Pools are probably the most important thing in chia’s life. I wish they have released it earlier. I don’t want to blame the company behind chia, don’t think they expected such a big network growth but as one of my Uni’s teacher said: “Hope or expectation is not a strategy.”
I think the other part where they failed is they seem to believe blockchain is a lottery… No, it’s not it’s serious market and business. People who invested time/energy/money to plot/farm want to earn some money and they want to know how much they will win in a reasonably constant manner. We are in the early phase, so there are regular client upgrades (at least weekly), there are some bugs so it can happen that your client/daemon crashes. All of these are decreasing your chances to win – who knows, when you updated chia and you were down, it might have been your winning time. I know you could or should have built some redundancy, have multiple harvesters and all that but still in my view it was not well thought – especially seeing the rate the network grows.
The amount of chia that a farmer can earn is proportional to the percentage of the network that they own. For example a farmer that owns 0.25% of the total network space can expect to win 0.25% of the blocks. As the total size of the network space grows it becomes increasingly difficult to earn chia as a solo farmer. By joining to a pool you will become part of a large network that owns much larger space so the chances of winning is going to be larger. Through this your reward will be much more constant and much more predictable.
What We know?
The chia pool reference code will be released to Testnet by end of May, 2021. Afterwards, pool operators will need time to adapt their pooling code to use chia’s method to calculate farmer’s share, collect from pool wallet, and distribute XCH to pool participants. As it will take time/effort to create the pools I don’t think we will see a functioning pool early June.
Will I need to replot to join to official pools?
Yes, you need too. The new plot format will allow you to switch between pools. The good thing is these pools will be good for solo and pool farming.
Where can I find a list of chia pools?
Ok, but I heard about HPool?
Hpool has created their own version of chia client that has no source code released with it. Use at your own risk.