What it is, and why it is crucially important.
Bitcoin miners are in many ways the guardians of the blockchain, insofar that they protect the integrity and accuracy of the data published on the public ledger.
To incentivize miners to take on this responsibility they are paid a reward in Bitcoin for every block they successfully mine. Blocks are mined roughly every 10 minutes, and to extrapolate this there are roughly 144 blocks of data published on the Bitcoin blockchain every day.
For the sake of clarity, every time you read the word ‘mining’ in this doc — the word you should be thinking is verify. Mining is the process of verifying information on the blockchain.
So how does it work?
Mining is meticulous, costly, and only sporadically rewarding.
Miners use computers, with specifically designed software to solve complex mathematical problems to verify that the information being published to the blockchain is correct.
In more simple terms, miners verify the information by solving complex math problems where there can only be one answer. The entity of miners that solves the problem is then given the block reward as a reward for solving the block correctly, and before all other competing miners.
Solving these mathematical problems is the only way that new Bitcoin can be minted.
How hard is it to Mine a Block?
In fact, the chances of mining a block as a sole entity are practically zero.
This is why most people now mine in pools (groups of people) where they are paid relative to the amount of computing power they are contributing to the pool.
Essentially, miners are serving the Bitcoin community by confirming every transaction and making sure they are legitimate. All miners compete with one another, using software written specifically to mine blocks.
Solving a block guarantees a reward, which is currently set at 6.25 BTC per block (after the most recent halving event). Initially, the reward was set at 50 BTC per block. To learn more about Bitcoin halvings read here.
How do I get involved in Bitcoin Mining?
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