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Author Topic: How should I select a mining pool to join?  (Read 4041 times)
Viro
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May 18, 2011, 04:51:14 PM
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I've been mining in slush's pool simply because it was the first one I could find. I've been seeing a lot of other mining pools now, and I'm wondering, what do you guys look for in the pools? How do you decide which one to mine in?
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Nythain
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May 18, 2011, 04:57:53 PM
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stability. friendliness of the operator and community. helpfulness of the operator when problems occur. operators ability to listen to the pools users on subjects of security, changes, and features. also the look and layout of the pools website if one exists (though in all reality, pretty pages and useless stats are well, useless).

other things to look at would be the pools size and speed. current wars going on over deepbit, but clearly you are going to want to join a pool that will actually solve blocks if you have any intention of earning btc instead of just wasting electricity.

there's really no one perfect way to pick a pool, all i can really say is, try to pick a pool and stick with it. you cant bounce around 5 pools in two days and compare notes on payout and variance.

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May 18, 2011, 05:01:52 PM
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there's really no one perfect way to pick a pool, all i can really say is, try to pick a pool and stick with it. you cant bounce around 5 pools in two days and compare notes on payout and variance.
You can't compare payouts in such a short time period.
dont know if that was directed at me, or confirming to OP on what i said, because thats pretty much what i said.

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May 18, 2011, 05:03:26 PM
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there's really no one perfect way to pick a pool, all i can really say is, try to pick a pool and stick with it. you cant bounce around 5 pools in two days and compare notes on payout and variance.
You can't compare payouts in such a short time period.
dont know if that was directed at me, or confirming to OP on what i said, because thats pretty much what i said.
Very sorry, I seem to have missed a 't' in your post... Deleted my comment.

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grndzero
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May 18, 2011, 05:03:30 PM
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When I was at 600 Mh/s I spent a lot of time at deepbit. Since I've added some more speed to my rig and deepbit took off I decided to move to smaller pools.

Interface: I like having a website so that I can check my progress (shares and rewards) and the pools progress (speed and solved blocks) from a web browser, i.e. phone and ipod.

Speed: I personally like being in a pool above 40 Gh/s because it gives me an acceptable return relative to my rig speed, and the higher the speed, the less solved blocks variate.

Fees: Less would be better, but I don't mind giving a little for a nice functional site.

I'm liking http://www.btcguild.com/ right now.

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rezin777
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May 18, 2011, 05:04:08 PM
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Two things I would consider. Lowest fee (I make more Bitcoin). Small enough that it doesn't pose a possible threat to the health of the network (I want Bitcoin to be valuable in the future).
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May 18, 2011, 05:09:59 PM
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Quote
Very sorry, I seemed to have missed a letter in your post... Deleted my comment.
Lol, yeah. In re-reading my post, my lack of proper grammars and punctuation made it real easy to miss the t myself Smiley


Also, BTC Guild for the win! It's had it's rough patches, but is improving daily, and growing just as fast. It's got a great website, and it's operator is really awesome in response to the community. There's also no fees, with extra perks granted to certain donation % tiers, all features one could live without if they didn't want to donate, and all features well worth donating to recieve. It's also about as transparent as a pool gets, the block statistics page will flat out tell you how much has been donated and how much has been made from transaction fees, two listings that are usually not made so public with other pools.

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May 18, 2011, 05:44:03 PM
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In order from the most to least significant:

1) Pool size: don't join the biggest one. Any pool above 100 Gh/s will have insignificant variances on a daily basis anyways.

2) Fees. The lower the better.

3) Interface and stats. Lots of features to keep in mind in here, like a share counter per worker to tweak your cards or email notifications if your workers go down. Global stats are nice, expected reward is nice to have as well. Graphs are awesome.

4) Lastly, having a score based pool is better than a share based pool because it defends against pool hoppers. This is even more important if your pool is small (less than 10% of the network)

Keep in mind that your reward will be the same on every pool in the long run, minus fee. So the only 2 objective criteria for choosing a pool are it's size (avoiding big pools to prevent network vulnerability) and the fee. The rest is a matter of taste.

