If you were a GPU miner that was looking for a coin to mine, then you will no doubt have heard of Bytecoin (BCN).

This privacy enabled cryptocurrency is often chosen by miners given its more attractive returns as compared to other proof of work coins. Up until recently it also used to be one of the only remaining coins that you could solo mine from home.

However, if you make use of a Bytecoin Mining pool, your chances of earning BCN from newly minted blocks are greatly  improved. However, you need to make sure that you are indeed using the best pool that you can get.

In this post, we will take you through the best Bytecoin Mining Pools.

Mining Bytecoin

When it comes to privacy focused coins most people these days think of Monero, but the very first private untraceable cryptocurrency was Bytecoin. And it remains the 26th largest market cap coin even today.

It is similar to Monero in that it uses a privacy algorithm, but unlike Monero it didn’t choose to fork to avoid ASIC mining. Instead it has embraced the ASIC miners for several reasons:

  • They protect the network from attacks;
  • A fork in this case would de-anonymize Bytecoin users, which defeats the very purpose of an anonymous crypto coin;
  • ASIC bans seem to be an unwise decision – the next generation of ASICs will include FPGA devices adjustable in just a few simple clicks, it’s only a matter of time.
  • ASICs can’t be reviewed in a “positive-negative” dichotomy. It’s just a direct consequence of the technical progress that our information age continues to make (which is actually way more profitable than CPU and GPU mining).

With that being the case it doesn’t make sense to solo mine Bytecoin unless you have your own mining farm. Even if you have a single ASIC rig you still want to combine your hashing power with others, and the way to do that is through a Bytecoin mining pool.

What is a Mining Pool?

A mining pool is a way to combine the hash power of many different users in order to mine more efficiently. Each member of a mining pool is paid based on their contribution to the pool, so you’re getting much smaller payouts that if you were solo mining and finding blocks, but you’re also getting more regular payments, and there is far less luck involved. If you solo mine you might not find a block for months, but with a Bytecoin mining pool you can get a small amount of coins every day.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what makes mining pools so vital to the mining process, and now I want to go on and help you find the best Bytecoin mining pool.

Bytecoin Mining Pool Requirements

Bytecoin uses the Cryptonight algorithm, and when it comes to choosing a mining pool for Bytecoin you’ll want to look at all the same factors you would look at when choosing a mining pool for any cryptocurrency. The most important characteristic is always a trustworthy pool that’s known to pay out reliably. You certainly don’t want to be mining at a pool that’s stealing your hash power or not paying you for all the blocks being found.

Bytecoin Mining Overview
Image via Fotolia

Quite possibly the next most important feature to look at is pool fees. Obviously the lower the fees the better, because it means you get to keep more of your mining profits. Most mining pools have 1% fees, but Bytecoin is a better coin in this respect as there are several pools that offer fee-free mining.

You also want to find out where the pool has its servers located. You need to have servers that are located close to your location. This lowers the latency and increases your hash power. So, if you’re in Europe you’ll want a mining pool with servers located in Europe. The same applies for thos in North America or Asia. The closer the servers are to you, the better.

One factor many don’t think of is the payouts offered by the pool. There are many different payout methods, some are more geared towards luck, while others try to split earnings fairly based on the hash power being contributed. You’ll see acronyms such as PPS, PPLNS, PPS+, PPSL and many others.

I don’t want to go into too much detail here because there are so many different payment schemes, but you’ll want to find out more about the benefits and disadvantages of each. You should also think about the minimum payout of the pool. If it’s too high you could be waiting weeks to receive any coins from your mining efforts.

The next factor is one that’s overlooked by many, but can be important for maintaining a decentralized network. I’m referring to the total hashing power of the pool against the entire network. If everyone continues joining the largest pool, it will eventually grow to control more than 51% of the network hashing power, leaving the network vulnerable to double spending.

While it isn’t likely that a trustworthy mining pool would do that, it’s best to avoid such centralization when possible. So, if there are smaller good pools you can join the best thing to do, for the network, is to join the smaller pool.

Lastly, if you can find information about the uptime of the pool you’ll want to check that too. Uptime should be a minimum of 95% and the closer to 100% the better. You can’t mine if the pool servers aren’t up, which completely defeats the purpose of joining the pool in the first place.

