Ether Mining Pool Payouts, Ethereum Mist Wallet and Transaction Fees and Gas

When I first started mining Ether, I wasn't sure if my mining results would ever actually get transferred to me. There's always a bit of doubt initially. I was pointing to Nanopool and I could see on my ETH Stats from Nanopools' website that I had accumulated about 0.094 ETH and wanted to see how it works when it's time for a payout, where does that ETH go?
ETHEREUM

Well, it goes to the wallet you would have setup when you first made an account, and sync'd the blockchain on Ethereum wallet, or Mist wallet, which is potentially also connected to your email address.

The standard payout in nanopool is 0.2 ETH, but you can actually lower this to 0.05. The lower the payout limit the more frequently you'll receive payouts to your wallet, but each transfer comes at a cost of ETH to complete the transaction, so it's actually beneficial (if you can tolerate it) to set a higher payout and be paid less frequently, you'll save some ETH in doing so. However for now the costs are relatively small, so I set my payout to 0.05, and once every 4-5 hours Nanopool sends a payout generally so it should never take longer than a few hours or a day max.

I saw the pending transaction under payouts, and clicking the link through to Etherscan allows you to see all the details of the transaction:

"Transaction Hash, Block Height, the number of block confirmations, Time Stamp, From and To addresses, the Value of Ether being transferred, the Gas Limit, Gas Price, and the Gas Used By Txn, Nonce."

Etherscan is a browser based blockchain explorer tool which allows you to step through transactions one by one. This means you can see where your transaction came from, and where it goes eventually. Everyone can see it. But for the most part, unless you publicly declare your address, every record is anonymous.

Ethereum Wallet / Mist Wallet open you should see an incoming transaction, at some point it will get enough confirmations and show as confirmed. Now this is the interesting part for me, and really the part that makes mining make sense from an outsider's perspective. 
Ethereum Wallet Transaction Fee Ether ETH

You see, every transaction has a fuel cost, an ether cost, to bring the transaction record from one place to another. To "send money" in other words. Just like the banks charge you fees, so too does Ethereum network, BUT the fees are very flexible, in fact you have a slider that allows you to choose from a slow but cheap or fast and more expensive.
CHEAPER Ethereum Wallet Transaction Fee Ether ETH


The more you pay, the faster the transaction is likely to be mined and processed!
FASTER Ethereum Wallet Transaction Fee Ether ETH

So that mining rig that's running an algorithm to process transactions, those are OUR transactions, our movements of Ether, our trades, and so that the miner is rewarded for moving the transaction record and making those blocks, the fees are paid as well as the generation of Ether in the act of mining. But it takes more than one miner to move a record, remember the network is built on consensus, a democracy, so it starts with One Confirmation, then Two, Three, Four, Five and so on until you finally have 12 or more Confirmations, and the transaction gets confirmed. Then you have successfully moved, sent or received Ether.


There are risks though in moving Ether, if you make a mistake in the address, it could be gone forever. The responsibility is wholly that of the sender. QR codes make for an excellent way to prevent mistakes in the address.

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