The flagship cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is garnering international popularity among investors as its price goes back up again. The mysterious founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, only planned for a fixed number of Bitcoin tokens to be released. But that doesn’t mean that the Bitcoin tokens currently in circulation are all the tokens that will ever exist. In fact, it takes quite a bit of effort for new tokens to enter circulation. The process with which they’re introduced is called Bitcoin mining.
In Bitcoin mining, miners have to solve very complex mathematical equations that will authorize different transactions being conducted with the currency. Considering how Bitcoin’s value has surged in the last few years, it’s no surprise that more and more people are interested in Bitcoin mining. After all, miners will get something out of bringing a token into circulation as well. Once they mine the token, the miner gets a predetermined fraction of the cryptocurrency.
But unlike other aspects of the crypto sphere, mining is one domain that’s hard to venture in. That’s because no matter how much of an interest you have in it, the complex and difficult nature of the process will prevent most people from trying.
Bitcoin works using a decentralized network of computers. New Bitcoin tokens are generated with the different computers on the network that authorize the transactions after checking them. The different computers in the network are miners, and they get a Bitcoin-based payment in return for processing transactions. Bitcoin works using Blockchain technology, which operates on a model that acts like a decentralized ledger keeping records of transactions.
But that’s not the end of it. Bitcoin miners have to compete with each other to solve extremely difficult mathematical problems. Often, these problems require the extensive hashing power of advanced computers. Consequently, the network takes an immense amount of electricity to run because the computers have extensive energy needs.
Besides needing the intelligence and electricity to get started, Bitcoin mining will require an investment on your part. You will need to purchase specific computer hardware. These is called ASICs, which is short for application-specific integrated circuits, and these alone can cost a lot. So you’ll have to pay quite the price to get started with crypto mining. But even when you do have the intelligence, hashing power, and equipment to get started, government regulations can intervene. Many environmental groups are against the practice of mining Bitcoin because it’s literally heating up the earth.
But despite all the effort that goes into the process, many countries don’t recognize digital currencies, including Bitcoin. Not to mention, it’s highly volatile, so the price is always fluctuating. Also, countries’ regulations on mining, like China’s crypto ban, can affect mining activities as well.