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what does it mean to mine a bitcoin

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. I have heard that mining is for people with ready hardware and blah blah blah But what exactly is it? Does it operate like real mining? I mean, people talk about it like you are physically mining. David Schwartz's answer is entirely accurate, but all that "bitspeak" might be a little intimidating to the average user.

Let me try and put it into more plain language:. The way Bitcoin works is that instead of having one central authority who secures and controls the money supply like most governments do for their national currencies , this work is spread out all across the network.

Most of the heavy lifting for Bitcoin is done by "miners". Miners collect the transactions on the network like "Alice pays Karim 10 bitcoins" and "Liam pays Sofia 8. These blocks are strung together into one continuous, authoritative record called the block chain , which doesn't permit any conflicting transactions.

This is necessary because without it people would be able to sign the same bitcoins over to two different recipients , like writing cheques for more money than you have in your account. The block chain lets you know for sure exactly which transactions count and can be trusted so no bad cheques!

The way Bitcoin makes sure there is only one block chain is by making blocks really hard to produce. So instead of just being able to make blocks at will, miners have to compute a cryptographic hash of the block that meets certain criteria.

Bitcoiners refer to this process as "hashing". The only way to find a cryptographic hash that's "good enough to count" is to try computing a whole bunch of them until you get lucky and find one that works. This is the "lottery" that David Schwartz refers to, because miners who successfully create a block are rewarded some bitcoins according to a preset schedule. The difficulty of the criteria for the hash is continually adjusted based on how frequently blocks are appearing, so more competition equals more work needed to find a block.

Modern dedicated mining hardware e. ASIC miners can try trillions of hashes per second, so to be competitive in this race to find hashes miners need specialised hardware, otherwise they will tend to spend more on electricity than they make in the "lottery".

In addition to the hash criteria, a block needs to contain only valid, non-conflicting transactions. So the other main task for miners is to carefully validate all the transactions that go into their blocks , otherwise they won't get any reward for their work! Because of all this work, when a Bitcoin client signs on to the network it can trust the block chain that was most difficult to produce since this is evidently the one that was being worked on by the most miners.

If there was a "fake" blockchain competing with the real ones say, where someone pretends that they didn't actually give Sofia those 8. So essentially, the intense work that goes into finding blocks through hashing secures the network against fraud.

There is also, of course, some nifty code that figures out how to choose between conflicting transactions; and what to do if two people find valid blocks at the same time. One last thing: why is it called mining? In the original analogy, people who performed this essential work were compared to gold miners digging the gold out of the ground so that everyone could use it. But in reality, Bitcoin "miners" are just running computer programs on very specialised hardware that automates the process of securing the network.

To sum up, this software. The resulting nonce is the proof of work : since it's impossible to find nonce without essentially trying different nonces and calculating the two hash functions, having found a nonce that satisfies the condition is proof this work of searching and calculating has in fact been done. This is the central idea behind Bitcoin to solve the double spending problem: due to the inclusion of the previous block's hash in data this links the blocks to form a chain and the fact that the honest nodes of the network always do their work on the longest chain of blocks, a double spending attack involves calculating and later publishing a forked block chain in secret that is longer than the "honest chain" containing the transaction that should be undone.

Due to the work required to do this, this race can only be won if the attacker has greater computation power than the rest of the network together. Since using such computation power to honestly mine is likely more profitable than pulling a double-spend, the incentive for doing a double-spend attack is low.

Mining is the process of securing transactions and committing them into the bitcoin public chain. It requires winning a kind of computational lottery where each hash you perform is like buying one ticket. The Bitcoin protocol currently permits the miner who generates a block to claim 50 bitcoins as well as any transaction fees for the transactions that miner chooses to include. The Bitcoin system uses the mining process to generate coins, secure transactions, and publish transactions.

Mining is just doing computational work to secure the transaction block chain. A side effect of mining is creation of new coins and earning additional money by signing on transactions. In more simple terms: Actual mining means, you sweat digging something and then find some useful metals. In bitcoin mining, your computer sweats calculating blocks and in return the bitcoin protocol gives you some bitcoins. And in actual mining, you find precious metals which doesn't belong to anyone.

Similarly, in bitcoin mining, the bitcoin protocol generates new bitcoins Only upto 21 millions though which are not belonged to anybody and gives you. Bitcoin mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin's public ledger of past transactions or blockchain.

This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. Bitcoin mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady.

Individual blocks must contain a proof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block.

Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function. The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the system: Miners are paid any transaction fees as well as a "subsidy" of newly created coins.

Miners do expensive computation to solve puzzle and they broadcast it over the network. It contains a number called nonce which can be used to easily verify that actual work was done.

