Back in the day, when Bitcoin was just taking off, mining it on your own was one of the easiest ways to get your hands on some of this cryptocurrency. Early mining didn’t require any special resources or equipment. Anyone could join in and do it from their home computer with a decent success rate.
As the time went by, however, mining new Bitcoin blocks, was becoming increasingly difficult and demanding. Today, we’ve reached the point where trying to mine Bitcoins from your home computer achieves pretty much nothing. Getting your hands on the necessary equipment for the effective mining is an expensive and complicated process, and at the end of it all, you still need to have a place where you could store this hardware and properly cool it. Plus, there is the problem of noise this kind of hardware setup produces.
For most people, financial requirements as well as other mentioned complications are too much to deal with. So, the only real answer for most of those wanting to mine Bitcoin these days are the mining pools.
What Are Mining Pools?
Bitcoin mining pools are operations that offer their users to take advantage of their resources for a certain fee. These pools take care of procuring and setting up the necessary hardware, so all users have to do is allocate their power. These platforms usually feature a fairly simple and user-friendly interface, so that even those new to the whole concept of mining can easily find their way around.
Maintenance costs vary depending on the pool you decide to join and the amount of mining power you intend to use. Since the hardware is shared by all the users, those wanting to use more power naturally need to pay higher fees. At the same time, this also gives you a chance to earn more.
Mining Pools Advantages
Some of the main advantages of Bitcoin mining pools have already been highlighted. There is no need to obtain and set up hardware on your own, no need to deal with the noise and the heat that home with such a setup, and so forth. Everything is made readily available and the owners make sure their equipment meets the necessary standards to produce the best results.
The amount of knowledge required to get involved with a mining pool is also very low. Even a complete novice can quickly figure things out and start making some money. This doesn’t apply if you wanted to set everything up on your own, even if you had necessary resources. You’d still need to figure out how to properly install your configuration for the best results.
Another big advantage found in most mining pools is that they will let you mine cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoins, so-called altcoins. These other digital currencies may not be as pricey at the time, but they are also much easier to obtain, and if you aren’t in a rush to sell, you can sit on them and wait for the market to go up. It goes without saying that this can be somewhat risky proposition, but it certainly worked well for those who decided to stick with their early-day Bitcoins.
Disadvantages of Mining Pools
One of the biggest and most obvious disadvantages of Bitcoin mining pools is the fact you have to share your profit with the others. When you mine on your own, everything you get is yours to keep. With mining pools, mining resources are shared among the users, and the same applies to any Bitcoins the process produces.
Also, you may not have the absolute control you’d have with your own rig, although most platforms strive to give their users very high levels of flexibility. There are, of course, fees you have to pay to keep everything running, but this is hardly a disadvantage, since you’d have to pay for the hardware anyway.
Should I Join a Mining Pool?
If you’re interested in becoming involved with Bitcoin mining, then finding a good mining pool is definitely a way to go. For inexperienced users, trying to set up their own mining process would take a lot of time and money, and the results you’d get still might be way lower than your expectations.
The only reason for someone inexperienced to go down this route instead of joining a mining pool if this is a project you believe you’d enjoy and you aren’t that concerned about the profits. Setting up a nice Bitcoin mining rig and getting it up and running can be a fun experience as long as you aren’t stressing about expenses.