Coin selection of late for most of the multi-coin pools seems a bit whacky. I don't know what the algorithm for Hashco.ws is, but I can look at Coinwarz and coinchoose and get a good idea of what sort of profitability each coin is supposed to have. I'm starting to wonder if Hashco.ws and others aren't being intentionally mislead by some external site on what to mine -- do they do their own internal calculations, or do they use externally available calculations? The reason this is important is because if it's not internal and correct, the results can be less than desirable. Let me give some examples from today's Hashco.ws statistics.
I just saw Mincoin showing a potential 600%+ profit relative to LTC on Coinwarz (around 10PM PST), which is pretty amazing. Not surprisingly, Hashcows was mining MNC at that time. But just a few minutes later, MNC was at 77% profits vs. LTC, so in the course of 10 minutes or less, MNC spiked to a huge value and then plummeted to a lousy value. The result of this is that Hashcows spent 10 minutes on MNC, mining 36 MNC that at current exchange rates are worth 0.02382912 BTC. If they were to mine at that rate 24/7, all 1700MHash of power at Hashcows would generate 3.43139328 BTC in a day, or around 0.002 BTC per MHash, which is obviously far less than what you would get from just mining LTC (currently around 0.007 BTC/MHash).
Now if this was the exception rather than the rule, that would be fine, but for the past few days that doesn't appear to be the case. Hashco.ws mined WDC for 126 minutes earlier today, generating 1283.0131392 WDC during that time. If we mined 24/7 on WDC, that would work out to 14663 WDC per day. At the current exchange rate (0.00043139) they could trade for at best 6.325 BTC. That means around 0.0037 BTC per MHash. But Coinwarz is showing 125% profitability vs. LTC right now. Maybe we just had an unlucky spell?
Let's try another.... Round 6565 at Hashco.ws was Ron Paul Coin (RPC), for 3 hours 55 minutes (3.917 hours), during which time the pool mined 59.0672 RPC. At the current exchange rate of 0.0191 BTC per RPC (and the best we've seen in the past 24 hours is only 0.02655 BTC per RPC), we're looking at 361.9437 RPC per day, which would be worth 6.91 BTC (or best-case 9.61 BTC), so again we're well below the 100% mark of LTC mining. Remember, LTC mining on its own with 1700MHash out to generate 436 LTC per day, which at 0.029 BTC each is 12.35 BTC per day.
But all of the alt-coins are going soft, right? Well, not quite....
What about DOGE? I know it was created as a joke coin, but I haven't seen a round of DOGE lately on Hashco.ws, which is odd. With 0.00000045 BTC per DOGE, based on the Coinwarz calculator Hashco.ws should be able to get around 18.171 BTC per day with 1700MHash, so there's at least one alt-coin that's beating the odds. Hell, even at the worst trade value of 0.00000025 BTC per DOGE (from Jan 8-9 time), we'd be looking at 10.095 BTC per day, which is still better than any of the other alt-coins I've run the calculations on above.
This is a long-winded way of saying something has perhaps gone fubar with the Hashco.ws (and Middlecoin and probably others as well) algorithm for selection of coins. Maybe it's that difficulty plummets, making the coin(s) look attractive, but by the time 1700MHash enters the picture the difficulty jumps back up and profitability drops back to nothing. Whatever is happening, all I can say is that right now profitability for mining via the multi-coin pools is not working out to what it should be. And what it should be is more profitable than mining LTC directly -- that's the whole point.
If you're still trying to mine at Hashco.ws or Middlecoin, I know personally the returns have been very poor for the past week -- like less than half of what you should get relative to mining LTC. Just going static on mining one of the more stable alt-coins like DOGE, WDC, LOT, EAC, etc. is supposed to be beating LTC by at least 20% over the past 14 days, and every time the multi-coin pools switch it seems to result in lower profits for miners. For now, I'm going to try manually mining one or two of the "best" alt-coins for a day and see what sort of returns I can get via Cryptsy's automatic trading. I'll report back and see how I do compared to Hashco.ws (where I've left ~1MHash of mining power).