This is called proof of work. The solution takes lot of trials and is computationally difficult but it can be easily verified by other nodes on network. Any evesdropper, if tries to alter any block or transactions, will need to do alter all following blocks in blockchain that will get exponentially difficult. Thus it makes alterations in block impossible and a secure and tamper resistant ledger is created on blockchain.

Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the system. Miners are paid any transaction fees as well as a "subsidy" of newly created coins. This both serves the purpose of disseminating new coins in a decentralized manner as well as motivating people to provide security for the system. Mining is just running a application on your computer to confirm the transactions of the crypto currency for which you get paid as fees.

I will say mining is the soul of crypto currency, according to today's scenario everyone creating new coin everyday but some of them goes to the moon and some of them just vanish in a couple of weeks, why? Take a example of a coin which has only miners and you bought such coins after a few days miners stopped mining that coin, now you cannot sell that coin to anyone even if you have a potential buyer, why?

The price of coins go up because of mining, why? Increment in rates. The answers in this section all present different, useful perspectives. Another useful, but non-technical perspective is:. Mining is a battle between those who want to see Bitcoin succeed for the greater good, and those who don't care if it is destroyed as long as they achieve some victory, even if only to be part of the destruction they might not get any BTCs from their destructive efforts.

In other words, Bitcoin is a fascinating attempt to establish an alternate money system. Since the P2P, decentralised architecture is integral to its success it is, by design, open to any participant. The mining process assumes that some participants are evil. It pitches 'good' against 'evil' in the hope that 'good' will continue to succeed and maintain the integrity of the network. Podcast: We chat with Major League Hacking about all-nighters, cup stacking, and therapy dogs.

Listen now. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. What exactly is Mining? Ask Question. Asked 8 years, 3 months ago. Active 1 year, 1 month ago. Viewed k times. Phonics The Hedgehog Phonics The Hedgehog 1, 3 3 gold badges 11 11 silver badges 6 6 bronze badges.

Transaction validation process is called mining. For each block of transactions validated, the successful miner receives bitcoin reward. Mar 4 '14 at Let me try and put it into more plain language: The way Bitcoin works is that instead of having one central authority who secures and controls the money supply like most governments do for their national currencies , this work is spread out all across the network.

To sum up, this software Collects transactions from the network Validates them, and doesn't allow conflicting ones Puts them into large bundles called blocks Computes cryptographic hashes over and over until if finds one "good enough to count" Then submits the block to the network, adding it to the block chain and earning a reward in return. That's mining in a nutshell! RedGrittyBrick 4, 1 1 gold badge 11 11 silver badges 25 25 bronze badges.

Great answer. Perhaps just one thing to add - a Transaction being included in a Block constitutes its first Confirmation, and each successive block adds one more Confirmation. You say can trust the block chain that was most difficult to produce since this is evidently the one that was being worked on by the most miners -- I don't understand the concept of collaboration which this statement implies. Miners can work together to create a single block?

How does that work? Blockchain, not block. Miners produce blocks separately but produce blockchains together. I think this answer is too terse for the audience. This might be fine on Cryptography.

what does it mean to mine a bitcoin

What Is Bitcoin Mining In Laymans Terms?

You've heard of Bitcoin and you're ready to get your hands on some digital wealth. However, this may dies easier said than. When you "mine" Bitcoin, you actually z Bitcoin transactions in the public, decentralized ledger of Bitcoin transactions called the blockchain. Every time you find a new block to add to the chain, the system gives you some Bitcoin as a reward. Back in the early days of Bitcoin, it was easy to mine Bitcoin using your own computer. However, as the cryptocurrency has become more popular, it has become all but impossible for individuals to make a profit mining Bitcoin. That doesn't stop a lot of people from trying.

What is Bitcoin Mining?

If you want to know how to mine Bitcoin, you have two different steps you can take: Go through a cloud mining company, or buy and use your own hardware. Remember, research is important! Just as when it comes to buying Bitcoin or altcoins , you need to be aware that nothing in the world of cryptocurrencies is guaranteed. Any investment could be lost, so make sure you do your reading before pulling out your credit card and have a secure Bitcoin wallet standing by. Today, the barrier for entry is far higher if you want to make any kind of profit doing it. Hardware price fluctuations, changes in Bitcoin-mining difficulty and even the lack of a guarantee of a payout at the end of all your hard work, make it a riskier investment than even buying Bitcoins directly. Because of this and general market volatility, it can be difficult to know how much profit you will make from mining. Cloud mining is the practice of renting mining hardware or a portion of their hashing power and having someone else do the mining for you. For a broader range of options, CryptoCompare maintains a list of mining companies with user reviews and ratings, though be aware there are a lot of reviewers looking to shill their referral codes in the comment section. Once you have picked a cloud mining provider and signed up, you need to pick a mining package.

what does it mean to mine a bitcoin

File Extensions and File Formats

Only at times can you make money bitcoin mining: when the price of bitcoin happens to be high, and then only if you have quick access to equipment and an energy supply that lets you mine faster and cheaper than other people.

