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Bitcoin Antminer hardware and mining pools: An Introduction

Bitcoin Antminer hardware and mining pools: An Introduction

What is an Antminer?

An Antminer refers to a brand name for ASIC hardware.Therefore, an Antminer is a Bitcoin mining hardware.  Several Antminers exist in the market starting with the ANTMINER S1 with a speed of 180GH/s to the latest Antminer S9 with a speed of 13.5 TH/S.

An Illustration of an Antminer hardware

Vendors of this hardware such as the Antminer Distribution EU are out of stock due to the high demand facing the Bitcoin mining hardware.

S9 Antminer

Mining Pools

Now that you’ve had a sneak insight into what is an Antminer which is basically a Bitcoin mining hardware, let’s now discuss what mining pools are.

What is a Mining Pool?

Mining pools refer to groups composed of miners cooperating and have an agreement to share block rewards according to their contribution to the mining hashing power.  Demystifying this definition further it is easy to describe a mining pool as the pooling of miner’s resources together whereby, these miners share their processing power over the blockchain network. Thereafter, the miners split rewards according to each person contribution in solving a block.  A block is a file where data relating to the Bitcoin network is recorded and it cannot be removed or altered in future.

Miners started forming mining pools after it was difficult to undertake mining to the point it took some miners a year to mine a single block. Thus, miners started forming pools where they brought together their resources in order to generate more blocks and ensure they receive rewards consistently without waiting for years.

Even though these mining pools became highly desirable to average miners because of the ability to smooth out rewards with more predictability, they espouse mining pool owners with more power.  This creates the problem of centralization within one pool which is a problem blockchain seeks to solve and may render Bitcoin to be similar to other payment systems.

Further reading: Ethereum smart contracts.

List of mining pools

The list below highlights some of the leading bitcoin mining pools.

Leading mining pools worldwide
  1. AntPool

Antpool is the leading mining pool based in China and mines 15 percent of all blocks maintained by BitMain.

    2. F2Pool/DiscusFish

This mining pool is based in China and it mines 12 percent of all blocks.

    3. BitFury Pool

It is among the leading producers of Bitcoin chips and mining hardware. Presently, BitFury mines about 12 percent of all bitcoins across its three Georgian data centers. It is impossible to join this mining pool as it is a private pool.

    4. BTCC

BTCC is number three in China involved in the Bitcoin exchange business. It currently mines about 7 percent of total blocks.

    5. ViaBTC

The mining pool is somewhat new and has been around for one year mostly its mining pools targeting Chinese miners.

    6. BW Pool

Established in 2014 BW is another Chinese mining pool and contributes 8 percent of all blocks.

    7. BTC.Top

Interesting this mining pool does not have a website indicating its a private pool and relatively new in the block mining business.

   8. Slush

Slush mines about 6 percent of all Bitcoin despite being the first mining pool.  The pool is most popular and probably one of the best irrespective of not being the largest.

Side Note:

It is evident from the above list of mining pools China is home to most of the Bitcoins and exports to the rest of the world.  Georgia, Sweden and the US also have a stake in the total blocks mined worldwide. However, my thought as I finish this post. What is Africa and other developing nations doing to solve their problems such as corruption, unregistered assets?

Are we waiting to import more technologies to solve our challenges despite the enormous opportunities?

Feel free to share your insights in the comments section below.

You can also check out this post on crypto exchanges from Africa.



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