Bitcoin Mining is the process of creating the currency. Bitcoin miners use specialized software and hardware to verify Bitcoin transactions and to solve complex math problems and are compensated by a certain number of bitcoins in exchange. This is how bitcoin currency is issued and anyone can mine bitcoins. We can use mining to create or earn our own bitcoins. Presently, a successful miner is rewarded with 25 bitcoins for every new block that is created roughly for every 10 minutes. This mutually agreed value will halve after every 210,000 blocks are added to the chain.
Bitcoin Mining and Nodes
Bitcoin mining involves verifying and adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions or blockchains. The blockchain is used to confirm transactions as having taken place to the rest of the network. Bitcoin nodes use the blockchain to legitimate or validate genuine Bitcoin transactions and prevent double spending of bitcoins, that is, stop re-spend of coins that have already been spent elsewhere.
Bitcoin mining is willfully designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks mined each day by miners remains moderate and steady. Individual blocks are also required to contain a proof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes every time they receive a block. Bitcoin employs the hash cash proof-of-work function for its working.
Objectives of Bitcoin Mining
The primary goal of mining is to facilitate Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-proof consensus. Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the Bitcoin ecosystem: Miners earn (if any) transaction fees as well as a “reward or bounty” of newly created bitcoins.
Bitcoin Mining – Proof of work
A proof of work is a piece of data that was resource-intensive and time-consuming to produce so as to satisfy certain requirements. Producing a proof of work is usually a random process with low probability, and a lot of trial and error is required before a valid proof of work is generated. Bitcoin uses the Hashcash type of proof of work. Additionally, the miner is awarded the transaction fees paid by users. The fee is a sort of incentive for the miners to include the transaction in their block. In the future, the fees will make up a significant percentage of mining income. There are two main types of mining: Solo and Pool.
Solo Bitcoin mining is done alone or on your own. With the configuration of a normal desktop or laptop, it would take years to earn actual bitcoins as mining requires enormous computing power.
The second method we can use is pool Bitcoin mining. It involves signing up for an account with any one of the different pooling sites. Using their software and hardware, these sites pool the mining efforts of a lot of people’s computers. Every person in the pool gets small number of bitcoins as his share as a reward. For individuals, pooling is preferable over solo mining.
BitMinter in Bitcoin Mining
BitMinter is a bitcoin mining pool that aims to make it easy for anyone to make bitcoins. It is one of the oldest pools. Since its opening in 2011, over 450000 people have registered accounts with it. In the earlier period, CPUs and GPUs were used for bitcoin mining. Now we need to have specialized Application Specific Integrated Circuits (in short ASIC) machines for bitcoin mining. The speed of these machines is given by their hash rate which is presently of the order of tera hashes/second or T H/s.
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