What makes the best ETC mining pool is a combination of many factors. To break it down, a great pool needs to have

1) 100% Uptime

2) Low Ping

3) Low Uncle Rate

There are many other nice to have features, such as email notifications of worker offline and detailed statistics.

A pool needs to have 100% uptime, because we all know what downtime can do to your operation.

The best ETC mining pools have multiple servers allowing users to select the closest server location in order to have the lowest ping possible.

The reason you want low ping is because mining is like a race, and the faster you can submit Proof of Work the better. That allows the pool to submit said Proof of Work and if a block is found, propagate the block to the Ethereum network.

Pools that propagate blocks first, on the longest chain get full block rewards. The reward for “second place” is Uncle blocks or worse – Orphan blocks.

Uncle Blocks are valid blocks, unlocked by PoW but these blocks did not end up in the longest chain. Uncle blocks do not payout the full block reward, but still have small reward. Orphan blocks do not receive any reward.

It is also important to understand the payout system when joining a mining pool. ETCPool.us uses a PPLNS payout system. We calculate the percent of shares submitted for each round. After the round is over, the reward is paid out. This system rewards patient long term miners and disincentivize what is known as pool hopping.

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