Cryptocurrency mining pools are groups of computers contributing their computing (hashing) power towards a common pool to solve arbitrary puzzles ahead of other miners or pools to earn a reward.
The rewards are then divided amongst pool members according to the amount of hashing power they contribute.
These pools may be accessible globally, but the geographical factor is significant as the distance between the miner’s distance from the mining pool servers affects the time it takes to correspond between the two computers.
And in mining, time is a crucial factor to consider. It means that you do not want to be located in a country like Canada and contribute your hashing power to a pool with its servers in Asia or Australia. You want the servers as close to you as you can.
This guide will highlight some of the best mining pools for miners located in North America’s Canada.
You will learn what to consider when hunting for a good mining pool, why geographical location matters, and some options worth considering for anyone in Canada thinking of mining either as a hobby or even professionally.
Does the location make a difference?
Location does make a huge difference when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies.
Choosing the location of a mining operation is almost as important as selecting the hardware and the coin to mine.
Most mining pools have multiple servers that communicate with the miners making up the pool, and this is important because they want to create servers that are as close to their memes as possible.
The distance between the mining operations’ location and that of the pool servers determines the latency between the communication of the two computers.
Latency measures how fast data gets to its destination and back to its sender within a network.
For optimal mining results, miners need to minimize their latency figures to as little as possible. Mining being a competition where speed is the most significant factor, latency becomes a major consideration as well when mining within a pool.
Technically, a mining pool operates by assigning tasks to the pool members according to their contributed hash rate and latency.
The faster miners get to tackle the more challenging tasks while the slower get the remaining tasks.
Suppose a miner is located too far away, and their latency is higher than average. In that case, it’s expected that they will receive their tasks much slower and submit completed work slower, which could typically lead to the submission of stale (or expired) work.
Stale work is often disregarded or rejected, which is a loss of earnings for both the pool and the miner.
Therefore, to increase your chances of successfully mining coins within a network, it is highly recommended to join a pool with the closest server to the location of your mining rig.
How to find the best mining pool?
When looking for a good mining pool to join, there are several factors to consider, and in this section, we will highlight the most critical aspects. They are:
Coins to mine – the most crucial factor to consider when it comes to mining is which coin you want to mine, and this determines how you want to contribute your hashing power towards keeping that network secure.
Once you decide which coin you want to mine, then move on to figure out which pool supports mining that coin.
Reputation – The reputation of the mining pool is an important consideration, given that there are several scams within the cryptocurrency space.
To determine the kind of reputation a particular pool enjoys, check online reviews and ask within forums and chat places.
Size – the size of a mining pool refers to the amount of hash rate it contributes towards a network or the overall computing power it has accumulated from its constituent member miners.
Using this metric, you can determine which pool is more likely to be profitable, especially when mining within a more established blockchain such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash. A mining pool’s size can also be used to gauge its popularity and reputation.
Location – we have mentioned this before, but it’s worth reiterating that the closer you are to a mining pool server, the higher the chances that your mining activities will be rewarded.
Try to find pools with servers located within the same continent, if not locally, in relation to where the mining rig is located.
Fees and reward system – it’s important to consider the costs of contributing your hashing power to a particular mining pool over another since it directly impacts your bottom line.
The typical fees are usually 2% or below, and anything above 2% is considered expensive. Another factor to consider is the reward system which means how the pool distributes the rewards to its members.
Mining pools do not use similar reward systems for several reasons, and it’s critical to know and understand how the pools calculate the rewards and what works for your circumstances.
The payment frequency and threshold are also another significant consideration, especially for beginning miners who need to receive their rewards as soon as possible to facilitate the growth of their investment.
Customer support and UI – beginning miners may prefer pools with more user-friendly interfaces (UI), but more often than not, the more feature-packed a UI is, the less user-friendly it becomes.
It is usually a worthy tradeoff depending on how technical a miner is and what features they require.
While choosing a pool, you can also consider customer support service by checking for user reviews or even testing the service out by calling or sending an email and gauging how prompt they are at replying and how good they are at solving problems.
We recommend considering all these factors in unison rather than selectively picking and ranking mining pools according to one or a few factors.
For example, choosing the cheapest pool and ignoring its location may be detrimental to your return on investment (ROI).
Best Mining Pools to mine in Canada
If you are located within Canada, or your mining rig is located here, your best option for a mining pool must have its servers locally or at the furthest in the United States.
Luckily, there are several options to choose from, as North America is one of the most active regions in terms of crypto mining.
Several popular mining pools have set up mining servers within North America, attracting residents in this region. Below is a list of five of the best mining pools to join in Canada.
