Bitcoin blockchain is a decentralized public ledger that carries information regarding all Bitcoin transactions. One can add several transactions to the blockchain via Bitcoin mining.
Miners use powerful computers to solve cryptographic problems using the Proof of Work protocol. This adds the transaction to the blockchain network after validation. As a result, the miners are rewarded for their effort.
Specialized hardware and software are used to solve complicated mathematical problems during mining. It is known as hashing power. New Bitcoins are rewarded to the miners who solve the puzzle first. Moreover, they also get the transaction fee associated with carrying out the transactions on the block.
As the complexity of cryptographic problems has increased over time, much effort and power are required to solve those problems. In addition, the increasing number of miners on the blockchain network also adds to the complexity of the mining process as it becomes less profitable for the miners making it more challenging for them.
To overcome the barriers in mining, miners have started using advanced equipment such as special graphics processing units (GPUs) that carry more efficiency or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).
However, the miners can only earn a good profit through Bitcoin mining if the cost of Bitcoin is high enough to compensate for the costs of electricity and mining equipment.
Here is a guide article explaining the procedure of mining Bitcoin at home. Moreover, it will also explain the software and hardware equipment required for mining and the overall budget required to initiate mining.
What is Bitcoin Mining?
The process of creating valid blocks for the addition of valid transactions on the public ledger of the Bitcoin network is known as Bitcoin Mining. Mining Bitcoins ensures that the transactions added to the blockchain network are valid and correctly added to the blockchain network using a network of computers.
Users use the Proof of Work network consensus mechanism to discover new blocks and validate the transactions. The integrity of the blockchain is dependent on the combined efforts made by all the participants on the chain. They also make sure that transactions on the blockchains are not reversed back.
The Working of Bitcoin Mining
Mining provides a reliable and trustworthy way of ordering data, which helps leverage economic incentives. The transactions carried out by third parties are usually decentralized and receive rewards if done properly.
While dealing with Bitcoin mining, a succession of blocks is created that has to be stacked properly. This process is highly dependent on the cryptographic hash of the process. The tool used for unidirectional encryption is known as a hash. The miners generate the hash of data, which is used to identify any specific block on the network.
If any small component of the block is altered, it may result in altering the hash of that particular block. Moreover, this incorrect pattern is also rejected by the nodes, thus preventing tampering with the network.
In addition, miners must put real-time effort into the mining procedure to earn true rewards. It also requires time and electricity to hash the possible combinations of the cryptographic problem.
Why is Bitcoin Mining Needed?
Mining Bitcoins is usually considered similar to mining gold. New Bitcoins are created, and computer operations track transactions through crypto mining. It also provides the owner of the crypto asset to the miners.
One can feasibly mine Bitcoins to earn rewards. Moreover, some Bitcoin miners also combine their efforts with other miners by building mining pools. The miners who work in groups have a more chance of winning the reward, which is ultimately distributed among them. However, one may have to pay a fee to participate in the pool.
What are the Steps Involved in Mining Bitcoin at Home?
As the complexity of the mining process has increased with time, Bitcoin mining may not be as profitable as it used to be. In order to initiate Bitcoin mining at home, miners need a powerful mining rig, a possible internet connection and an economical electricity supply. The steps needed to be followed for mining Bitcoin are mentioned below.
- Building or Buying a Mining Rig
Building or buying a mining rig is the first step to initiating mining Bitcoin at home. A computer system that is particularly designed for mining crypto assets is known as a mining rig.
The system comprises several Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) that function collectively and solve a complicated mathematical problem at a relevantly high speed.
- Setting Up a Bitcoin Wallet
After setting up the mining rig, the next step is to set up the Bitcoin wallet for storing Bitcoins collected through mining. One can choose any wallet from the wide range of available wallets, such as paper wallets, hardware wallets, software wallets, etc.
- Installing a Bitcoin Mining Software
Once the miner chooses the mining rig and Bitcoin wallet, he must download any accessible Bitcoin mining software. After downloading, the software has to be installed. One can choose from the available software such as Easy Miner, CG Miner, BFG Miner etc.
