Many have probably heard or read about the expression “bitcoin mining” people have been talking about intensively for the past 3-4 years. Before learning the basics of bitcoin mining, let’s explain the expression itself and why is it so popular.
Bitcoin stands for a digital currency that has all the characteristics of a regular financial currency we use everywhere in the world, and mining refers to the activity or a process of confirming the transactions that wait to be included in the blockchain technology.
The key goal of having this kind or this version of electronic money is to enable you to perform direct online payments without the mediation of a financial institution (without a central bank or a central administrator). If you consider all the mediators involved in the process of transacting money from one country to another, all the commissions charged by the mediators, not to mention having to convert money to the local currency and the transaction time needed, using cryptocurrencies sounds like a much affordable solution. All the transactions in the bitcoin network are being recorded in the so-called blockchain. It is sort of a database (a public list of all the transactions) maintained and updated by thousands of miners across the globe. Even though all the transactions are anonymous, they are however publicly available for everyone to see.
So, how does one learn the basics of mining?
Bitcoin is being produced (made) by a computer that participates and manages an already mentioned (blockchain) public database. The computer is being awarded one bitcoin for each successful transaction that adds a new block to the blockchain. This process is called the mining process, where mining is done by computers. It is important to understand that the reward never goes to one person because no one in the world has enough computer power to solve a complex mathematic problem (operation) needed for a successful block. This is the reason miners network into mining pools to group their computer power and proportionally share the reward. The more miners, the secure the network, but the harder the mining.
One fact that arises from this is that human activity is not required for the mining itself. A logical question that would follow is – then is it required in the trading of the bitcoins? The answer, believe it or not, is no. By this moment in time, there are numerous software, robots, trade platforms for analyzing algorithms, initiating, and analyzing trades, without having to spend valuable time searching for buyers yourself. One such software can be found at q-profit-system.com.
Investing a good software is always a smart solution, especially if you are new in this cryptocurrency market and you want to make sure you stay on the right track. In any case, hiring a broker will maximize profit with bitcoins.
However, if you have decided to mine, there are also a couple of more things to learn about.
Hash rate – is the number of operations your hardware can perform in a second when trying to break the mathematical problem. It is measured in megahash, gigahash and terahash. The higher the rate the more are the chances of successful mining. Calculate your energy spending to avoid surprises– the computer, logically, operates on electrical energy, which of course costs money. Ideally, you want to use the hardware that will not spend more energy than you will earn by mining. Then, choose how you will perform mining: GPU, FPGA, ASIC.
- CPU/GPA – the weakest of three options. Theoretically, you can use your computers’ CPU for mining, but in practice, it is very slow and makes no sense in today’s market. You could increase the hash rate by adding GPU chips (contained by graphic hardware), but you also should be ready to invest a bit more money.
- FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is an integrated electric circuit that enables mining hardware producers to buy chips and put together the equipment themselves. It gives better results than the CPU/GPU.
- ASIC bitcoin mining (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is specifically designed to do only one thing: mine for bitcoins with exceptional speed and relatively low energy spending. They are quite expensive and manufacturing them takes quite some time.
Pool – when you have considered everything and procured the equipment, you can start mining. But keep in mind, you will have more success if your network/joins a pool of other miners.
Certain companies offer mining services, so if you want to invest in cryptocurrency, but do not wish to go through all the trouble of buying and installing the hardware, calculating electricity spending and all the other things mentioned in the text above, then “cloudhashing” is your option. You buy the finalized product, a whole mining package, by choosing the hash rate speed. All the other technical things are provided by the company (electricity, hardware, maintenance, networking in the mine pools, etc.)
Once you have mined and managed to get a bitcoin, you should have a safe place for keeping it. Symbolically, these places are called the wallets. What they do is keeping your private keys which you use to access your assets. Wallets come in different versions, depending on the device (desktop, mobile, web, hardware wallets).
There are numerous bitcoin mining courses available online, for everyone who plans to start mining. The content usually includes lectures for gaining basic knowledge on bitcoins, tips on what to do and what not to do, steps you need to undertake before starting the mining, etc.
Lots of video material explaining is also available for free, on different websites, where people shared their experiences on how to mine.
You could say that this kind of currency belongs to the people. Bitcoin is an open code system, owned by no one, but where anyone can take part in its development. It is a currency not limited by state borders. More important, no government in the world controls it. So, this is what makes it so tempting.
One thing is for sure, the world is turning more digital every day, and bitcoins have a very interesting role in this. Is it the new version of gold? Get ready to jump on the train and find out.