- What is Bitcoin
- How Bitcoin mining works
- Why do people mine for bitcoins?
- How long does it take to mine 1 Bitcoin?
- What is a 51% attack, and how does it affect bitcoin mining?
- The future of bitcoin mining – will there be enough new bitcoins to mine in the coming years or not?
- CPU mining
- GPU mining
- What is ASIC, and how is it used?
- What is Proof of Work
- What is Proof of Stake
What is Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, also known as a digital currency and it’s obtained through bitcoin mining. Of all the currencies, I’m most excited to use it because it allows you to send and receive money instantly, anywhere in the world. It’s also the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency globally and has gained an excellent reputation and advantage throughout the years.
It was created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, who remains anonymous to this day – no one knows their true identity precisely!
Why is Bitcoin popular
Bitcoin became so popular because there are many benefits associated with holding bitcoins rather than buying them from someone else: Bitcoins can be transferred directly between individuals without any middleman (e.g., banks), which saves transaction fees; Transfers may take place anywhere across the globe; nobody needs to know your real name for you to receive bitcoin payments, only receiving wallet addresses, e.g., 1JQ1HTy5a8vRjC2HcSXV
How Bitcoin mining works
Bitcoin mining is the process of adding transaction records to bitcoin’s public ledger called a blockchain. This technology uses cryptography to control how bitcoins are created and who has access to them in order for it not to be easily copied or spent twice by someone else, which would devalue their value as currency.
The bitcoin network is a network of computers (mining machines) around the world that keep track of bitcoin transactions. This decentralized system makes bitcoin safe because there is no central computer or company to trust.
During mining, two important things happen:
- New bitcoins are created and given to the person who discovers each block (roughly every 10 minutes). It’s also called a block reward. Not all bitcoin transactions are included in the blockchain, but everyone on the bitcoin network knows about all bitcoin transactions that have been made.
- The block is added to the blockchain. Once a new block is created, it has to be sent out to the bitcoin network and all other bitcoin users for confirmation. This prevents fraud because if a bad actor tries to spend the bitcoin they just mined, those bitcoin transactions will not match up with everyone else’s bitcoin transactions, and their block will not be included in the blockchain.
This process happens roughly every 10 minutes, and all bitcoin miners do this work. Mining is a very resource-intensive and expensive process that requires a significant amount of processing power.
Is Bitcoin mining still viable?
Over time, bitcoin mining has become more difficult. Today’s mining machines are faster and more powerful than the bitcoin mining equipment from several years ago.
This means that a person or company cannot successfully mine bitcoin with a simple PC or laptop. It would be best if you had specialized bitcoin-mining hardware to be successful at bitcoin mining today.
The primary challenge bitcoins miners face is how to secure enough block rewards to make it worth the investment of time, hardware, and electricity. Today bitcoin mining is so competitive that it can only be done profitably with the latest bitcoin mining hardware.
Anyone with the internet can mine new bitcoins by solving complex mathematical equations that take up a lot of computing power. Still, not everyone will find success on their first try because it takes time for beginners to figure out which equation they should be working on before they start mining for Bitcoins themselves!
Therefore bitcoin mining is an excellent way of earning bitcoins, but bitcoin miners need to monitor bitcoin’s price and computing power they use to mine bitcoin. If bitcoin mining becomes too difficult or rewards are too small, it might be the right time for bitcoin miners to abandon this activity.
Why do people mine for bitcoins?
Bitcoin mining is the process of verifying transactions bitcoin users make on bitcoin’s network.
There are cryptocurrency exchanges people can use to convert their fiat currency into bitcoin, but there are also miners who mine bitcoin by verifying crypto transactions and receiving a share of the transaction as a reward.
When Bitcoin users buy or sell bitcoin on an exchange, they are essentially signing off ownership of bitcoin to another person. This transaction must be verified by miners to prevent double-spending, which makes up the core bitcoin feature that prevents a bitcoin from being copied.
This is what makes bitcoin different than fiat currencies, which rely on governments to print money, resulting in inflationary economic environments. With bitcoin’s finite supply, mining bitcoin helps bitcoin keep its value.