- Joining a Mining Pool
The next step is joining the mining pool. A large group of miners collectively form a mining pool that increases the chances of finding a block and earning rewards through the combination of their computing power. A few examples of mining pools are BTC.com, Antpool, Slush Pool, etc.
- Initiate Bitcoin Mining
After joining the mining pools, one can start mining Bitcoins. However, several factors decide the amount of Bitcoin that can be mined, such as the efficiency of the mining rig, the competition between miners, the electricity cost, etc.
Can Bitcoin at Home be Challenging?
Mining Bitcoin at home can be challenging as one needs significant initial investment to buy specialized equipment and proper training to operate it correctly. However, the complexity of Bitcoin mining has increased exponentially over the past few years.
This has made it difficult for individual miners to compete with the mining systems operating at a larger scale. In addition, due to the higher electricity costs, traders find investing in Bitcoin a more affordable option than mining it.
Electricity Cost Required for Mining Bitcoin
Several factors may affect the cost of electricity required for mining Bitcoin, a few of which are discussed below.
- Electricity Cost in the Geographical Area
There is a possibility that electricity costs are higher in some regions than others. Most of the Bitcoin mining takes place in the United States, where the electricity prices are relatively lower such as 12.5 dollars per kilowatt hour.
However, in certain countries such as Denmark or Germany, the electricity prices are comparatively higher such as 38 dollars per kilowatt hour. This makes it difficult for traders to think of mining Bitcoin independently.
- Mining Equipment Efficiency
The efficiency of the mining equipment also affects the cost of electricity required for Bitcoin mining. The efficiency of some devices is comparatively better than others.
This has a significant effect on the expenses of electricity. Therefore, miners should first calculate the efficiency of their mining apparatus before calculating the cost of electricity.
- Mining Operation Size
It has been estimated that the total energy consumed by the Bitcoin network, on average, is about 112.5 TWh per year. Experts believe that it is the energy consumed by the entire country of Chile in a year.
Different Methods of Mining Bitcoin at Home
There are several methods to start Bitcoin mining at home; however, a certain capital investment is required for this purpose, in addition to advanced training about the utility and functions of all the strategies involved. Some of the commonly used Bitcoin mining methods are discussed below.
- By using a Computer with Efficient Graphics Card
This method uses a computer with an efficient Graphic Processing Unit (GPU). In order to validate the Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain network and to earn new Bitcoins, the GPU is used to solve cryptographic mathematical problems.
- By using an ASIC Miner
One can also use application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) to mine Bitcoins over the blockchain network. It is a piece of specialized mining equipment designed especially for Bitcoin mining. Although the efficiency of ASICs is relatively higher than that of GPU systems, they are quite costly too.
- By Joining a Mining Pool
One can also initiate Bitcoin mining at home by joining any mining pool. This helps in increasing the chances of earning new Bitcoins as a reward by combining the resources of all the participants in the pool. However, the reward is distributed among all the miners in the pool according to their contribution.
- By Using Cloud Mining
This method involves using a cloud mining service to rent a mining power. The cloud mining service is used for taking care of the processing and maintenance of the mining system and devices.
Method to Mine Bitcoin on the PC
One needs to follow the steps discussed below for mining at home while using a PC.
- Get a Bitcoin Wallet
Before starting Bitcoin mining, it is important to own a storage place for Bitcoins. Therefore, one should first create a Bitcoin wallet for this purpose. Several options are available for the users that they can utilize.
Users may choose a hardware wallet, such as any physical device to store their Bitcoin holdings offline, or a software wallet that can be feasibly downloaded over the computer.
- Download Mining Software
Mining software also needs to be installed by the user. One should opt for such mining software that is compatible with the operating system of the computer.
- Join a Mining Pool
The chances of earning new Bitcoins are increased if one joins a mining pool. The reward is distributed among all the participants of the pool. However, the participation of each member in the mining activity decides the ratio he owns in the reward.
- Configure the Mining Software
The mining software that the miner chooses needs to be configured with the address of the Bitcoin wallet and the mining pool joined by him. Moreover, before starting the mining activity, the miner has to set the mining intensity and the number of threads required.
