger percentage of the payouts by joining a smaller pool.

Reputation

Before joining a pool, talk to other mining friends about its reputation or post questions on social media or drop a question in the Compass community Telegram group.

Read: How can I connect with other miners?

Reputation and trustworthiness is an important factor for gauging the quality of a mining pool since it relates to the fairness of the pool’s quoted payouts, its claimed total hashrate, and other metrics, which can be difficult to independently verify.

Fees and Payments

Be sure to review the fees and payout structure for a pool before joining. Also, miners should consider the fees and payouts in context of their hardware’s efficiency. Contributing hashrate from less efficient or older ASICs to a pool with higher fees could be prohibitively difficult for a miner to earn a profit. Understanding various payout structures is important for a miner to select which structure works best for them.

Read: How are pool miners paid?

Principles

Understanding if a mining pool is aligned with an individual miner’s principles and goals for participating in the cryptocurrency space can be an important consideration. For example, some mining pools prioritize contributing to the industry’s increased decentralization and resilience. Other mining pools have singular goals to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible, and simply want to accumulate as much hashpower as they can. Mining with a pool that shares a miner’s principles is an ideal arrangement.

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