Mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is what keeps the network running.
Miners use their computing power, mostly with specialised mining hardware, to compete with other miners in solving complex mathematical problems, whoever finds the answer is able to cryptographically link the next block to the blockchain and is rewarded in Bitcoin by the network.
Example of a mining rig:
Mining uses your electricity and puts strain on hardware so miners must calculate the profitability of mining based on a few different factors. The cost of the hardware plus the running costs versus the difficulty of the mathematics involved and the amount rewarded for solving a block.
Miners can work together by joining a mining pool. By working together miners can increase their chances of finding a block but the reward will be less as it will be split between the people in the mining pool.
Miners have to pay their electricity bills and make a living so the cost of electricity in their region will have a large impact on profitability.
The fiat value of a coin also affects profitability, as the reward when converted to fiat can vary drastically month by month.
Mining is very popular in parts of the world where energy is cheap, or where renewable energy sources are available.
Bitcoins power consumption
Bitcoin has been criticised for the amount of power the network uses collectively.
But these criticisms are never argued in context.
- How much electricity is consumed by all of the current banking systems, branches and office’s in the world?
- How much of the electricity consumed by Bitcoin is renewable energy, same with the current banking system?
- How much fuel is used by staff and customers alike travelling to and from these financial institutions?
Nobody knows for sure how much of the Bitcoin network is operated using renewable energy sources.
Can I start mining Bitcoin?
These days it’s not really feasible to mine Bitcoin on your average home PC, and definitely not on a mobile device.
Bitcoin has been around for many years and the calculations needed to be performed require super computing power.
It is possible for new miners to get involved with newer coins, mining from your desktop PC.
We will be producing a detailed guide on mining soon, there is lots of information available on-line in the meantime.
Mining on your mobile phone
There are many applications available on app stores which claim to be crypto currency miners. They are not miners, they generally just serve ad’s and offer very small payouts, read reviews!
The good news is that there is an app you can use to mine coins on your smartphone. (There’s a version for your PC too for desktop mining).
Check out Electroneum, it’s ticker is ETN and is traded on various crypto exchanges. Download the app and you can mine ETN on your phone for free!
It’s currently only available for Android, it’s still awaiting approval from Apple but should be available soon.
Use this referral code 97AE39 to earn extra ETN, and be sure to share with your family, friends and colleagues!