Mining pool comparison
This page lists all known mining pools along with many of the important details needed to choose a Litecoin pool which best suits you.
It is usually a requirement to register an account on the pool, and configure your workers on the pool's portal account pages before mining. Each pool may have different payment methods--select the method which works best for you.
A frequently updated list of each pool's hashrates, as well as a hashrate api are available. If possible, please help the network by mining with a pool that doesn't have a large part of the network hashrate.
The following is a list of P2Pool nodes that can be used by the public. All nodes require no registration and can be connected to by simply passing your LTC address as the username and anything as the password. The nodes are also interchangeable due to the nature of P2Pool and, as such, it is recommended to setup more than one in your miner configuration as a fallback.
A more comprehensive list of P2Pool nodes is available from geeks.pl.
"Green" pools are more likely to have active webmasters and be more responsive to the needs of their miners.
- Name - The name of the pool and the pool's URL.
- Reward - See Reward types.
- Fee % - The percentage that the pool charges as a fee.
- Launched - The launch date of the pool.
- Forum - The pool's forum announcement and usually its general public support and info thread. Must be a 3rd party site.
- Location - The geographical locations of the pool's servers.
- VDF - Vardiff, short for "variable-difficulty", optimizes the difficulty based on your worker's capacity. Does the pool have vardiff?
- STX - Blocks are not always 50 LTC because they can contain transaction fees. Does the pool share transaction fees with the miners?
- LB - Load balancing helps maintain uptime in case a server goes down. Does the pool have multiple mining servers?
- SSL - SSL is an encryption protocol that protects your privacy. Does the pool have SSL on the main website?
- TLS - Does the pool support TLS encryption for Stratum connections (prevents hijacking of mining connections)?
- BFR - Block Finder Reward. Does the pool offer an extra reward to miners who find a block?
The list is sorted by the date the pool was announced (Launched)--clicking a column header will change the sort method.
Large mining pools
- It is recommended not to use mining pools which have a large part of the total network hash rate. The site Learn Cryptography has more information behind the risks of having pools grow to a size of 51% or more of the total network.
- Think of it this way, what made you decide to join one of these big pools? Was it because bigger is better? For mining, bigger doesn't mean it's better. Joining a bigger pool does not mean bigger or faster payouts, especially when the payment system is probably the same one used by nearly every other pool (PPLNS). Maybe because the big pools are established and trusted? Many of the large pools were created during the Litecoin rush of April 2013. There are numerous smaller pools that were created at the same time or earlier.
- You can take a look at The Litecoin hash rate distribution chart and avoid joining the biggest pools. Or if you are currently mining them, please Spread the Hashes and consider switching to a pool with a smaller percentage of the total network.
- CPPSRB - Capped Pay Per Share with Recent Backpay is a calculation that provides the maximum payout without bankrupting the pool.
- DGM - Double Geometric Method. A hybrid between PPLNS and Geometric reward types that enables to operator to absorb some of the variance risk. Operator receives portion of payout on short rounds and returns it on longer rounds to normalize payments.
- POT - Pay On Target. High variance reward system to those that like a gamble. You get more for shares of higher difficulty, meaning you get a big reward if you're the block finder.
- PPLNS - Pay Per Last N Shares. Similar to proportional, but instead of looking at the number of shares in the round, it looks at the last N shares, regardless of round boundaries.
- PPS - Pay Per Share. Each submitted share is worth a certain amount of Litecoin. It is risky for pool operators, hence the fee is highest.
- Prop - Proportional. When a block is found, the reward is distributed among all workers proportionally to how many shares each of them has found.
- RBPPS - Round-Based Pay Per Share. Like PPS, but payouts are delayed until a block is found and confirmed by the network. If a found block gets orphaned, earnings relative to it are not paid.
There is no "normal" or "standard" or "base" difficulty for Litecoin pools. Difficulty is measured in the same way as Bitcoin difficulty, but since the hashing algorithm used by Litecoin is much more complex (and therefore slower), pools need to use a share difficulty lower than 1.
In the first months after the launch of Litecoin, most pools used a share difficulty of 2-16 or 2-15. They could have used even lower values, but there was no point in doing that. After GPU mining became widespread, most pools moved to higher difficulties, such as 2-12. The reason behind this was to decrease bandwidth usage, as a higher share difficulty results in fewer shares being submitted. While this change doesn't affect mining rewards, there is a minor downside, and that's that the precision of speed estimates gets drastically reduced.
For this reason, slower miners may prefer pools with a lower share difficulty, so that they can get more precise statistics on their workers. To overcome this problem, some pools implement adaptive solutions that serve work units with variable difficulty depending on the speed of each miner. This technique is commonly referred to as vardiff.
Even if officially difficulty is defined the same way as for Bitcoin, for historical reasons the value is sometimes multiplied by 65536 (216). This is in part due to the fact that early versions of cgminer did not support non-integer difficulties, and 2-16 was the lowest share difficulty used by Litecoin pools.