What is a Mining Pool?

A mining pool is a group of cryptocurrency miners who combine their computing power to increase their chances of solving complex mathematical problems, which are required to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. The reward for each successful block solution is then distributed among the members of the pool, based on the amount of computational power each member contributed.

Mining pools are formed because it can be difficult for individual miners to solve these problems and earn rewards on their own, as the competition among miners is intense. By joining a pool, miners can share their computational power and increase their chances of earning rewards, as well as spreading the risk of not earning rewards across the group.

The main benefit of mining pools is that they provide a more stable and predictable way for miners to earn rewards, as opposed to solo mining. In a solo mining setup, a miner only earns rewards if they are the first one to solve the problem and add a block to the blockchain. In a mining pool, rewards are earned more frequently, as the pool works together to solve problems and add blocks to the blockchain.

Simplified Example

A mining pool can be explained as a group of miners who work together to find gold. Just like in the olden days, when many miners would join together to search for gold, cryptocurrency miners also come together in a group to mine for digital currency. Instead of each miner searching for gold by themselves, they join forces to increase their chances of finding it. The reward they receive is then split between the members of the group, based on the amount of work they each contributed.

For example, imagine 10 kids who each have a metal detector. They can search for coins in their neighborhood by themselves, but they might not find many. However, if they all work together and split the coins they find equally, they have a better chance of finding more. That's what a mining pool is like.

History of the Term "Mining Pool"

The concept of combining computing resources to mine for a shared reward predates the term "mining pool." Early Bitcoin enthusiasts experimented with collaborative mining arrangements before a formal definition emerged. As the practice of pooling resources became more widespread, the need for a descriptive term arose, and "mining pool" likely emerged organically within early Bitcoin communities around 2010. Various individuals and forums potentially used it interchangeably with terms like "cooperative mining" or "shared mining." The anonymity prevalent in early online discussions about Bitcoin and mining makes it impossible to pinpoint the first instance of "mining pool" definitively, as pseudonymity and the fast-paced nature of online interactions further obscure the origin story. Over time, the term "mining pool" has evolved to encompass a broader range of functionalities, including pool-specific software, reward distribution mechanisms, and even management structures.


F2Pool: F2Pool is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools in the world, with over 20% of the network's hash rate. Miners who join this pool work together to find blocks and earn rewards, which are then distributed among members based on their contributions.

Antpool: Antpool is another large mining pool that focuses on mining Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. Miners can join Antpool for free and receive a portion of the rewards based on the amount of computing power they contribute.

Slush Pool: Slush Pool is a well-established mining pool that was one of the first to offer merged mining, which allows miners to mine multiple cryptocurrencies at the same time. Slush Pool has a user-friendly interface and is known for its stable and reliable performance.

  • CPU Miner: A software program that uses a computer's central processing unit (CPU) to perform complex calculations in order to mine cryptocurrency.

  • Group Mining: A method where individuals combine their computing resources to increase their chances of earning mining rewards.