When cryptocurrency mining began, the coin was almost worthless since bitcoin had no market value at the time. People mined bitcoin because it was a way to secure transactions on bitcoin’s network and gain access to bitcoin without buying bitcoin from an exchange.
The most common Bitcoin mining reasons
People mine for bitcoins for different reasons, but most have one primary objective: to turn bitcoin mining into a business and earn bitcoin.
Many bitcoin miners join bitcoin-related startup companies that offer services such as hosted bitcoin mining or bitcoin mining hosting, so it’s easier for bitcoin miners to start earning bitcoin without the hassle of buying mining hardware and managing their own hardware.
This bitcoin mining business model has driven up the price of bitcoin, and its bitcoin miners can earn since bitcoin mining is now a very profitable bitcoin-based industry.
The bitcoin mining process takes up a lot of electricity, so bitcoin mining companies have to spend money on electricity bills and other overhead costs. The cost to mine bitcoin varies from region to region.
Cryptocurrency mining is competitive and can be used as an income, but recently bitcoin mining has become more profitable on a bitcoin exchange than bitcoin mining.
A miner’s motivation grows stronger as new bitcoins trickle out from solving math problems, and bitcoin keeps going up in value against whatever currency they have.
How long does it take to mine 1 Bitcoin?
Mining cryptocurrency is the process of generating cryptocurrency by using computer hardware (mining equipment). The more cryptocurrency is mined, the harder it becomes to mine cryptocurrency.
This makes the digital currency more challenging to mine over time – this is called the mining difficulty. Cryptocurrency mining has become a significant business for many people who are willing to invest in expensive mining equipment and other necessities to mine cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is mined on the SHA256 mining algorithm. The Antminer S9 is currently the most efficient SHA256 miner, clocking in at 14TH/s.
This means that every second it processes 14 trillion calculations per second.
When cryptocurrency is mined, cryptocurrency rewards are given to the persons who have found valid blocks. These cryptocurrency rewards are split between all miners who mine Bitcoin, based on how much mining power they have.
The more mining power one has, the greater the cryptocurrency rewards one receives (in terms of cryptocurrency).
The block discovery process also produces new Bitcoin at a rate of 6.25 per 10 minutes but halves every 210,000 blocks to reduce the number of coins produced with each newly discovered block.
Currently, mining 1 Bitcoin requires a lot of cryptocurrency mining hardware, and it’s not realistic for one person to achieve.
This started a trend – which is to create a powerful bitcoin mining farm, and this means people who run the farm have an advantage when it comes to finding digital currency.
What is a 51% attack, and how does it affect bitcoin mining?
A bitcoin mining pool controls a massive amount of bitcoin resources and, by doing so, is called a [bitcoin/cryptocurrency] mining pool.
When bitcoin became popular enough to get many bitcoin miners to try their hands at bitcoin mining, companies started to pop up to help clients mine bitcoins on an industrial scale.
Mining pools were introduced to help bitcoin miners share resources and split the bitcoin reward among themselves. Mining pools are companies that mine bitcoins together by combining their computing power, thus sharing bitcoin mining resources.
A bitcoin mining pool has many assets under its control – an attacker can use those assets to work against bitcoin, which is called a 51% attack. This type of attack is possible because bitcoin mining pools have a lot of computing power, and bitcoin isn’t designed to resist such an attack so far.
An attacker may want to use this attack for bitcoin enthusiasts to either discredit bitcoin or push bitcoin mining fees up (and consequently, bitcoin prices too) and force users away from bitcoin to another cryptocurrency. An attacker may also try to take over bitcoin by controlling bitcoin mining pools and deploy bitcoin mining resources on their own account.
The more bitcoin mining pools there are, the more difficult it becomes to carry out a 51% attack as one would need to control at least 51% of bitcoin’s computing power, which would cost a lot of money and be dangerous for the entire bitcoin network.
There are many bitcoin mining pools in the bitcoin network, so even if one bitcoin mining pool is compromised, the bitcoin blockchain will not be under serious threat.
The bitcoin community is working on developing bitcoin mining algorithms that would resist such an attack, although until now, there are no means to stop it perfectly.
The bitcoin society remains vigilant and has many bitcoin experts who are on the lookout for bitcoin mining pool attacks, and bitcoin community members can fight back by donating their computing power and bitcoin rewards to bitcoin mining pools that bitcoin aficionados think are trustworthy.
