Thursday , April 15 2021

Hidden commissions on mining pools

Let’s suppose you are just dipping your toes in the proverbial ocean of cryptocurrency mining. Surely, one of the biggest factors that you need to take into account is the commission fees that different pools take. After all, nobody wants their hard-mined crypto to go into somebody else’s (the mining pool) pocket. Luckily, most pools boast very minimal commission fees in order to stay competitive among the competition, so finding a crypto mining pool with attractively small commissions that let you keep most of what you mined is not exactly a hard thing to do, right?

One would think. Sadly, years of experience on the internet have wised us up regarding what we read, and taking things at face value is just not really recommended anymore. This is why we entered four famous crypto mining pools (supportXMR, mineXMR, Nanopool and 2Miners) to put their alleged commission fees to the test. The methodology that we followed consisted of mining for four days in each of the aforementioned mining pools, keeping tabs on the difficulty sent, and then counting the total difficulty of the pool and their contribution to it. Afterward, we counted the blocks found by the pool to estimate the corresponding reward. Once this reward has been calculated, it is compared to the actual rewards that we got from the pool. The delta (the difference between the estimated rewards and the ones that were actually paid) is the actual percentage of commission.

Please note that these rewards are only applicable to mining pools that have a PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) mining system. This system is more profitable than the PPS (Pay Per Share) system, especially in the long run where it shows to be roughly 5% more profitable.

These are the alleged commission fees that the different mining pools list on their websites:

  • supportXMR: 0.60%
  • mineXMR: 1%
  • Nanopool: 1%
  • 2miners: 1%

It does seem like mining pools have reached some sort of consensus to have truly minuscule commission fees, but the question still lingers — can (or should) we trust this data?

After four days of mining, we yielded data which was then properly analyzed according to the methodology outlined above. These results, to the chagrin of many miners, speak for themselves. These are the actual commission fees, as indicated by our research:

  • supportXMR: 3.33%
  • mineXMR: 17.61%
  • Nanopool: 6.98%
  • 2miners: 37.93%*

*: The amount of blocks found was not enough to determine the actual commission fees, which is why we declare the data for 2miners as invalid.

Once again, the results speak for themselves, and they spell disaster. Even the crypto mining pool that approaches its listed commission fees the closest, supportXMR, charges more than five times the amount of money that they allegedly do. The worst offender, as it can be clearly seen, is mineXMR, having an actual commission fee of 17.61%. That means that if you were to mine 5 XMR, you would end up with only 4.1, because the remaining XMR would go to the mining pool as a commission.

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