If you buy new equipment to mine with, you not only have to pay for it but you have to get it running while conditions for mining are still good. You have to pay for the electricity you use and the wear and tear to your equipment. You will most likely mine as part of a pool of miners, and the pool takes its little cut. The what does it mean to mine a bitcoin for mining with any given computer setup decreases at regular intervals, as I explain below, because the amount of computing work you need to do to complete a unit of mining keeps being adjusted upward, to keep the bitcoin production rate constant while the power of the world's computing stock increases.

So, I'm not saying you absolutely can't make money, but I'm saying that looking at the past few years and what is likely to happen in the next few years, it isn't a good bet. In this article I talk about my adventures in bitcoin mining.

At first it seemed promising and I decided to buy some equipment to mine bitcoin. Then the equipment became outdated as month by month the speed needed to mine became greater and the rewards smaller.

I believe the lessons I learned still apply today, even though the great recent increase in bitcoin price might make mining tempting. Most people are what does it mean to mine a bitcoin familiar with bitcoin, even if they've never used what does it mean to mine a bitcoin, as the new virtual currency. Bitcoin BTC is the first currency to be controlled by a cryptographic protocol rather than a central bank. Basically you pay for something by sending BTC from a virtual wallet in your computer to the merchant's computer.

So how can you make money from the creation of bitcoin? Well, theoretically, your computer can become a node in the network that processes and verifies the transactions. When a block batch of transactions is processed, the person who completes the processing of the block gets Creating these coins by processing transactions is known as bitcoin mining.

In mid, processing a block which requires much more computer work than in creates Here are a few examples, from a period over which the price of bitcoin varied widely and the power of the world's computers increased. This calculator from Coinwarz calculates the profitability of bitcoin mining.

The calculator automatically enters current bitcoin difficulty, bitcoin block reward, and bitcoin price. In I invested in bitcoin mining as a source of passive income, to add to the income I made by continue reading online. I expected that to have a chance of earning anything at all, What does it mean to mine a bitcoin would have to invest in some equipment.

Technically all you need to become a node in the network, and to start printing your own virtual money, is a computer with internet access. You can download a free wallet to your computer plus one of several free miner programs, and join in.

If you work by yourself, with only a personal computer, it might be years before you see your first block. For this reason most miners join a pool, where the work and rewards are shared. In a pool, when a block is solved and new coins created, you will only get a tiny fraction of a coin. But usually several blocks are solved in a day. One important aspect of mining is that the difficulty of solving the blocks increases with time. As the power of the network increases, the system increases the use i betonline wallet should for bitcoin what of the hash needed—the difficulty of the solution—to keep the time needed to create a block constant.

So can you make money bitcoin mining with a personal computer? It does depend on how good your PC is. Strangely enough the processing needed for bitcoin mining is much better done by a graphics card GPUrather than a CPU. So if you have a gaming computer with a good dedicated graphics card, you can mine bitcoin, though you may mine so little that it will hardly make a difference. Inat least, Radeon cards were much better at bitcoin mining than Nvidia cards.

There was some difference in the cards' architecture that didn't really make a difference in rendering graphics in games, but made a huge difference in mining.

In earlyboth makes were able to mine bitcoins at comparable rates. I never got much of a share of the pool's haul, since I had trouble saying connected with the client and never mined a full 24 hours.

I generated 0. A full 24 hours of mining would have yielded closer to 30 cents. Remember, of course, the increased electricity your graphics card uses if you run it full time, and the wear and tear that probably means it will not last as long as it normally. So I'm not even sure mining with my graphics card in would earn money, rather than lose it.

People said I might be able to do times better with a Radeon card, or even better if my PC had two cards running in crossfire mode, but even then it honestly it hardly seemed worth the trouble. By Janit was definitely not worth the trouble to mine with my graphics card, because the difficulty was 50 times what it was in summer Mining Litecoin was an alternative I considered, since Litecoin's hashing work is better suited to a GPU than a graphics card, but Litecoin also, at this point, doesn't seem worth the trouble.

You connect this machine to your computer and use it insead of your own graphics card. However, according to the bitcoin mining profitability calculator at the time, the big boy would "pay for itself" in 15 days. And then you would be basically printing money.

