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That is correct. To earn bitcoins, you need to meet two conditions. One is a matter of effort; one is a matter of luck. This is the easy part. This process is also known as proof of work. The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You may have heard that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems—that's not exactly true. It's basically guesswork. The bad news: It's guesswork, but with the total number of possible guesses for each of these problems being on the order of trillions, it's incredibly arduous work.
In order to solve a problem first, miners need a lot of computing power. That is a great many hashes. If you want to estimate how much bitcoin you could mine with your mining rig's hash rate, the site Cryptocompare offers a helpful calculator.
In addition to lining the pockets of miners and supporting the bitcoin ecosystem, mining serves another vital purpose: It is the only way to release new cryptocurrency into circulation. In other words, miners are basically "minting" currency. For example, as of Nov. In the absence of miners, Bitcoin as a network would still exist and be usable, but there would never be any additional bitcoin.
There will eventually come a time when Bitcoin mining ends; per the Bitcoin Protocol, the total number of bitcoins will be capped at 21 million. This does not mean that transactions will cease to be verified. Miners will continue to verify transactions and will be paid in fees for doing so in order to keep the integrity of Bitcoin's network. Aside from the short-term Bitcoin payoff, being a coin miner can give you "voting" power when changes are proposed in the Bitcoin network protocol.
The rewards for bitcoin mining are reduced by half every four years. When bitcoin was first mined in , mining one block would earn you 50 BTC. In , this was halved to 25 BTC. By , this was halved again to If you want to keep track of precisely when these halvings will occur, you can consult the Bitcoin Clock , which updates this information in real-time.
Interestingly, the market price of bitcoin has, throughout its history, tended to correspond closely to the reduction of new coins entered into circulation. This lowering inflation rate increased scarcity and historically the price has risen with it. Although early on in Bitcoin's history individuals may have been able to compete for blocks with a regular at-home computer, this is no longer the case. The reason for this is that the difficulty of mining Bitcoin changes over time.
In order to ensure the smooth functioning of the blockchain and its ability to process and verify transactions, the Bitcoin network aims to have one block produced every 10 minutes or so. However, if there are one million mining rigs competing to solve the hash problem, they'll likely reach a solution faster than a scenario in which 10 mining rigs are working on the same problem.
For that reason, Bitcoin is designed to evaluate and adjust the difficulty of mining every 2, blocks, or roughly every two weeks. When there is more computing power collectively working to mine for Bitcoin, the difficulty level of mining increases in order to keep block production at a stable rate. Less computing power means the difficulty level decreases. To get a sense of just how much computing power is involved, when Bitcoin launched in the initial difficulty level was one.
As of Nov. All of this is to say that, in order to mine competitively, miners must now invest in powerful computer equipment like a GPU graphics processing unit or, more realistically, an application-specific integrated circuit ASIC. The photo below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine.
The graphics cards are those rectangular blocks with whirring fans. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards to the metal pole. This is probably not the most efficient way to mine, and as you can guess, many miners are in it as much for the fun and challenge as for the money.
The ins and outs of bitcoin mining can be difficult to understand as is. And there is no limit to how many guesses they get. Let's say I'm thinking of the number There is no "extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the target answer of Now imagine that I pose the "guess what number I'm thinking of" question, but I'm not asking just three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking of a digit hexadecimal number.
Now you see that it's going to be extremely hard to guess the right answer. In Bitcoin terms, simultaneous answers occur frequently, but at the end of the day, there can only be one winning answer. Typically, it is the miner who has done the most work or, in other words, the one that verifies the most transactions. The losing block then becomes an " orphan block.
Miners who successfully solve the hash problem but who haven't verified the most transactions are not rewarded with bitcoin. Well, here is an example of such a number:. The number above has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand so far. As you probably noticed, that number consists not just of numbers, but also letters of the alphabet.
