A look at Bitcoin Affiliate Network’s Mining Pool
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.
Update: 6th January 2016 – BitAffNet has suspended registrations to new miners in March 2015, and payouts have recently not been meeting the automatic thresholds. Payouts suffered long delays, and the pool was shut down for most of 2015.
We came across Bitcoin Affiliate Network when reviewing the rather nifty Blocktrail.com tool, and signed up to give one of the newer and smaller pools a look. They are mining about a block and a half a day, and were founded this year in 2014 in the US, although has servers distributed all across the world.
Being brand new, they stand out with a refreshing and integrated design, and at this stage they are adding new features and improvements about every two or three weeks. A lot of mining pools have stayed relatively static since they were made and have neglected their front end interfaces. Not with these guys though. they put data front and centre, presented in a nice near-real time interface. Graphs look good, giving you good useful information, and update regularly without refreshing. This lets you quickly see a snapshot of what’s happening, and then you have lots of options to drill down. When I started mining with them a few weeks ago, they had about 1.5 petahashes, but this has been steadily increasing up to about 5 petahashes (17032015)
BitAffNet’s pool operates using a Pay Per Share basis comparable to Polmine and Discus Fish, the other two main public PPS pools. They also pay a bonus 1% and merge mine Namecoin, using vardiff so difficulty will adjust based on your hashing power. They have servers all over the world including one in Ireland, and give a geo-targeting pool URL which will find the pool closest to you, ensuring that you reduce stale shares and work.
Earnings build up in the dashboard, with an automatic payout queued without transaction fees when your mining balance crosses the 0.001 threshold. I have it set to 24 hours and get it every morning at 7.30am GMT, but you can configure it on several frequencies, as often as once an hour for those of you with more power, so you’ll see your mining balance build up a lot more than others. It should be noted that there has been occasions where there was a slight delay in payments, but these were paid in full, and the timer then paid out using that time as the start time. There is a huge wealth of information available and presented well between graphs and data, so excel warriors among you will have plenty of data to get to grips with. The data also feeds through onto mobile devices although the display hasn’t been optimised yet.
The pool operators have an IRC based chat room, which any time I’ve gone into, day or night, there’s been someone friendly who’s been there to help, or point me to a place that did. I found one or two minor bugs which I reported, and got a response within a day, and they added one to their project management, so it’s positive to see that they’re continuing to build out the features, not just leave something there half completed, like some of the other pools I’ve come across.
Communication options are easy to switch on and off, letting you choose whether you want to receive emails for logins, payouts, blocks found, idle workers, or their newsletter. The pool also has a pin code, for securing some of the more sensitive functions,but doesn’t let you lock an address, if you want to do that. It does use https though. Adding workers is straightforward, there are rankings so you can see how you compare to others, and the option to be anonymous. If you choose not to and find a block with one of your hashes, your name is shown for kudos. It also has a QR code for access to a mobile app, but we didn’t check this in this review.
The pool front end is changing iteratively and the back end is stable enough. During about a month, there was one evening where the Irish pool server went down, but as I’m now using the geo sorting link, if something like that happens in the future it would roll over to the London based server, so I don’t think an issue for new miners. Documentation on the site is very light, but with the pool being displayed in the way that it is, it’s very intuitive, and not daunting at all with everything you need on one screen, and more detail on others if you want it.
So in conclusion, Bitcoin Affiliate Network’s Mining Pool is a breath of fresh air from many of the longer established pools. It is a work in progress, but going in a really good direction with their interface and presenting lots of data. It is giving a very stable payout rate at the moment, which they pay out on schedule like clockwork, and you’ll be able to generate a steady predictable income from your hardware and electricity. There are occasional delays in payment, but so far have always paid out in full. Their minimum payout threshold means even smaller scale or hobbiest miners will see their bitcoin wallets grow regularly, and after mining across eight different pools for this series of reviews, we’re going to leave ours pointed with them for the forseeable future.
(Review updated 3/12 to remove out of date PPS rate, and add namecoin support. 21/12 with updated pool speed, 26/12 changed bonus payout from 10% to 1%)
– 17th March 2015 The pool has expanded the amount of statistics steadily and incorporated daddy cool as an alert when a block is found. Recently there have been delays when the pool was waiting to find blocks, or for blocks to confirm, but these have paid out in full when the pool caught up a day or two later. So the payout control isn’t working quite as expected, so review score for earnings dropped from 5 to 4. Also updated review to include dogecoin. 30th March, Score for regularity of payouts dropped to 1 in light of recent delays in payments.