When picking a mining pool, there are a few things you MUST consider.
The location of server matters, as lower ping is better. Under 100ms ping will be totally fine for all pools. If you are solo mining to a pool, such as 2miners solo pools. Then you will want lowest ping possible.
Next, it is important to consider the payout scheme of the pool. PPS, PPLNS, PROP, and many more styles of calculating shares to be paid. PPLNS and PPS are the two most common. PPLNS or Pay Per Last N Shares rewards based on the amount of shares sent each round (N). After a block is found, the pool will tally up all the shares, and pay out the reward accordingly. PPS is Pay Per Share and like the name suggests, pays you per share. PPS is less common for smaller pools, as it can encourage “pool hopping”.
A pool will need ETC nodes that are distributed all over the globe, with super fast connection in-between them in order to propagate newly found blocks as quickly as possible.
With mining, it is a constant race to stay at the tip of the blockchain. Otherwise you will end up with Uncle blocks or even Orphan blocks.
Uncle blocks pay a reward, and it means you unlocked the block – but it didn’t end up on the longest chain. Orphan blocks are blocks that were mined to a chain that was not the longest as well. Orphan blocks do not pay a reward.
This is why it is so important for pool operators to understand and stay on the longest chain. There are tricks and tips that you can do, but the best way is to add trusted peers from high quality nodes all over the world. Ideally to mining nodes that are also finding new blocks often.
More coming soon!