Top 5 Bytecoin Mining Pools

There are a fairly large number of mining pools for Bytecoin, which makes sense given the fact that its been around since 2012, has a large community behind it, and it’s one of the 30 largest coins by market cap. Below is a selection of the top Bytecoin mining pools.

Minergate

Minergate is one of the most popular choices due to its large number of minable coins and its ease of set-up and use. Currently Minergate contributes roughly 1.3 MH/s to the Bytecoin hash power, which is roughly 3% of the total.

Minergate Bytecoin Pool Stats
MinerGate Bytecoin Pool Stats

Fees are the standard 1% for PPLNS and 1.5% for PPS with Minergate and it has a convenient web based interface. The minimum withdrawal is 100 BCN, which isn’t the best, but also isn’t too hard to achieve.

Bytecoin-pool.org

Bytecoin-pool.org is the real top dog when it comes to Bytecoin mining, with 110 MH/s or nearly 80% of the network hash power. In order to maintain network decentralization it is really recommended that you choose a different pool.

Bytecoin-pool.org Mining Pool Statistics
Bytecoin-pool.org Mining Pool by the Numbers

Miners like Bytecoin-pool.org for its 0% fees and the ability to mine anonymously without registering. There is also a very low minimum withdrawal of just 5 BCN. There is also a handy mining profit calculator that is in your dashboard. This will allow you to calculate how much BCN you are likely to earn with a given amount of hashpower.

Bytecoin.uk (Unipool)

Bytecoin.uk is a relative newcomer, but it has rapidly gained in popularity because it also has 0% fees and a 5 BCN minimum withdrawal. In regard to hash rate, Bytecoin.uk has roughly 15 MH/s and 12.3% of the total network hash power. It’s a very good alternative to Bytecoin-pool.org for those who want to maintain a more decentralized network.

Bytecoin.uk Mining Pool Stats
Bytecoin.uk Mining Pool Stats

The pool operator of Bytecoin.uk has just launched a new website called Unipool.pro. There bytecoin pools are the same as on Bytecoin.uk but it offers users a newer interface to operate with.

Unipool Bytecoin Mining Pool
Unipool Mining Pool Statistics

Unipool also operates a Monero pool which could be beneficial for those miners who would like to switch between different cryptonight chains.

Bytecoin.party

Bytecoin.party is another newcomer to the world of Bytecoin mining pools and it gained immediate popularity by following the 0% fee structure. It remains a small mining pool however, with 2.9 MH/s in hash power and roughly 3.2% of the network.

Byetcoin Party Pool Statistics
Bytecoin Party Terms and Pool Statistics

The minimum withdrawal is a bit higher at 50 BCN, but users seem to like the mining pool and it’s a good choice for maintaining network decentralization.

Bytecoin.fairhash.org

Bytecoin.fairhash.org is a smaller pool, probably because it has a 1% fee. It does support sever other cryptonight coins however, making it useful for switching between more profitable coins when you need to.

Fairhash Bytecoin Pool Stats

With a hash rate of about 9 MH/s it controls roughly 4% of the total hash power of the network, making it the third largest Bytecoin mining pool as of August 2018. As long as you don’t mind the 1% fee this makes it a good choice for maintaining decentralization while also staying with one of the larger, more popular mining pools.

Conclusion

As you can see above, one of the attractive features of most Bytecoin mining pools is the lack of fees. I would certainly recommend choosing a 0% fee pool, but I would also say try to avoid Bytecoin-pool.org, simply because of the huge percentage of the hash power currently controlled by that pool. Or, if you want to keep things as simple as possible with a web-based interface you could use Minergate.

Currently it looks as if Bytecoin will not fork to become ASIC-resistant in the way that Monero did, so you will have to contend with the strength of ASIC rigs. This is what the Bytecoin team had to say back in April 2018 on the subject:

The miners are the main contributors in the network’s health as they are the most rational users on the chain. They weigh their costs and profit to find out which currency is the most profitable to mine at the current moment and with a particular setup.

The decision regarding forking to become ASIC-resistant will be reviewed by the Bytecoin team at the end of 2018, and given the current domination of network hash power by one mining pool it could change. Until then you’ll be best served by joining a mining pool for Bytecoin.

Featured Image via Fotolia

Posted by Steve Walters

Steve has been writing for the financial markets for the past 7 years and during that time has developed a growing passion for cryptocurrencies.