But the calculated profit was shrinking fast at that time. As of Nov. By Janthe Jalapeno was hardly worth running; it only made a little over a dollar a day. I had 6 of these mining for a while; they use little electricity and don't slow down your computer, so are superior to a graphics card. In mid, buying the equipment and becoming a virtual money miner seemed like a no-brainer: it seemed you would be able to recoup your investment in a few days.

However, there was a catch. People paid up to be the first to get the miners, and the payments were used to develop and make. But of course there were the predictable hitches and delays along the manufacturing way. The bottom line was that the smallest Jalapenos only began to be shipped months after people ordered. By July they had almost caught up with orders paid for in June The bigger miners were delayed even.

Buyers understood that if they could actually get their hands on these machines, they would pay for themselves within a couple of weeks, they were unlucky and the cryptocurrency crashed right after they got their machine.

But if you have to part with a large sum of money when you buy your machine, and not start earning for months to come, not only are you inconvenienced by delaying the return from your investment, you are losing opportunity, as other miners' computing power increases, driving up the difficulty algorithm, and yours does not. Some people who were on the waiting list sold their machines on eBay; to be more precise, they sold their place in the queue.

The seller would ship the item as the manufacturer shipped it to him or. The what does it mean to mine a bitcoin buyer would, of course, pay this premium for an as yet non-existent machine because he would get his virtual money printing equipment faster than if he placed the order with a manufacturer.

Of course there were other risks of buying on eBay. Some offers were apparently fraudulent. The Verge reported that in September a judge granted the Federal Trade Commission's FTC's request to halt the operations of Butterfly Labs, in view of complaints about the great delays in delivering outdated machines.

The FTC said a Butterfly Labs representative admitted that with the passage of time, their machines had become useful only as "room heater[s]. In the short term, bitcoin mining did seem to be profitable again briefly in early But in the long run, it has no real future.

Remember that the difficulty of mining increases with time. So a supermachine that can get you 1. One of the problems of people getting these very efficient miners is that the difficulty level is likely to rise quickly once they join the network, since the protocol is set up to produce a new block of This will make BTC mining much less efficient.

People buying powerful machines hope other miners drop out of the network and remove some competition, but when others buy even more powerful machines than you do, your own prospects plummet.

In any case, bitcoin mining cannot go on forever. Missed opportunities may be missed for good. When bitcoin just click for source invented, the plan was always to strictly limit the total number of coins. The block size is halved every four years, so that the increase in total currency is limited the block size has already been halved once between and In a few year's time there will be far fewer new coins generated than there are.

Infew people used bitcoins, and their value was often negotiated what does it mean to mine a bitcoin buyer and seller individually. But bitcoin has been full of surprises. Since bitcoin supply is strictly limited by the algorithm, bitcoin proponents have always hoped that if the coins become used by more people their price will rise.

But it is equally possible that their price will fall, or even become zero. Should bitcoins crash, there will be no IMF rescue, and no meetings of G8 leaders trying to save the currency. If you want to invest some money in the hope that bitcoins will be worth more in the future, you could just buy coins on an exchange, rather than mining. But whether you buy or mine, you have to suspect that the people who are helping you invest might be making a more reliable income than you are.

Recall that in the California gold rush of the s the people who helped the miners by supplying groceries and jeans made a more reliable income than the miners. If nothing else, it can always be used to fill teeth and make earrings. Bitcoin has a certain reality and security in that it is verified by a peer-to-peer network, data stored on a huge number of computers.

But it is impossible to say how stable it will be in the long term, or any term for that matter. Content is what does it mean to mine a bitcoin informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Many binary operations are rippers. Some weeks later I got a mail from them insisting I should invest more money if I want to withdraw my money which I rejected, and I never hear from them again that was when I knew I had been scammed. I was really devastated at those moment and felt so bad that my hard earn money is gone. After some month I came across a lot of testimonies on many bitcoin site how digitalcurrency14 gmail.

How Does Bitcoin Work?

My Experience Bitcoin Mining

To address the variance in their income miners started organizing themselves into pools so that they could share rewards more evenly. Most have relatively easy configuration, and are free. A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an Your Practice. By joining a mining pool you share your hash rate with the pool. How else will machines pay for their own inputs and how better could they charge for their outputs? And, the number of bitcoins awarded as a reward for solving the puzzle will decrease. Back up everything, and only tell your nearest and dearest where your backups are stored. The difficulty of the criteria for the hash is continually adjusted based on how frequently blocks are appearing, so more competition equals more work needed to find a block. ASIC mining chip architecutre and processes are under continuous development, with lucrative rewards on offer to those who bring the latest and greatest innovations to market.

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