The future of bitcoin mining – will there be enough new bitcoins to mine in the coming years or not?
Every bitcoin is part of the first bitcoin mining reward halving, which occurred in 2009. This event cut down the bitcoin’s rewards by half.
After this event took place, bitcoin had to be mined, and that was the only way to gain it back then. That means that in order to get bitcoin, an individual or a group of individuals would mine bitcoin.
Mining bitcoin involved multiple steps, but the general idea was to use a computer to solve complex mathematical problems. And when the problem is solved bitcoin transaction is confirmed, and bitcoin that was in transit is stored in a bitcoin wallet, or they can be traded for goods and services with a business that accepts them as payment.
This process of mining bitcoin requires a tremendous amount of resources, primarily electricity.
As bitcoin mining difficulty is increasing and bitcoin price continues to soar, bitcoin mining becomes even more rewarding for individual bitcoins miners.
However, bitcoin mining has a significant drawback – it requires a staggering amount of electricity and, therefore, power.
Many countries worldwide use coal-burning plants to generate this electricity that bitcoin miners need and release greenhouse gases in the process.
The bitcoin network alone consumes around $15 million worth of electricity every day. As bitcoin mining continues to grow, bitcoin experts worry about the future bitcoin mining because it seems unclear how long bitcoin mining will be profitable for bitcoin miners.
The answer to this question depends on bitcoin’s price and computing power used for bitcoin mining. If bitcoin’s price remains high – bitcoin mining will remain profitable for bitcoin miners. Still, it is unclear how bitcoin mining might look like in the future.
Currently, bitcoin miners are mainly located in China because of relatively low electricity costs at industrial bitcoin mining facilities there.
CPU cryptocurrency mining is an older cryptocurrency mining method that uses the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer for cryptocurrency mining.
CPUs were initially designed for multitasking and general-purpose applications, not cryptocurrency mining-specific applications.
CPU cryptocurrency mining has become less common lately as cryptocurrency mining requires the ability to solve complicated mathematical problems, which requires much faster processing than mere number-crunching.
GPUs are designed for highly parallel processes and can compute multiple tasks simultaneously much faster than CPUs; this makes them much better cryptocurrency mining hardware than CPUs.
GPU cryptocurrency mining is cryptocurrency mining using a graphics processing unit (GPU) for mining cryptocurrency.
GPUs are designed to perform highly parallel processes and can compute thousands of simultaneous computations quickly.
The ability to do many things simultaneously makes them ideal cryptocurrency mining hardware, as cryptocurrency mining requires many different mathematical problems to be solved in order for cryptocurrency to be mined successfully.
GPU cryptocurrency mining was developed as a way to bolster the cryptocurrency mining process and create cryptocurrency by including graphics cards in the cryptocurrency mining computer hardware.
Using GPUs significantly increases your cryptocurrency mining output while reducing electricity costs associated with cryptocurrency mining.
Because cryptocurrency mining is essentially just using your computer to solve mathematical problems and cryptocurrency mining hardware that has a GPU is able to solve many more of these problems in parallel than cryptocurrency mining hardware without a GPU, GPUs are significantly more efficient at cryptocurrency mining than CPU cryptocurrency mining hardware.
Using GPU, cryptocurrency mining increases the speed of cryptocurrency mining and reduces cryptocurrency mining costs by increasing cryptocurrency mining output.
GPU cryptocurrency mining is also more convenient than CPU cryptocurrency mining, as GPUs come standard in many computers, while cryptocurrency mining hardware optimized for cryptocurrency mining is not always standard.
What is ASIC, and how is it used?
ASIC cryptocurrency mining hardware has grown in popularity since the advent of cryptocurrency mining. The cryptocurrency market is growing exponentially with no end in sight; cryptocurrency mining continues to grow along with it.
ASIC cryptocurrency mining rigs are specially designed for cryptocurrency mining. Their sole purpose is to mine cryptocurrency as efficiently as possible.
ASIC stands for ‘application-specific integrated circuit.’ In cryptocurrency mining, as with other industries, it is a general-purpose processor built for a specific task.
