All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
After the closure of ScryptGuild Scrypt mining pool earlier this year, BTC Guild – one of the large Bitcoin mining pools was apparently facing the possibility of getting shut down. The creator and operator of the BTC Guild mining pool has announced that the two main reasons for deciding to close the pool are the increase of attempts to hack the service (though it never has been hacked) and the new regulations that the US government is pushing for the Bitcoin related businesses. To read the official announcement posted on Bitcointalk about the closure of the pool. Eleuthria, the owner and operator of the BTC Guild, has however since announced that there is significant interest from multiple parties to purchase the pool, so the ownership of the pool could change and it may continue to operate under different management. Today however some more good news were announced – apparently we are not going to be loosing the BTC Guild pool, a service many of us have been using for years mining Bitcoins, and it is most likely not going to be sold either, but will continue to operate. Here is the latest post regarding the situation from Eleuthria:
A brief update on the weekend’s events: BTC Guild is not closing down in the near future. BTC Guild is not being sold in the near future. I am beginning to go over options with some colleagues in other countries and lawyers to consider moving BTC Guild to another country. This may involve taking on a partner, but I would maintain the primary role in the management and operations of the pool itself. More on this will be made available as it develops.
That process will be the answer to the concern over regulation. The second part, the concern about the cost of a successful compromise of the pool, is something I am working on addressing. I have already made some changes to the pool hot wallet to significantly decrease the amount of funds kept online. It will mean failed withdrawals may happen more frequently (we haven’t had that happen in many months), though it is preferable to have a few withdrawals delayed for 12-24 hours than have the site shut down due to a compromise.
I am also exploring ways that the pool could make a transition to coinbase payments to further reduce the amount of funds at risk at any given time. This probably won’t happen for a few months, if it happens at all.
The ScryptGuild Scrypt mining multipool has announced that they are going to be shutting down on September 27, 2014. However the mining servers will halt in 2 weeks, which is August 10th. Users will have until September 20th to withdraw their balances before the coin daemons and wallets are taken offline. The information about ScryptGuild shutting down is apparently not directly related to the New York Bitcoin Regulations that are currently in the works, however there is information that the BTC Guild mining pool might also be closed down if these regulations are approved in their current form.
Under the current proposals (subject to public comment and revision), operating a pool within the US will be impossible to do legally without obtaining significant personal information on ALL users, not just those in the US. There would also be significant financial costs which would exceed the amount of money the pool has generated since inception. Since there is no way anybody will mine on a pool with those requirements, it means that any pool in the US will be forced to shut down, or operate illegally and hope they’re ignored.
If the regulations are finalized (this is unlikely to happen for at least 3-4 months if not more) in a form that still applies to pools, the pool will be forced to shutdown. This news post is being made as notice that this is an exception to the stated 3-month closure window identified in our FAQ and the forum thread. If the regulations pass, the 3-month window will be reduced to 45 days due to legal requirement to cease operations prior to the regulations taking effect.
We’ve been using the CoinKing multipool for over two weeks already, trying it out, and we are ready to share some feedback based on our own personal experience. When we have started with CoinKing it was one of the most profitable automatic profit based coin switching pool according to PoolPicker and currently it is still the most profitable one for few of the crypto algorithms supported by the service. CoinKing offers an nice looking and easy to use service, supports a lot of coins and most of the more popular algorithms and gives the users an option to automatically exchange the mined coins not only in the more traditional BTC and LTC, but in many other coins as well. The standard pool fee is 1% and if you decide to use the automatic exchange of the mined coins into some other crypto currency there will be another extra fee for the conversion process (the fees are the ones charged by the exchange used for the conversion), different based on the coin you select to get the payout in. Another very useful thing that we’ve liked a lot is the list of many notifications that you can activate manually, so you know when the pool does something like automatic payout or coin conversion etc.
The pool has Scrypt, Scrypt-N, SHA256, X11 and X13 multiports and you have the option to either mine in a multipool configuration with CoinKing choosing the most profitable coin at the moment based on the exchange price and network difficulty or to mine directly a specific coin you choose from the list of supported ones. We like that CoinKing is constantly adding new coins, so that the profitability for the miners can remain high and some coins do get removed as well for the same reason. It is no wonder that the poll is keeping top places in terms of profitability as many other pools kind of forget to add new coins and remove old ones thus mining no so profitable coins and offer a lower additional profit. In CoinKing you will see that the highest number of supported coins is in the Scrypt and X11 domains as with the other supported algorithms there are not so many coins available, or at least not so much that are more established and offer good profitability.
One of the best things we like the most with CoinKing is the fact that you can select not only to mine specific coin or the automatically the most profitable coin, but also can get what you have mined automatically converted to a coin of your choice. You can either individually set if the coin should be converted automatically or not or do it all in a single click for all coins. Furthermore you can select to convert one mined coin into another of the supported and you set that on per coin basis, so you can mine LTC and have them converted in BTC, but you can also set to mine DarkCoin and have the mined coins automatically converted to BlackCoin for example. Yes, there is support for automatic conversion into coins that have finished their POW phase and are now POS only. Currently there are 19 different coins that you can have your mined coins automatically converted into and in this list more coins are being added as well, including POS only coins. This way POS only coins can get buy support from users that want to mine the most profitable coin and get instead a coin of their liking that they want to support such as Minerals for example.
Now, if everything does look too good to be true, then there is some catch. Well actually we found one thing that we did not like that much using the service. According to the information on the website the automatic conversions should run 4 times a day, or every 6 hours, but we’ve seen these happening more like once a day. There are some minimum limits for a conversion to be executed, but in order for miner with smaller hashrate the mined coins should be combined and exchanged. This however does not seem to be running so well or the limits may be too high, as after two weeks of use we still have some coins that have not yet been converted. Another not so convenient thing is that when a new coin gets added in the pool you need to manually go and configure the automatic conversion for it, as by default the conversion is disabled, so you need to keep an eye on the news section of the pool. In general however we are satisfied with our experience using the CoinKing multipool, we haven’t had serious problems so far, and can recommend you to try it out yourself if you are looking for a new place to mine. Do note however that some people had various issues with the pool, so if you have experienced some yourself feel free to share them below.