Hello Fellow Miners!
Forewarning: Profitability using aggregators needs to be considered carefully before incorporating multi-pool as a strategy. Please consider that your hardware needs to spend moments switching work efforts to calculate different hashes and that the aggregate mining time may be slightly decreased compared to mining one coin. Furthermore that profitability is based on the highest price calculated from a predetermined price point in the past whereas the exchange is constantly moving volume. There are many many times where a bot or a person is intending to buy or sell portions of the coin showing the best profitability such that a coin may be the most profitable but there is only .0002BTC available on that market to purchase that alt coin.
With those things considered, I’ve chosen to still move forward with using Multimining for Scrypt, and a small portion of my sha256 power as well to try things out. I’ve been mulling it over about how to write this article for a while because I’m under unique circumstances – I have Scrypt hardware and Sha256 hardware and I’ve been looking at multipools for quite a while now.
As a quick primer for the uninitiated: a Multipool is a website or set of closely identical websites that is used to be able to easily switch to a different mining pool. Pools are what allow folks with smaller hashrates to “pool” up together to solve blocks and be rewarded with freshly minted coins. Not too long ago a concept of a coin-switching pool came along. These pools will use external aggregators like coinchoose, dustcoin, or coinwarz to determine current profitability of all pools offered and will actively mine the most profitable coin. This newfound freedom in coin-mining automation allowed users to let their hardware mine to a specific pool URL that changes to the “profitable coin of the hour” so to speak, liberating hours for us to do other things like write this blog post, or become emotionally crushed by the plight that is the Mass Effect 3 ending.
These coin switching pools use their own set of valuating metrics such as “lowest difficulty to mine” (idea behind that is that if you mine lower difficulty coins you will likely bank more of them – when the difficulty goes back up because the coin shows greater profitability, you can then proceed to sale your alt-coin earnings to btc or ltc), there is the “greatest profitability”, and even in one case, factors such as “last 4 new coins” or “our picks” exist to provide the best flexibility.
But Frankenmint – I just want MONEY!!!! Not to have to baghold speculative currencies and manage the act of selling them on exchanges! I promise you that this is indeed possible – I’ve been using Cryptsy because it has, from what I see, the highest liquidity available to buy your newly mined coins. They offer an autosell feature that is quite robust. as seen below.
Simply generate a new wallet address for each of your coins shown in the multipool and enable the auto-sell with one of the settings above. Then, in your multi-pool wallets/balances page, update this information with your newly created wallets.
I have been hesitating on writing this review because there are now, it seems, dozens of multi-coin pools if not more in existence. To complicate matters further I have been mining on both sha256 multipools and scrypt multipools which could add to the confusion depending on what you came here for. So without any regard to alphabetical order, here is a preliminary roundup and review of some multicoin pools!
Dsync was historically my favorite alt-coin multipool, because it has a simple interface. After navigating a few times, it is very easy to remember, it allows you to quickly and easily change the mining pool by just changing the beginning coin ticker symbol such that if you want to mine Tekcoin simply navigate to tek.dsync.net, for Zetacoin type: zet.dsync.net, and so forth. Another benefit to Dsync is that they are a Sha256 multipool which was important for me because I do run a Block Erupter Farm, that I am also hoping to see recoup many more times its own ROI value over the course of ownership. One disadvantage that I didn’t like was that each pool is separate. You need to recreate accounts for each pool. Pool Fee: 1.5%
Multipool was the 1st Coin-Switching pool that I tried – to be honest, I didn’t really like it too much. I’ve tried it for both Sha256 coins and also for Scrypt and found that its hashrate didn’t seem to accurately correlate with my own local rate all too often. To put it in perspective, I’ve noticed that almost all my hash rates have a small bit of variation to where I am +- 1 to 3 percent on the pools calculated hash rate compared to the miner output settings on my own hardware. In the case of Multipool I was seeing large dips oftentimes 10-30 percent below expected hashrate and never close to total hashrate – this was observed when attempting to mine sha256 coins, but I did have more closely accurate readings from time to time when mining with scrypt. My main reasonings for not caring too much for this multipool was because they seem to bundle large sha256 coins that have an incredibly high difficulty like PPC coin and BTC. Bundling these high difficulty coins forces the pool to compete with huge pools like eligius, ghash.io, Coinotron (PPC coin) and BTCguild. If I wanted to mine those coins, I would have joined those higher hashrate pools, in hope of acquiring more consistent payouts (Those who tout that Mining should be equal in rewards and balance out fail to factor in the increased difficulty which causes diminished payouts