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Sukrim
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May 18, 2011, 06:32:45 PM
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4) Lastly, having a score based pool is better than a share based pool because it defends against pool hoppers.
In a score based pool in theory "reverse pool hopping" would be possible, right? Don't hop in as early as possible, hop in when the pool takes already longer than expected to find a block.

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May 18, 2011, 06:36:09 PM
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4) Lastly, having a score based pool is better than a share based pool because it defends against pool hoppers.
In a score based pool in theory "reverse pool hopping" would be possible, right? Don't hop in as early as possible, hop in when the pool takes already longer than expected to find a block.
No.

4) Lastly, having a score based pool is better than a share based pool because it defends against pool hoppers. This is even more important if your pool is small (less than 10% of the network)
Actually, big pools are more vulnerable to hopping (at least for some easy implementations).

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Keep in mind that your reward will be the same on every pool in the long run, minus fee.
And minus what pool-hoppers take from you, if they exist.

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Sukrim
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May 18, 2011, 06:49:49 PM
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I guess I just have to write a "meta pool" to try out pool hopping myself...

In the end this could be even offered as a service Tongue
I guess if everybody would do it, in the end it would even out again anyways + I guess you also loose a bit of hashing power on the way from pool to pool, so if it would be done on a large scale, it might even give worse results.

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Meni Rosenfeld
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May 18, 2011, 07:01:04 PM
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I guess I just have to write a "meta pool" to try out pool hopping myself...

In the end this could be even offered as a service Tongue
I guess if everybody would do it, in the end it would even out again anyways + I guess you also loose a bit of hashing power on the way from pool to pool, so if it would be done on a large scale, it might even give worse results.
If everybody did it, all proportional pools would freeze once they get to 43.5% difficulty.

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Sukrim
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May 18, 2011, 07:06:34 PM
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...and the other pools wouldn't have miners at all in the first place! Wink

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May 18, 2011, 07:22:36 PM
 #14

It appears that most pools have implemented various anti 'pool hopping' defences which are usually delayed stats and threat of banning abusers.

Therefore here are a few  simple questions for you.

- What would prevent a pool operator and/or his agents to do pool hopping themselves?

- How could this be detected if at all and how long such practice could continue undetected.

- How much wealth such kind of cheating would potentially transfer from pool users to a pool operator?
This is one more reason why people should use a hopping-proof pool, like martok's continuum. Even operators can't hop with it (they can outright lie about statistics and steal rewards from participants, but I think that's a separate issue, solvable by providing the right info).

In the limit, participants get only 70% of their expected reward, and hoppers (who exploit one pool) get 126% I think. When there is an unlimited number of proportional pools and the cheater knows exactly the status of each, he can increase his reward x12 with the current difficulty.

...and the other pools wouldn't have miners at all in the first place! Wink
Unless the cheater is big enough to go solo, hopping consists in going to hopping-proof pools when there are no fresh proportional pools to exploit.

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May 18, 2011, 07:36:03 PM
 #15

- How could this be detected if at all and how long such practice could continue undetected.

I presume a comparison between submitted shares (effective hashing rate) and received reward would be a good starting point.

If in the long run hoping starts harming pools, I can foresee serious pools moving towards a closed registration system based on peer vouching while the OCN type of crowd would cater to the then overly exploited public pools.

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May 18, 2011, 07:57:35 PM
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- How could this be detected if at all and how long such practice could continue undetected.
If in the long run hoping starts harming pools, I can foresee serious pools moving towards a closed registration system based on peer vouching while the OCN type of crowd would cater to the then overly exploited public pools.
If in the long run hopping starts harming pools, I can foresee serious pools moving towards a cheat-proof scoring method.

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Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems (thread, summary)  |   PureMining - Infinite-term, deterministic mining bond
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