In cryptocurrency mining, this means hashing cryptocurrency blocks efficiently and quickly; ASIC hardware is built to do nothing else but cryptocurrency mining.
The military initially designed ASICs for cryptography – cryptocurrency mining requires cryptographic algorithms to hash cryptocurrency blocks.
They were also designed for scientific and numeric applications; cryptocurrency mining fits into this category as well by requiring these large number-crunching abilities.
ASIC has become the standard in cryptocurrency mining due to its increased efficiency and hashing ability compared to older central processing unit (CPU) cryptocurrency mining hardware.
ASIC cryptocurrency mining hardware lends itself to cryptocurrency mining due to its low power requirement and ‘cool & quiet’ operation compared to graphics processing unit (GPU) cryptocurrency mining hardware.
On the other hand, ASIC hardware is more expensive than cryptocurrency mining hardware used in the past.
With cryptocurrency mining becoming more competitive, cryptocurrency miners choose to purchase ASIC cryptocurrency mining rigs over traditional cryptocurrency mining devices for increased efficiency and profit.
In addition, with today’s cryptocurrency network hash rates reaching astonishing levels, small-scale cryptocurrency miners cannot afford to compete anymore. It is far more economical to purchase cryptocurrency mining hardware specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining.
What is Proof of Work
When mining cryptocurrency, an alternative proof of work system is used to confirm transactions. The proof of work system is designed to become more complex and time-consuming to solve as more miners participate with faster hardware.
The proof of work system uses the following function: encrypt data with a key that can only be unlocked with knowledge of the secret key. The proof of work system is set up so that it takes 10 minutes for one block to be mined on the cryptocurrency network.
After every 2,016 blocks are mined, or about every two weeks, mining difficulty increases by 17%. This means that if more hash rate is added to the cryptocurrency network, then the cryptocurrency will become easier to mine.
What is Proof of Stake
Proof of stake is a cryptocurrency innovation that substitutes the traditional mining process for minting or staking coins based on their proof-of-stake. The concept was first described by an unknown cryptocurrency user named Quantum Mechanic in 2012, who called it proof of activity.
It wasn’t until 2013 when the creator of Blackcoin cryptocurrency discovered this idea and coined the term proof of stake. Blackcoin became the first cryptocurrency to implement the proof-of-stake technology, which is now often referred to as cryptocurrency’s green innovation.
Most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, use the so-called proof of work (POW), where miners are rewarded for solving complex mathematical puzzles in order to add transactions to cryptocurrency’s public ledger, called a blockchain.
These “miners” are required to show the proof of having invested in expensive mining hardware and electricity bills, while keeping cryptocurrency networks safe from 51% attacks through grouping cryptocurrency miners into mining pools.
Proof-of-stake aims to provide cryptocurrency without any need for mining. Instead of cryptocurrency miners, cryptocurrency users who keep cryptocurrency in their wallets can mint or “stake” coins and earn cryptocurrency transaction fees as well as newly minted cryptocurrency.
Proof-of-stake cryptocurrency blockchains function similarly to those running proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but with different mining algorithms.
In the case of proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, the creator of cryptocurrency is allowed to assign his stake in cryptocurrency units to run the cryptocurrency mining process.
Proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies are not susceptible to 51% attacks because cryptocurrency miners do not invest in expensive hardware and electricity bills.
However, proof-of-stake cryptocurrency has its drawbacks as well. First of all, cryptocurrency units must be initially distributed to cryptocurrency users, and cryptocurrency developers might decide to keep a significant portion of cryptocurrency for themselves.
Thus proof-of-stake cryptocurrency tends to be less decentralized than proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Mining bitcoin is a competitive process that takes time, energy, and resources. You can choose from many different technologies to mine bitcoin, but all of them require money for investment in hardware as well as electricity costs.
You must consider that cryptocurrency mining is an ongoing process that needs to be monitored, adjusted, and optimized for maximum efficiency to be profitable.
Mining cryptocurrency is not something you can do with just your home computer. It’s best practice to use hardware designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining.
Also, cryptocurrency mining requires unique cooling solutions to prevent the hardware from overheating.
So, cryptocurrency mining can be profitable, but it requires a lot of planning, preparation, and time before you see your return on investment.