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What Is Bitcoin Mining?

Author: Jeffrey Craig Date: November 20, 2022

Bitcoin mining is the process of verifying bitcoin transactions and recording these on a digital ledger known as a blockchain.

Bitcoin Mining

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Any time a cryptocurrency transaction occurs, miners lend their computing power to help authenticate transactions, filter out illegitimate ones and update the blockchain. Mining is essentially what keeps the entire system functioning in a safe and self-sufficient manner. As a reward, these miners are paid with coins or tokens for the cryptocurrency that they participate in. This is what’s known as a Proof of Work system.

Proof-of-Work

Bitcoin’s Proof of Work system involves having miners solve complicated mathematical puzzles to create blocks of verified transactions that are then added to the blockchain. These cryptographic problems are so hard to solve that miners must use specialized hardware capable of producing substantial computing power. In fact, the process is so costly that malicious actors are deterred from attempting any attacks.

It is simply more cost-effective and rewarding to participate as a legitimate miner. This is because each time a miner successfully solves a puzzle and adds a new block, the system rewards them with a certain amount of Bitcoin. The solution or “proof of their work” is then shared and verified by other miners as they add the same block to their copies of the distributed ledger.

Bitcoin Mining Software

Mining software is required to connect your mining rig to the network and the Bitcoin blockchain. This software relays information between your miner and the blockchain. It also allows you to change certain settings, such as the mining pool you want to join and which cryptocurrency you would like to mine.

As a reward, you can earn cryptocurrency without having to put down money for it. Essentially, you’re being paid for your computer power and time. However, keep in mind that cryptocurrency mining is a very resource-intensive process. Therefore, it’s important to do your research and make sure you have the appropriate hardware and software before starting.

For example, there are many different types of bitcoin mining software available. Some of them include:

  • Awesome Miner
  • BFGMiner
  • MultiMiner
  • EasyMiner
  • CGMiner
  • BTCMiner
  • DiabloMiner
  • NiceHash Miner

Some are designed for beginners, while others are more advanced. It’s important to choose the right software for your needs, as different software has different features and capabilities.

Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable In 2022?

2022’s crypto winter saw a downturn in variables such as the price of BTC, hash rate, and difficulty, which has had a direct impact on miners’ profitability. However, this downturn has helped purge the market of inefficient mining equipment. The most efficient rigs are still profitable even in a bear market. Overall, Bitcoin mining is still a viable and profitable industry. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks and challenges involved in crypto mining.

A miner’s profitability does not only depend on Bitcoin’s market performance. Other factors like electricity rates, energy prices, and transactional prices. So higher the electricity cost, the more unprofitable mining will be.

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6 Ways to Mine Bitcoin

1 Bitcoin Mining Sites

Mining Bitcoin online is probably the most popular and well-known way to earn BTC. Sites like Hashflare and Genesis Mining offer lifetime contracts for BTC mining, meaning as long as the site is operational, you’ll continue to mine Bitcoin and receive payouts. The main advantage of this method is that it’s very simple and easy to get started. All you need is an email address (to create an account) to start mining immediately.

The downside is that these sites take a large percentage of the BTC you mine, so your profits may be limited. In addition, the lifetime contracts may not be as “lifetime” as they seem, as the sites may close down if unprofitable.

2 Bitcoin Mining Pools

Mining pools are groups of miners who pool their resources together and share the rewards. By joining a pool, you can increase your chances of earning a reward, as well as receive a steadier stream of income. The main advantage of mining pools is that it increases your chances of earning a reward. The downside is you’ll have to pay fees to the pool, and your rewards will be less than if you had mined on your own.

3 Bitcoin Cloud Mining

Cloud mining is a type of Bitcoin mining that allows you to rent mining hardware (usually through a cloud mining service) and have someone else do the mining for you. The main advantage of cloud mining is that it’s very convenient and easy to get started. All you need is an internet connection and you can start mining immediately. The downside is that it’s usually more expensive than traditional Bitcoin mining, and there’s always the risk that the service may close down or become unprofitable.

4 Bitcoin Mining Farm

A Bitcoin mining farm is a large-scale operation that usually consists of multiple rigs, and sometimes even multiple locations. Mining farms are usually used by big companies or organizations because they require a lot of capital to set up and maintain.

5 Bitcoin Mining Apps

There are a few apps that allow you to mine Bitcoin on your phone or tablet. The main advantage of this is that it’s very convenient, as you can mine Bitcoin anywhere you have an internet connection. The downside is that the mining rewards are usually very small, and the app may not be very reliable.

6 Bitcoin Mining At Home

Mining Bitcoin at home is still possible, but it requires a lot of expensive equipment and a lot of electricity. ASIC miners are the most efficient, but they can be very expensive. GPU mining is also still possible, but it’s not as profitable as it used to be.

The main advantage of mining at home is that you can do it for free if you have the right equipment. You can be in complete control of your mining operation, and you will likely see the highest rewards. However, it’s also the riskiest and most challenging option because it’s very time-consuming and requires a lot of electricity.

How To Start Bitcoin Mining?

Step 1: Choose A Mining Pool

There are a few different mining pools to choose from, but we recommend choosing one that has low fees and is reliable.

Step 2: Set Up Your Account

This usually just requires an email address and a password.

Step 3: Choose Your Mining Software

Consider factors like ease of use, security, and profitability when choosing your mining software.

Step 4: Set Up Your Hardware

If you’re using ASIC miners, they will usually come with instructions on how to set them up. If you’re using GPU miners, you will need to install the drivers and configure the settings.

Step 5: Start Mining!

Depending on your pool, you may need to enter some information like your wallet address or worker ID.