- Initiate Mining
Users can start mining once they configure the software with the addresses. The processing power of the computer is used by the software in order to solve the complicated mathematical problems required for the validation of a transaction on the blockchain network. This results in facilitating the user to earn new Bitcoins.
Method to Mine Bitcoin on a Smartphone
As smartphones do not possess significant processing power, mining Bitcoin is usually considered an impractical option. Moreover, they cannot compete with an entire mining equipment set-up. In addition, mining any crypto asset consumes a lot of energy that may damage the mobile phone due to overheating.
One should be aware that Bitcoin mining applications on mobile phones are just a minimal way of earning Bitcoins or other crypto assets as a reward for completing different tasks or watching videos or advertisements. These applications cannot be considered actual mining.
Moreover, the reward the users earn is incompatible with the effort they put into completing their tasks and is considered very low concerning the resources spent.
One needs to follow the below steps to mine Bitcoin while using a mobile phone application.
- Downloading a Mobile Mining Application
The Google Play Store or the Application Store contains a lot of different applications for mining Bitcoin on a mobile phone. After properly checking the authenticity and security policy, one must download any of these applications.
Moreover, users can only get access to some of the applications through the involvement of a third-party crypto website; therefore, checking upon the transparency of these mining websites is also very important.
- Creating an Account
In order to initiate the mining process, one needs to create an account integrated with the mobile mining application.
- Completion of Tasks
The user will be allowed to complete different tasks through the application. The user needs to watch any advertisement or complete small tasks. As a result, they are rewarded with a minimal amount of Bitcoin or any other crypto asset.
- Wait for Rewards
The account of the user is then funded with the reward he has earned through the completion of those activities. After the Bitcoins reach the minimum threshold the user sets, he can feasibly withdraw them through their Bitcoin wallet.
Is Bitcoin Mining at Home Worth It?
The results one gain through Bitcoin mining depends on the effort one puts in. Certain factors determine if one should start Bitcoin mining or not.
Firstly, one should calculate if he can invest a certain amount in the hardware required for mining, considering the future and difficulty level of Bitcoin mining. In case the prices of Bitcoin fall in the market, miners consider it an easier approach to mine Bitcoin at home.
What is the Future of Bitcoin Mining?
The future of Bitcoin mining is dependent on multiple factors; therefore, it is quite difficult to predict the exact future of Bitcoin mining. A few of the important factors are discussed below.
- Price of Bitcoin
It is one of the most critical factors that decide the profitability of the Bitcoin mining process. The price of Bitcoin in the market greatly decides the profit ratio one can gain through Bitcoin mining.
- Decentralization of Mining Network
The future of mining also depends on the decentralization of the mining network. When the larger mining pools control a greater share, thus having a hold on the hashing power of the mining network, it increases the decentralization of the network.
- Energy Consumption
The energy utilized by the Bitcoin mining network is also an important factor. As the complexity level of cryptographic problems increases with time, they require more energy to be solved and thus mine new Bitcoins. This has also given rise to concerns regarding the impact of mining on the environment.
The experts believe that energy consumed by the mining networks can be reduced by imposing taxes or regulations in the future.
- Increasing Competition
The increasing competition among the Bitcoin mining networks is also an important factor that decides the future position of Bitcoin mining. There is a possibility that in the future, Bitcoin mining may only prove profitable for the bigger companies making the small miners uncompetitive in the market.
- Development of Mining Technology
The development and advancement in mining technology are other important factors that decide the future of Bitcoin mining. It has been observed that using new methods and equipment makes the mining process more effective and cost-friendly.
The future of Bitcoin mining is unpredictable overall. However, as the technology evolves and the market conditions change with time, the Bitcoin industry will continue to grow for better aspects.
Mining Bitcoin at home was relatively an easier task about a decade ago. With the increasing complexity of technology, mining Bitcoin has also become challenging with time. The Bitcoin network has also expanded, and miners put every possible effort into earning rewards.
However, with the correct investment of energy and funds and considering all the factors, one can earn quite a handsome profit at home through Bitcoin mining.