May 2018 update – Antpool remains one of the leading bitcoin mining pools, and has expanded the number of cryptocurrencies it mines now to include BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, ETC, ZEC, DASH, SC, XMC & BTM.
A look at the Antpool Bitcoin Mining Pool (originally published April 2016)
Please note: This review is based on a relatively small amount of hashing, a few hundred ghs. The stats outlined in this review may not apply to larger miners. We hacked our antminer S1’s to mine nine pools concurrently, letting us run proportional power across a wide variety of mining pools. This review is part of our series of bitcoin mining pool reviews.
Antpool is a Chinese bitcoin mining pool operated by Bitmaintech, the creators of the Antminer series of hardware which powers a large portion of the bitcoin network (including our mining rig). Since mining it’s first block in March 2014, it has rapidly risen in hashing through 2015 to become one of the main mining pools alongside F2Pool, and now controls approximately a quarter of the bitcoin mining network.
Antpool offer a number of ways to mine once you’ve signed up. You can go peer to peer solo mine with your hardware, for a chance at a full block payment with corresponding transactions, or choose to mine on Antpool on Pay Per Last N Shares (PPLNS) with a 0% fee, Pay Per Share (PPS) with a 2.5% fee, or solo mine with a 1% fee. When mining on antpool, block transaction fees are kept by the pool.
Based in China, the pool has servers around the world, including several in Europe including Germany, which mean that you won’t be getting too many stale shares. Miner difficulty adjusts depending on your mining power, and payments are made once a day for balances over 0.001 bitcoin
Earnings build up in your dashboard, and you can monitor your hash rates on a minute, hour or daily basis. Balances accrue until you reach the the payment thresthold, and your account is paid out a few hours after midnight, for the previous day. The pool also has a nice clean interface, although some of the options such as security are buried away in the bitmain passport section, not in the pool option. This can make for a little disjointed experience when doing certain tasks. But it has 2FA, email alerts, wallet locks, and other security measures to protect your account.
The pool operators maintain their own forums, and have a presence on other forums too, but they do have simple, easy to follow documentation for the main tasks you’ll be doing on the pool. Adding workers is easy once registered, and it can take a little bit of time to start seeing stats, as the interface is not in real time. Burying deeper into the pool, there are some other cool options. For those of you who want to have a piece of blockchain history, you can pay to have a short message coded into the block of a newly minted coinbase.
So in conclusion, Antpool has established itself as one of the main players in the bitcoin mining sector, and makes it easy for everyone to get on board with a pool finding a quarter of blocks for some time now, a range of payment methods, support for maintaining peer to peer bitcoin mining, and steady predictable income. Also, even with only 500ghs running [April 2016] We were still exceeding the daily threshold, so miners big and small can get use out of it.