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There are no physical “coins” in bitcoin, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that—along with all bitcoin transactions—is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoin is backed by millions of ASICs around the world called “miners.” By mining bitcoin, you can earn cryptocurrency without having to put down money for it. It is also the only way to release new bitcoin into circulation.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Mining is the process of managing the blockchain. The job of ASIC Bitcoin miners is to review and verify previous bitcoin transactions and create a new block so the information can be added to the blockchain. The mining process involves solving complex mathematical problems using intrinsic hash functions linked to the block that contains the transaction data. Various Bitcoin miners compete intensely with each other to solve a necessary mathematical puzzle.

When we say the words “block” and “chain” in the context of blockchain, we are actually talking about digital information (the “block”) that is stored in a public database (the “chain”). The Bitcoin protocol is built on the blockchain. So, with the launch of Bitcoin in 2009 as the first cryptocurrency, blockchain technology had its first real-world application.

You might also view ASIC devices as similar to the microprocessor and random access memory (RAM) chips in your computer; only instead of being general integrated circuits as those are, Bitcoin ASIC miners are specific integrated circuits designed solely to maintain the Bitcoin blockchain—a public database that stores digital information. Developing and manufacturing ASICs as mining devices is costly and complex; but because ASICs are built especially for mining cryptocurrency, they do the job faster than less powerful computers.https://12ea7800963ffec019cbea4bac9dd936.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Reviewing Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Mining

The first miner to find the solution to the puzzle is able to authorize the transaction (to add bitcoin to the block). Each winner in the Bitcoin-mining lottery receives a reward (a certain amount of bitcoin). The reward includes all of the transaction fees for the transactions in that block, which motivates miners to collect as many transactions into a block as possible to increase their reward.

The default mining pool issues payouts weekly to accounts with at least 5000 Satoshis—the smallest unit of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. If an account doesn’t reach 5000 Satoshis during a week, the balance carries forward (it is never lost).

There are no physical “coins” in bitcoin, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that—along with all bitcoin transactions—is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoin is backed by millions of ASICs around the world called “miners.” By mining bitcoin, you can earn cryptocurrency without having to put down money for it. It is also the only way to release new bitcoin into circulation.

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