How Bitcoin Mining Works – See Website for a better definition.
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Before you start mining Bitcoin, it’s useful to understand what Bitcoin mining really means. Bitcoin mining is legal and is accomplished by running SHA256 double round hash verification processes in order to validate Bitcoin transactions and provide the requisite security for the public ledger of the Bitcoin network. The speed at which you mine Bitcoins is measured in hashes per second.
The Bitcoin network compensates Bitcoin miners for their effort by releasing bitcoin to those who contribute the needed computational power. This comes in the form of both newly issued bitcoins and from the transaction fees included in the transactions validated when mining bitcoins. The more computing power you contribute then the greater your share of the reward from your bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin is a digital currency, which is supported by a P2P network of computers across the internet that act as servers to process the financial transactions of this currency. Some believe Bitcoin is a Scam, or Ponzi scheme, but once one understands the concept of Bitcoin, it is clear that it is not.
Mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain ofblocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. Bitcoin nodes use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.
Mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady. Individual blocks must contain aproof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block. Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function.
The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the system: Miners are paid any transaction fees as well as a “subsidy” of newly created coins. This both serves the purpose of disseminating new coins in a decentralized manner as well as motivating people to provide security for the system.
Bitcoin mining is so called because it resembles the mining of other commodities: it requires exertion and it slowly makes new currency available at a rate that resembles the rate at which commodities like gold are mined from the ground.
The Computationally-Difficult Problem
Mining a block is difficult because the SHA-256 hash of a block’s header must be lower than or equal to the target in order for the block to be accepted by the network. This problem can be simplified for explanation purposes: The hash of a block must start with a certain number of zeros. The probability of calculating a hash that starts with many zeros is very low, therefore many attempts must be made. In order to generate a new hash each round, a nonce is incremented.