Why is that? To understand what these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let's unpack the word "hexadecimal. As you know, we use the "decimal" system, which means it is base This, in turn, means that every digit of a multi-digit number has 10 possibilities, zero through nine. In a hexadecimal system, each digit has 16 possibilities. But our numeric system only offers 10 ways of representing numbers zero through nine. That's why you have to stick letters in, specifically letters a, b, c, d, e, and f.
If you are mining bitcoin, you do not need to calculate the total value of that digit number the hash. I repeat: You do not need to calculate the total value of a hash. Remember that ELI5 analogy, where I wrote the number 19 on a piece of paper and put it in a sealed envelope? In bitcoin mining terms, that metaphorical undisclosed number in the envelope is called the target hash. What miners are doing with those huge computers and dozens of cooling fans is guessing at the target hash.
A nonce is short for "number only used once," and the nonce is the key to generating these bit hexadecimal numbers I keep talking about. In Bitcoin mining, a nonce is 32 bits in size—much smaller than the hash, which is bits. In theory, you could achieve the same goal by rolling a sided die 64 times to arrive at random numbers, but why on earth would you want to do that? The screenshot below, taken from the site Blockchain.
You are looking at a summary of everything that happened when block was mined. The nonce that generated the "winning" hash was The target hash is shown on top. The term "Relayed by Antpool" refers to the fact that this particular block was completed by AntPool, one of the more successful mining pools more about mining pools below.
As you see here, their contribution to the Bitcoin community is that they confirmed transactions for this block. If you really want to see all of those transactions for this block, go to this page and scroll down to the heading "Transactions. All target hashes begin with zeros—at least eight zeros and up to 63 zeros.
There is no minimum target, but there is a maximum target set by the Bitcoin Protocol. No target can be greater than this number:. Here are some examples of randomized hashes and the criteria for whether they will lead to success for the miner:. You'd have to get a fast mining rig, or, more realistically, join a mining pool—a group of coin miners who combine their computing power and split the mined bitcoin. Mining pools are comparable to those Powerball clubs whose members buy lottery tickets en masse and agree to share any winnings.
A disproportionately large number of blocks are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In other words, it's literally just a numbers game. You cannot guess the pattern or make a prediction based on previous target hashes. Not great odds if you're working on your own, even with a tremendously powerful mining rig. Not only do miners have to factor in the costs associated with expensive equipment necessary to stand a chance of solving a hash problem.
Probably definitely not! That said, if you are a multi-millionaire , you could set up a profitable solo mining operation. To run hundreds of computer chips will take a whole lot of electricity. The best possible way how to mine Bitcoin now is with the help of the DragonMint T1 miner. This runs at 1,W. To make matters worse, running hundreds of computer chips gets hot. Think about using a laptop for a few hours on your knee.
They can get pretty warm, right? The average laptop runs at around 60W. Now, imagine of these bad boys running at once in a small room. That means more power consumption! One of the concerns that will occur on your way to learn how to mine Bitcoin is the noise. With the constant buzzing of hundreds of computer components , plus industrial-scale cooling facilities running 24 hours a day, a professional scale solo mining operation is going to be hellishly loud!
The top Bitcoin mining locations today are Iceland , rural Canada , and Russia. You might ask why someone would bother spending the huge sums of money on expensive mining equipment to rent it out to someone else. The reason is simple. They want to guarantee profits on their investment and not have these affected by swings in the price of Bitcoin. The concept seems strange , but some people choose how to mine Bitcoin in this way.
The company might require you to pay for damage done to their equipment! If the price of Bitcoin drops considerably, you might be stuck in a contract and mining at a loss until the price increases again if it ever does. You take all the risk as the cloud mining operator is guaranteed a profit.
In July of , Genesis Mining was hacked. That way, if the market takes a dramatic downturn, you can sell your position. Looking for more in-depth information on related topics? We have gathered similar articles for you to spare your time. Take a look! Ethereum mining rig: a complete guide to building your cryptocurrency mining rig.
Full information on how to buy Cardano and get an ADA wallet. Find your best ways to buy Cardano with instructions on how to buy Cardano. The ultimate guide on how to buy Tron coin. Find out where to buy Tron coin the easiest way by following this guide. So, you probably want to start mining Bitcoin already?
