What is Bitcoin Mining?

One of the fundamental questions many people have about Bitcoin revolves around the tokens themselves. Questions about its value, security and history, all eventually lead to one place: Where do bitcoins come from?

While traditional money is created through (central) banks, bitcoins are “mined” by Bitcoin miners: network participants that perform extra tasks. Specifically, they chronologically order transactions by including them in the Bitcoin blocks they find. This prevents a user from spending the same bitcoin twice; it solves the “double spend” problem.

Skipping over the technical details, finding a block most closely resembles a type of network lottery. For each attempt to try and find a new block, which is basically a random guess for a lucky number, a miner has to spend a tiny amount of energy. Most of the attempts fail and a miner will have wasted that energy. Only once about every ten minutes will a miner somewhere succeed and thus add a new block to the blockchain.

This also means that any time a miner finds a valid block, it must have statistically burned much more energy for all the failed attempts. This “proof of work” is at the heart of Bitcoin’s success.

For one, proof of work prevents

Read more ... source: Bitcoin Magazine

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