What is mining?
Bitcoin mining presents a whole new perspective of mining as we know it. When the word mining is mentioned, one is likely to think of a dusty land field hosting heavy machinery. Well, this is somewhat true for bitcoin mining, the only difference being that bitcoin mining does quite entertain dust. Bitcoin mining is essentially the process through which more bitcoins come into circulation and it is also the process through which transactions are verified on the bitcoin blockchain. Precisely, transactions on the bitcoin blockchain are gathered into blocks which are then turned to complex mathematical puzzles. The process through which these puzzles are solved is the one referred to as mining. Essentially, the miner who solves the puzzle first gets rewarded in bitcoins thus adding to the existing supply. Moreover, solving the puzzle results in the verification of the transactions warranting them to be added on the bitcoin blockchain.
Types of mining
There are two forms of bitcoin mining one being ‘hands-on’ mining and the other being cloud mining. We refer to the first form of mining as ‘hands-on’ mining simply because it requires that one acquire relevant hardware and software and then set up a mining rig by integrating the hardware and the software. Notably, ‘hands-on’ mining requires massive cost outlay considering the high costs of these resources. On the hand, cloud mining entails purchasing the mining capacity of the hardware installed in data centers. The only resource that one needs to participate in cloud mining is a home computer for communication purposes.
Bitcoin mining arsenal
As mentioned earlier, bitcoin mining requires the integration of powerful hardware and software. Lighting ASIC is one of the most renowned companies that deals in relevant equipment needed for bitcoin mining. Some of the best bitcoin mining equipment based on price per hash and electrical efficiency are highlighted below:
AntMiner s7– goes for approximately $479.95
- the advertised capacity of this hardware is 4.73Th/s
- power efficiency 0.25W/GH
- weight 8.8 pounds
It is approximated that one can earn about 0.1645 BTC using this miner
AntMiner S9- sells for about $1987.95
- advertised capacity of 13.5 Th/s
- power efficiency is 0.098W/Gh
- weighs 8.1 pounds approximately 3.67 kgs
Monthly BTC earnings using this miner is estimated at 0.3603.
In addition to the hardware, some of the bitcoin mining software used include bitcoin miner, CGMiner, BFGMiner and Easy miner. It is important to reiterate that the integration of these hardware and software is only required when one is looking to participate in hands-on mining.
For individuals that are less savvy in matters technology but still interested in mining, cloud mining is a viable option for them. Notably, there are different forms of cloud mining. They include:
- hosted mining- this entails leasing mining machinery hosted by a provider.
- Virtual hosted mining- this entails creation of a virtual private server and installing your own mining software.
- Leased hashing power- this involves leasing desired hash power without necessary having a virtual or dedicated computer. This is the most common method of cloud mining.
While this does not amount to endorsement, some of the popular companies offering cloud mining services are Hashflare and Genesis Mining.