There are a few things that you must have before you begin:. The specific setup options will vary depending on the model of ASIC miner you are using. The manufacturer should detail exactly how to do this in their user manual or on their website. The following guide is specific on how to mine Bitcoin with the Antminer S9 unit on the Antpool. However, much of it will be useful no matter what ASIC miner you decide to use.
Find the power draw of your ASIC. This should be clearly stated in the manual under specifications. The S9 uses 1, Watts. Match your power supply units to the power draw. Make sure all the necessary connections are made then power up the power supply. Your Antminer S9 should now come on. On your computer or mobile device, use an IP scanning tool to show the devices connected to your internet connection.
You should see your Antminer listed. You can then type the IP address of the Antminer into your browser window on your chosen device. The next screen you see should be the login window of the miner. In the case of the Antminer S9, the default login details are username — root, password — root. I recommend doing this. You will now need to enter various details from the mining pool you will be using. You should be able to find these out easily from the website of your mining pool.
On your path to learning how to mine Bitcoin, you can choose any Bitcoin mining pool you want. However, we recommend you choose from one of these recommended pools to begin with:. Note: Pool addresses are for users from Europe where indicated.
Other addresses will apply from other parts of the world. Every mining pool will have its user interface. However, the idea is always the same. This will let you see all the information about your Bitcoin mining efforts so far. Some pools will let users set how much they want to mine before their Bitcoin is automatically sent to the external wallet address they specified. If you want to check how much you should be earning, you can use a mining calculator.
CryptoCompare provides an easy to use one. Our electricity is about the average rate in the UK. When you factor in the price of the unit itself, this example operation is going to be incredibly expensive! With this highly advanced bit of kit, it would take just over three and a half years. As more miners work on the network, the difficulty increases, and the number of Bitcoin a miner can expect decreases.
Best Bitcoin mining hardware: Your top choices for choosing the best Bitcoin mining hardware for building the ultimate Bitcoin mining machine. Wondering what is SegWit and how does it work? Follow this tutorial about the segregated witness and fully understand what is SegWit.
Bitcoin mining is very important. The more miners working on the network, the more secure it is. Some hobbyist miners mine the network at a loss. Unfortunately, Bitcoin mining is highly competitive these days. Without a huge investment and the freedom to set up somewhere with low electricity rates and a cool climate, your chances of making a lot of money Bitcoin mining are very slim.
Ethereum and Monero are amongst the most popular choices. However, a quick search of the web will find many more obscure projects that can be mined with less expensive hardware. So, that was it. I hope you learned a lot! If you're interested in top Bitcoin mining hardware, press here. Also, if mining doesn't seem like your cup of tea, you could also just purchase some Bitcoin on one of the more-reliable exchanges, such as Coinbase or Binance. We do not publish biased feedback or spam. So if you want to share your experience, opinion or give advice - the scene is yours!
The short answer is - usually , no. If you want to learn how to mine Bitcoin in order to start mining it yourself , you should be aware of the fact that you'll require a lot of electricity and some designated machines in order to do it efficiently - even so, it's not going to be profitable in most cases.
If you want to hold some Bitcoin, your best bet is to purchase it from an exchange. In general, the best way to mine Bitcoin is by setting up a designated rig i. Cryptocurrency mining pools are also a great option, but with time, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to make a profit mining Bitcoin this way. If you have very cheap electricity and a cool space, mining with a rig is a better idea - that, or purchasing some BTC from a crypto exchange.
Picking out the best crypto exchange for yourself, you should always focus on maintaining a balance between the essential features that all top crypto exchanges should have, and those that are important to you, personally. That said, many users believe that Coinbase is one of the simpler exchanges on the current market. The exchange platform i. Binance acts as a middleman - it connects you your offer or request with that other person the seller or the buyer.
When considering cryptocurrency exchange rankings, though, both of these types of businesses exchanges and brokerages are usually just thrown under the umbrella term - exchange. This is done for the sake of simplicity.
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