Slushpool is one of the more popular Bitcoin (BTC) and ZCash (ZEC) mining pools, with close to 150,000 workers on the BTC pool and around 3,000 on the Zcash pool.
Canadian miners will find it more appealing to join Slashpool as it has one of its servers installed in Canada.
Other servers are located in the USA’s East Coast, Singapore, Russia, Japan, and Europe.
Steps to join:
- For mining Bitcoin, acquire some ASIC mining hardware that supports mining on the SHA-256 algorithm.
- Create a Slushpool account here.
- Configure your mining rig by naming your workers and providing the appropriate server location settings.
- Register a payout wallet address.
- Confirm that your rig is mining by checking the mining tab.
F2Pool is a China-based mining pool that was established back in 2013 to mine Bitcoin.
Its supported coin list is currently more than 30 with support for Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic.
The mining pool has servers located in several countries, including Russia, Germany, China, and the United States.
Miners in Canada are advised to connect their miners to the US-based server to reduce latency and increase response time.
F2Pool uses the PPS+ reward distribution scheme and charges 2.5% in pool fees for mining BTC. Those costs vary for other coins.
Steps to join F2Pool:
- Invest in appropriate crypto mining hardware depending on your coin of choice.
- Create an F2Pool account here.
- Configure your settings to reflect the servers closest to you and provide a crypto wallet address to receive your earnings.
- Check to confirm whether your mining rig is mining through the F2Pool dashboard.
AntPool is another China-based mining pool currently contributing about 14% of the total Bitcoin network hash rate, coming in second after F2Pool. It is owned and operated by leading ASIC equipment manufacturer Bitmain Tech Ltd.
The Chinese mining pool charges 2.5% fees to its pool members through two reward schemes: PPLNS & PPS.
Its servers are located in several countries, including the United States, Russia, Germany, Hong Kong, Dubai, England, Beijing, Shenzhen, Qingdao, and Hangzhou.
Canada-based miners can connect to the US-based servers for optimal performance.
AntPool supports mining pools in the following coins: BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, ZEC, and DASH.
To join AntPool, follow these steps:
- Invest in mining equipment depending on which coin you wish to mine.
- Visit the AntPool homepage here to create an account. AntPool also allows users to create sub-accounts through which they can easily manage their miners.
- Visit the AntPool settings page to configure your miner to mine with AntPool and provide your server location as well as the crypto wallet address to receive your rewards.
- After making configurations, make sure that you check your miners are correctly mining by checking the AntPool dashboard.
4. BTC.com Pool
BTC.com’s mining pool is part of the wider BTC.com family of services, including a crypto exchange, web and desktop wallets, and a news publication.
The BTC.com mining pool was established in 2016 to provide a mining platform for several small-scale miners.
It has grown since then to contribute about 10% of the total Bitcoin network hash rate. The pool supports mining of the following coins: BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DCR, and CKB.
Servers for the BTC.com mining pool are located in several places, including Singapore, Beijing, Shenzhen, the EU, and the United States.
To start mining on BTC.com, follow these simple steps:
- For Bitcoin, invest in an SHA-256 miner such as the AntMiners created by Bitmain.
- Create a crypto wallet through BTC.com or buy a hardware wallet.
- Visit the BTC.com mining pool homepage (here) and create an account.
- Create a sub-account to help with the easy management of your crypto miners.
- Configure your miners to communicate with the US-based server and provide a withdrawal address for your rewards.
- Start mining and check whether you are mining by confirming the dashboard metrics.
5. Binance Pool
Binance pool is one of the most recently launched mining pools by the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
If you joined this pool, check Mining Software For Binance Pool.
The pool has leapfrogged several of its competitors by piggybacking off its parent company’s reputation and resources.
So far, the mining pool contributes about 7% of the entire Bitcoin network’s hash rate, making it one of the largest and the more popular options for BTC miners.
Miners in the Binance pool can choose to mine amongst the three available options currently, which are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).
Up to three settlement modes are supported, and these are FPPS, PPS+, & PPS.
To join this pool, follow these simple steps:
- Invest in mining equipment depending on the coin you wish you mine.
- Register for a Binance account here or log in to your Binance account and navigate to the mining pool homepage.
- Create a mining account to start mining. You can create as many accounts as you need to facilitate effective miner management.
- Configure your miners to communicate with Binance servers and provide your withdrawal wallet.
Mining cryptocurrencies can be a very lucrative venture, and now that more companies are establishing mining operations in North America, it’s even easier to start mining from Canada.
Hopefully, in this guide, you have learned how to choose the best mining pool, why location and your proximity to the nearest mining pool server matters, and some of the leading mining pools to join from Canada.