long term – I don’t mind taking diminished payouts in the fake world, but in the real world, I would totally rather use a larger pool to secure consistent payouts without variability (fancy word for being lucky/unlucky in finding blocks or not). The world at large tends to agree with my reasoning as shown by this hashrate distribution graph here. Furthermore I don’t like that there are only 5 sha256 coins to choose from – and they are the old legacy coins at that. Take out BTC and PPC and there’s only Zetacoin, Terracoin, and Freicoin to effectively mine. I rarely see those coins breakout in price which is even more the reason to ignore this pool for sha256 offerings. Their android app was very lackluster IMHO. On a positive note, I do like that you can use a cryptsy key to load your wallet addresses into the system automatically, I just wish I tried it later because at that point all my addresses had already been entered manually. Pool Fee: 1.5%
Pool Warz is a newcommer compared to the last two but it is a new venture started by the prior mentioned Coinwarz pool. This multi-pool has the richest interface by far and is very easy to navigate – To switch pools only requires pressing a button on the dashboard page without needing to set your credentials for each piece of hardware. This pool also offers both Sha256 and scrypt algorythms but only requires one pool url to utilize. “How can they do this? Its not possible to use Sha256 asic hardware on Scrypt!” I wondered this too in confusion before Ryan from support clarified for me:
Currently there is an invisible wall between SHA and scrypt workers. If you assign a worker to a scrypt pool then that worker will be branded as “scrypt” behind the scenes and you will only be able to switch that worker between scrypt pools. Likewise if you assign a worker to a SHA pool it will be branded “SHA”.
When you click the quick switch button on a scrypt pool only the workers that are branded as scrypt or not currently branded will switch. (this is the way it should work, please let us know if you see any bugs in this process). To “unbrand” a worker you go into the workers tab on the coins pop-up modal and click the “x” to remove it. This will make that worker a free agent again. The next switch button you click will pickup and brand all of the free agents.
While the fee is a higher than other pools, they offer an option for larger scale miners who anticipate banking more than $600 in coin per month could benefit from upgrading to a pro account which will limit the fee to a flat rate $12 dollars. This has the potential to save money over other pools that charge the flat rate 1.5% regardless of hashrate provided. Pool Fee: 2 % OR 0% with $12 Per month subscription.
ISpace.co.uk is an Sha256 multipool that has a LOT of great features. As of this writing it appears that they still offer a 0% mining fee. I believe (not yet fact – just an opinionated belief) that this is possible due to affiliate referrals that are posted through links to exchanges – because this is an inconsistent stream there may be a change to a fee based structure in the future (as an example – searching through some of the posts on bitcointalk there is a mention of a fee structure to be setup at the end of february – however as of today I still see no mentions of a fee on their website).
ISpace is great because they offer SEVERAL different multipool setups! I am currently using the New coins pool so that I don’t have to necessarily keep afloat of the newest coins available, but have an opportunity to mine them while the difficulty is low. I personally like Ispace very much because they, by FAR, have the largest collection of sha256 coins and don’t waste my precious
This is the newest multipool implementation available within this review, so new in fact that it is still in BETA as of writing. This name does sound familiar to a larger pool I mentioned earlier and for good reason – Eleutheria, the Pool Operator of BTCGuild has put together this new multipool. I personally like it for several reasons: There are several scrypt based coins to choose from, but by default the pool switches coins based on profitability every 15 minutes, a ‘middlecoin’ like feature where an option is provided to automatically convert your alt-coins over to BTC without needing to transfer the coins onto an exchange. Let’s say you wanted the benefits of being able to have your Alts Convert to BTC instantly, but wanted to keep a reserve amount of, say, Dogecoin (Pronounced dohj) should the price go SUCH WOW! They’ve got you covered there too with a Coin reserve settings list on your wallet page, while still retaining the standard transfer threshold mechanism, colloquially known as “cash out” found elsewhere.
All in all, I am currently using this ScryptGuild pool because it helps me gain the best of both worlds by consistently cashing out my coin and but collecting the ones I think could SUCH WOW us in the future 😉
In closing, I have not found a multi-pool that allows you to specify which particular coins to mine. All coin-switching pools will either allow you to multi-coin mine all, a setup type, or only mine a particular coin (denoted by a different port on the end of the address, usually) but not a combination of your choosing. Sure you smart cookies out there will say, just set load balancing to true and include quotas on your on your cgminer.conf settings its in the readme! But that would defeat the purpose of multimining unless you’re only trying to pick your static mix – Maybe I’ll write an article explaining how – leave comments if interested.