BITCOIN

How do I join a Bitcoin mining pool?

22 July 2020. Written by Malcolm Cannon

By joining a pool, miners combine their computing power and receive a split of the block reward equally based on the hashrate they contribute to the pool.

Before going too deep into how you can join a Bitcoin mining pool, let’s take a brief look at why you need to join a pool in order to profit from Bitcoin mining.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the centralization of the bitcoin network is the reliance on pools for governance and the distribution of mining rewards. Developments like Stratum V2 may eventually address the governance issue, but with the global network hashrate above 100 EH/s, it would still be almost impossible to run a mining operation without using a pool due to the odds of mining a block on your own.

A single Whatsminer M20S ASIC will find a block on its own about once every 16 years. Even though it would be an excellent pay-day for the individual owner, this means solo-mining is prohibitive to anyone other than the most hardcore bitcoiner.

Although solo-miners can estimate revenue, actual revenue differs due to statistical variance. Large farms with a sizeable proportion of network hashrate can’t always mine as many blocks as they project.

Thomas Heller, f2pool Global Business Director

The second issue is that not only is it statistically unlikely you will succeed with solo mining, it’s also almost impossible to project your revenue if you don’t have the kind of regular payout you are guaranteed from a PPS+ or FPPS pool.

Bitcoin mining difficulty and luck

Mining difficulty adjusts roughly every two weeks, depending on how many blocks are mined in that 2016; which is a direct factor of how much hashrate joins or leaves the network. This makes it difficult even for mining operators connected to a mining pool to project long-term future revenue from mining.

The goalposts are always moving which means there isn’t any statistical certainty for a solo miner to rely on. Even a single Whatsminer M20S would only find one block every 16 years if no other factors changed, but the BTC price and hashrate fluctuate on a daily basis. If that single machine finds a block early in the 16 year window it will be a lot more valuable than finding a block in a few years’ time.

Mining with a PPS+ pool guarantees daily returns based on the hashrate that you contribute to the pool. In 2020, every serious miner, therefore relies on a mining pool to even out their returns and remove any elements of luck.

How to compare Mining Pools

Now that pools are necessary to mine Bitcoin successfully, it’s important to consider what framework you should use in order to pick the right one for your mining operation. There are a few factors that we believe are important for picking the right pool.

Age

Bitcoin is a relatively young technology. The space has seen a lot of projects come and go in the past decade. Many of the projects that have disappeared were either deeply flawed or outright scams. The age of a company is a positive indicator that they have provided a consistently reliable service to the community, and longevity is a good indication that they will remain reliable in the future. f2pool is the second oldest mining pool, and has been helping secure the bitcoin network since 2013.

Reputation

Another way to compare mining pools is to reflect on the reputation of the founders and the company itself. There have been several key issues in Bitcoin’s first decade where mining pools have had to decide what to support. Most notably the Segwit 2x saga of 2017, which led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash, and Chun Wang, one of the co-founders of f2pool was very vocal at the time. History suggests that f2pool came down on the right side of the debate.

Technical Knowledge

The technical skills and experience of the team at each pool is extremely important. On a basic level, a mining pool needs to maintain extremely high uptime in order to stay connected with each mining machine. However, there are other technical factors that impact the chances of the pool, and the miners themselves finding blocks more quickly than others. and optimizing job allocation.

Server Locations

The decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network means that there are mining machines operating in multiple countries and jurisdictions. This means that server locations are crucial to submitting blocks in a timely manner. f2pool has servers in Asia, North America, Europe and Russia. This means that miners are able to connect to their local servers, which levels the playing field and reduces the rejection rate that can occur if there is too much lag between the machine and the pool server.

Fees

Mining is a margins game. Every percentage point counts if you want to minimize your risk and maximize your returns. Mining pools charge a fee as a percentage of the Bitcoin earned by each miner. These fees can be as high as 4%, while f2pool charges 2.5% to its customers.

It’s also worth considering the payout method of your pool. f2pool is a PPS+ pool which means you will receive the same reward in exchange for your hashrate, regardless of how lucky the pool is itself. You can learn a bit more about the different payout methods in our Mining Pools 101 article.

How to join f2pool’s Bitcoin mining pool

If you want to join f2pool then follow these instructions to connect your machines:

Obtain suitable hardware

  • ✅ Can be efficiently mined with SHA-256 ASIC mining machines

  • ❌ Cannot be efficiently mined CPU

  • ❌ Cannot be efficiently mined with GPU cards

View our Miners page to discover the most profitable ASIC machines for BTC.

Sign-up for an f2pool account

  • Sign-up and wait for the confirmation email
  • Log in to your account

Configure your mining device

Your miner must be connected to one of the f2pool pool servers listed below, and you must use a mining account registered on f2pool for your hashrate and revenue to be recorded and monitored.

Please enter the following information on your mining device:

  • URL: stratum+tcp://btc-eu.f2pool.com:3333
  • Username: username.workerName
  • Password: anything

BTC mining pool servers

  • 🇪🇺 EU — stratum+tcp://btc-eu.f2pool.com:3333

  • 🇪🇺 EU — stratum+tcp://btc-eu.f2pool.com:1314

  • 🇪🇺 EU — stratum+tcp://btc-eu.f2pool.com:25

  • 🇷🇺 RU — stratum+tcp://btc-mow.f2pool.com:3333

  • 🇺🇸 US — stratum+tcp://btc-us.f2pool.com:3333

  • 🇺🇸 US — stratum+tcp://btc-us.f2pool.com:1314

  • 🇺🇸 US — stratum+tcp://btc-us.f2pool.com:25

  • 🇨🇳 CN — stratum+tcp://btc.f2pool.com:3333

  • 🇨🇳 CN — stratum+tcp://btc.f2pool.com:1314

  • 🇨🇳 CN — stratum+tcp://btc.f2pool.com:25

  • 🇭🇰 HK — stratum+tcp://btc-hk.f2pool.com:3333

  • 🇸🇬 SG — stratum+tcp://btc-sg.f2pool.com:3333

Add payout address

A payout address is required to receive your mining revenue, and you can add/change your payout address from Payout Settings.

Mining revenue is distributed daily to every user that reaches the payout threshold. The payout threshold is 0.005 BTC and details about payout method, fees and threshold can be found here.

Start mining

Your machines are ready to start mining. From “Address Search” on the f2pool homepage, you can type your wallet address and monitor your hashrate, revenue, and payouts. You can also view this information through our f2pool app.

Happy Mining

Still have questions? Send us an email at support@f2pool.com or find us on Telegram. Also, follow us on Twitter!

Written by Malcolm Cannon

Malcolm Cannon

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