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What Is The Bitcoin Mining Cost?

Bitcoin’s production cost is based on an estimation of the average cost of mining one Bitcoin per day. To help you understand we’ve illustrated an example by Asic Miner Market.

Cost Assumptions Value
Electricity Cost $0.05/kWh
Other Costs (mining pool fee, staffing, internet) 20% of electricity cost
Network Assumptions Value
Network Hash Rate 175 EH/s
Reward Per Block 6.250 BTC
Average Transaction Fee Per Block 0.125 BTC
Total Revenue Per Block 6.375 BTC
Bitcoin Issued Per Day 918 BTC
ASIC Assumptions Value
Make Whatsminer
Model M30S+
Hash Rate 100 TH/s
Power Consumption 3,400 W
Efficiency (J/TH) 34
Retail Price (December 2021) $10,858
Life of Asic 2.5 years

 

  • Hashes required to mine one Bitcoin = Network hash rate * Seconds per day / Bitcoin mined per day (including fee) = 175 TH/s * 86400 / 918 = ~16,471 EH / BTC
  • Time taken for an ASIC miner to mine one Bitcoin = ~16,471 EH * 10^6 / (100 TH/s * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 365 days) = ~5.22 years

Capital expenses (Capex):

  • Bitcoin mined per ASIC lifetime = 2.5 years / ~5.22 years = ~0.48 BTC
  • Effective price per Bitcoin = Price of ASIC miner / Bitcoins mined in its lifetime = $10,858 / ~0.48 BTC = ~$22,684

Operational expenses (Opex):

  • Electricity cost per Bitcoin = Time required to mine one Bitcoin * Energy consumption * Cost = ~5.22 years * 365 days * 24 hours * 3,400 * $0.05 / 1,000 = ~$7,778
  • Cooling and other overheads per Bitcoin = 20% of electricity cost = ~$1,556

The total cost of production per Bitcoin: = Capex + electricity + other Opex per Bitcoin

  • = ~$22,684 + ~$7,778 + ~$1,556 = ~$32,018

So one Bitcoin was produced with one ASIC miner at a cost of ~$32,018 over a period of 5 years. If you need a more accurate number, consider using a Bitcoin mining profitability calculator or keep an eye on Bitcoin mining profitability charts as they are key indicators that can help you gauge whether it’s currently profitable to mine Bitcoin.

Can I Mine Bitcoin? Is Anyone Still Mining Bitcoins?

In theory, anyone can mine Bitcoin. In reality, because it needs specialized hardware, takes up a lot of electric power, and involves needing technical know-how and understanding, it’s usually inaccessible to many. Mining operations are usually organizations or larger groups of people, who have the capital to invest in a lot of equipment and in a location with cheaper energy costs.

Is Bitcoin Mining Legal

Bitcoin mining is banned in various countries such as Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, and Bolivia. However, it’s considered a legal practice in the US, Canada, Russia, and the UK. Please check the regulations in your country before you consider Bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin Mining Scams

Unfortunately, there are many scams in the Bitcoin mining industry. Here are a few telltale signs that a company may be a scam:

  • The company requires you to pay upfront for Bitcoin mining hardware or software.
  • The company doesn’t have a physical address, or the address is in a country known for scams.
  • The company promises guaranteed profits from Bitcoin mining.
  • The company has a history of fraudulent behavior.

If you’re thinking about investing in a Bitcoin mining operation, make sure to do your research and only invest in reputable companies.

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Is Bitcoin Mining Safe?

Bitcoin mining is a risky business because it’s unregulated and there have been instances of scams and fraud. However, if you take the necessary precautions, it can be a safe and profitable way to earn Bitcoin.

Cons Of Mining Bitcoin

1 Hardware Costs & Maintenance

Like any other business, opening a cryptocurrency mining rig requires an investment. When it comes to Bitcoin specifically, you’ll need to buy mining hardware, which is a costly investment, and not everyone can afford it. In addition to the hardware costs, there are also the costs of electricity and maintenance.

2 Fraud & Scam Risk

3 High Entry Barrier

Only those with enough capital can get involved in Bitcoin mining. This centralizes power in the hands of a few miners, which could potentially lead to future problems.

4 Decreases The Lifespan Of Your Graphic Cards

GPUs used for Bitcoin mining tend to wear out quickly because the mining process requires your GPUs to work at their maximum potential for extended time periods.

5 Environmental Impact

Bitcoin mining consumes a lot of energy, which can have a negative impact on the environment. It’s estimated that Bitcoin mining is responsible for nearly 0.1% of world greenhouse gas emissions. While sustainability is a growing concern for many, it’s still something to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to get involved in Bitcoin mining.

Can You Lose Money Mining Bitcoins?

Yes, you can lose money mining Bitcoin. The cost of electricity and the wear and tear on your hardware can result in a loss. In addition, the value of Bitcoin may go down, which would also lead to a loss.

How To Earn Bitcoin Without Mining?

For small crypto traders and investors, another option to get your hands on Bitcoin is to buy it directly.

Benefits of buying bitcoin directly:

  • Compared to Bitcoin Mining, buying happens instantly since the coins are pre-existing.
  • The transaction fee is cheaper compared to the costs of buying the hardware.

Many exchanges like Phemex offer fiat to crypto options. What this means is you can use a credit or debit card to buy Bitcoin, which you can then trade, hodl, or exchange for altcoins. You can also buy a stablecoin like USDT with your fiat and then trade this for Bitcoin.

You can also use leverage of up to 100x on Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Phemex is a great option for those looking to buy Bitcoin without mining. With low fees, high liquidity, and the ability to trade with leverage, Phemex is one of the best exchanges in the market.


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