In the last few years, the value of cryptocurrencies went up significantly. Unsurprisingly, this lead to an increased interest in Bitcoin mining. But few expected Bitcoin to stir up so much interest.
As Investopedia reports, Bitcoin mining is up 8,500% year-over-year from 2018 to 2019. And that number has only increased in 2020.
With the growing interest, it’s possible more first-time Bitcoin miners will enter the pools in the following months. But beware, as more mining power enters the network, difficulty increases, making it harder to be profitable. You need to know as much as possible about mining pools if you think you want to be part of the next influx of new miners.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the oldest mining pools in the industry, the F2Pool. We’re going to talk about its history, see what features it offers, and list some of its biggest pros and cons.
Mining is not the fastest way to acquire bitcoins.
Buying bitcoin is the fastest way.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our review of F2Pool.
A mining pool is just that: a group of miners who were once on their own but then decided to work together and “pool” all their mining processing power into a single mining entity. Before there were mining pools, individual miners worked by themselves.
If they found a block, they got the entire block reward to themselves. But any mining that did not result in finding a block was a loss. Mining was a high risk venture because it was mostly a matter of luck if you found a block.
Miners needed to find a way to make their income more predictable. This is why mining pools were created.
By “pooling” all their mining power into one, all the miners in the pool could increase the likelyhood of finding a block as a group (since there is more hashing power). The miners then divide the block reward based on how much hashing power each miner contributed to the pool for that block.
You may make less money each time a block is found, but you will find more blocks in total. Because of this, income is more regular and you are paid more often. This makes it easier for miners to plan out their operations.
So what makes f2Pool different than other mining pools?
China is the biggest market for Bitcoin mining in the world. The country’s miners are responsible for 66% of the Bitcoin computer power around the globe.
Why is mining in China so appealing?
The main advantages of mining in China are faster setup times and lower initial CapEx which, along with closer proximity to where ASICs are assembled, have driven industry growth there
It’s not that surprising then why someone would want to found their Bitcoin mining company there, and that’s the case with F2Pool.
The company was originally launched in 2013 in Beijing. Due to its popularity, it soon expanded to other continents.
The service is now available in Russia, Canada, and the United States, among other countries. Today, with 17.5% of the market in its control, F2Pool is the second-largest Bitcoin mining pool on the market.
And keep in mind, F2Pool could potentially become the biggest pool soon. Just for reference, Poolin, the biggest pool, holds only 0.7% more market share than F2Pool. And at 9%, Slush Pool, another of the biggest pools, controls just over half of what Poolin commands.
In addition to Bitcoin, F2Pool miners can also mine for Litecoin, Ethereum, and multiple other cryptocurrencies. All in all, you can mine for more than 40 cryptocurrencies in this pool.
Although the website was originally created just for the Chinese market, the company now has an English language version of its website and the interface is extremely easy to use for miners of all experience levels.
We’ve familiarized ourselves with the inner-workings of the company and talked about how F2Pool works. Now’s the time to talk about some of its main functions and services offered. For most people, the services offered are what makes or breaks a mining pool.
The biggest downside of F2Pool is their fee. Every transaction comes with a 4% fee, which is certainly not small. In fact, this is double what slush charges. However, many miners clearly fee the fees are worth it, given the size of the pool. Numbers don’t lie.
For instance, they offer daily payments and every time you reach 0.001 Bitcoin in your wallet, the company sends money to you automatically. They operate on a PPS system, which means they reward the people who mine the most on their network.
Having good support is crucial for both experienced and inexperienced users. You need to talk to a knowledgeable person if you have any doubts or questions about your account or payments.
Fortunately, anyone who’s had any experience with the F2Pool customer service knows that they are responsive and knowledgeable in their field. They guarantee a response to all inquiries in less than 24 hours. However, you can contact them instantly through their chat if you have a real emergency.
F2Pool wouldn’t be so widely-used if they didn’t have good security. The website has the HTTPS protocol and the service comes with a wallet-lock feature, which protects your investment in case your account gets hijacked.
Just keep in mind that the email address you used to register can’t be replaced. The company forbids it for security reasons to prevent identity theft on their network.
Now that you’re familiar with F2Pool’s history and some of its core features, we’re going to list all of its positive and negative aspects in place.
You can use this list to remind yourself about F2Pool’s pros and cons without reading the article if you start wondering whether you should use the service or not.
Poolin and F2Pool are very close in market share, and both pools make up a significant chunk of the worldwide mining hash rate. While both pools have some similarities, one apparent difference is the lack of getblocktemplate support in F2Pool. This mining protocol is decentralized and drastically reduces the network load on the network.
Just like Poolin, F2Pool supports a plethora of altcoins on top of Bitcoin. They do support a few extra and unusual altcoins, including GRIN, Ethereum Classic, and Siacoin. They also support merged mining with Vcash, Namecoin, and ELA.
One might prefer F2Pool due to their lower fee of 2.5% and daily payouts. They work on the PPS+ (Pay Per Share Plus) mining model, so it is a different mining share experience than Poolin.
When it’s all said and done, what do we recommend? Should you use F2Pool or not? You already know that the answer is yes if you read the review carefully.
Not only is F2Pool one of the oldest mining pools still running, but it’s also one of the best on the market, 7 years after the initial launch.
The only downside to F2Pool is that they charge high fees relative to other mining pools.
However, considering the rewards and services offered, the fee is definitely worth it. After a few months of mining, once you start making a healthy profit, you probably won’t even pay attention to the fee.
Review by: Jordan Tuwiner