Cryptocurrency Mining: Everything You Need to Know

For many cryptocurrency enthusiasts, speculative transactions are only the beginning.

It doesn't take long for cryptocurrency newcomers to show an interest in cryptocurrency mining - the mysterious mechanism cryptocurrencies use to maintain their network, create new coins, and generate value.

For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when discussing cryptocurrency mining are the large warehouses inventive entrepreneurs stack with expertly calibrated mining rigs. In the Bitcoin network system, these rigs solve increasingly complex computations in order to validate other users' transactions, which generates a fee that goes to the rig's owner.

But Bitcoin is not the only game in town. For example, the Bitcoin and Ethereum mining systems are vastly different from one another.

Read on to find out how cryptocurrency mining works on a deeper, most fundamental level by categorizing it into two distinct concepts - proof-of-stake and proof-of-work - and discover how these processes generate value in different cryptocurrency networks.

Cryptocurrency Mining Concepts Defined

Blockchain.jpg

All cryptocurrencies work based on the following concepts:

  • Blockchain: The underlying technology that makes cryptocurrency possible. A blockchain network is the peer-to-peer infrastructure that allows users to perform transactions with one another without relying on a third-party authority to verify those transactions. It acts as a universal ledger for individual users to check their transactions against overall network activity. Each individual user automatically accepts valid transactions and rejects invalid ones, creating a distributed consensus among all users.

  • Proof of Work: A mechanism for generating distributed consensus among users in a cryptocurrency network. In this system, a computer earns the right to validate a transaction by solving an arbitrary problem. The Bitcoin proof of work mechanism uses complex cryptography to make sure every user agrees with the state of the overall system.

  • Proof of Stake: Another mechanism for generating distributed consensus among cryptocurrency users. Instead of letting users solve computational puzzles to validate transactions, the network calls on individual users to do so on its own. The only thing a user need to prove is that he or she has a stake in the network itself. The Ethereum proof of stake mechanism operates similar to a savings account at a bank.

Any cryptocurrency interested in mining needs to choose between coins that use one of these two methods.

Choosing a Coin to Mine

1. Proof of Work

Proof of Work Bitcoin.jpg

While Bitcoin is undoubtedly the most well-known cryptocurrency and features the highest market capitalization, it may not be the best choice for newcomers to mining. It is more than 80 percent of the way towards reaching its maximum supply of 21 million BTC, at which point a major incentive to mine bitcoin simply disappears.

In this case, the proof of work mechanism serves to discourage new miners from entering the system. The Bitcoin network has already rewarded its early adopters and pioneers - only established miners with access to significant resources can generate value in this circumstance.

The Bitcoin situation is not unlike that of mining for gold . A single gold miner panning in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1849 had a good chance of striking it rich - and quite a few did. But within a few short years, those early gold miners cleared out all of the easily accessible surface gold in the area. Anyone who wanted to mine further had to invest in serious earthmoving equipment to do so.

One of the main reasons for this is the fact that bitcoin mining consumes an extraordinary amount of electricity. The electricity costs are today's Bitcoin miners are monumental compared to what they were years ago, and miners feel those costs eating into their profits.

The same is likely to be true with other currencies that rely on proof of work to generate value. As long as users need to work to generate value, they are indebted to the system they've invested in.

2. Proof of Stake

Proof of work PivX (1).png

The proof of stake mechanism, on the other hand, rewards people who own cryptocurrencies simply for doing so. Instead of entrusting miners with the task of creating new coins, actual coin holders create new coins according to an internal system.

PIVX is one such coin. Any PIVX user can generate new value without having to invest in expensive mining rigs or consume huge amount of electricity. The system relies on stakers and masternodes, with a corrective algorithm that maintains a balance between the two. If too many of either join the network, it automatically balances in the other's favor.

  • Stakers: are individuals who promise to keep their money in the PIVX network and generate returns based on that - much like a savings account at a bank.

  • Masternodes: earn more than individual stakers, but at a higher buy-in amount. This is more like the higher interest-generating accounts banks offer their clients - the more you put in, the more you can earn.
    The important difference is that instead investing in machines to do work to support the network, stakers and masternodes invest directly in the network itself.

Conclusion

There has never been a more exciting time for cryptocurrency mining. Those who choose the right method have a great chance to ensure long-term passive income. Between proof of work and proof of stake mechanisms, proof of stake is the most flexible, futureproof solution for supporting new cryptocurrencies while minimizing exposure to loss.

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I’m interested in mining, but I feel like I’ve got too much of a learning curve for me right now. I’m new to the crypto market and not sure I’d be able to do this properly. Maybe in a year or so I’ll have more education and be able to make better decision! Thanks for the post!

I'd say the best way to figure it out is to dive right in! Follow a good guide to build one and then follow the steps to setup the software.

good reply.you follow me ..
@lovelu3650

I have a few rigs running at the moment and to be honest...unless you can get GPU's for the price they are intended to be. I feel you may be better off buying and holding the coin as a lot of the value from mining is the increase in price.

I think mining is now just for the big boys... for the normal person at home the time for mining and making good profits is long gone.. you are best just to invest in the coin you are looking at mining...

great reply.I have followed you.you follow me and upvote @lovelu3650

Good Fri...

PivX just(over the last 6 months, not sure when) moved to proof of stake, good catch, they are a fork of dash so they used to be mineable, maybe dash will follow.

do you know if there is anything like whattomine.com for staking ?

That´s a very good question! No, I haven't found anything yet. But it would be great to know if there are similar websites like whattomine.com. I think that there aren´t enough coins yet... but just a guess. ;)

there is quite a big trend with PoS, I was just trying to understand Decred's spakepool: https://stakepool.dcrstats.com/

interesting reply.I have followed you.you follow me @lovelu3650

mining is something not worth right now. It depends on how a crypto currency acts. but I think investing and holding is the better option

This is worth it. It put my machines back to work!
Easy....mining. More fun with friends!

Computta
https://computta.com/?ref=268161

These guys have really figured this out. You can make money while you sleep, Just signup Download the free miner. There is never a fee. (not to sound like a shill) This is like a money drop! I will post again with details of my profits.

Since there are new CGU that are coming, I think that it would be a great investment at their release !

great article.thanks.
upvote +resteemed by
@lovelu3650

great post, thanks for sharing

follow me @thunderland

follow for follow.
follow me..
@lovelu3650

Well done article on mining thanks! resteemed

I am trying to use CPU mining, is it worth the time and effort. I know it's not a great mining method but for starters I don't think it is worth investing in mining rigs or high end GPU.

calculate your earnings against your electrical costs and you'll know if it's worth it - otherwise simply buy the coins

I have a Cyber cafe so I need to run the PC all day so whether mining or not PC is on only. SO for just mining the electricity cost is virtually nil.

Check out Gridcoin. You won't get rich but you can make money with CPUs - it also can be set to only run when computer isn't in use so probably good for a cyber cafe. Your clients won't notice any slowdown and you make some money when computer is not in use. It also contributes to science/math research so you get to do some good too.

great article.thanks.I have followed you.you follow me.
@lovelu3650

im doing eth mining , also mining altcoins and doing profit switching

excellent post - resteemed

I am surely going to mine this coin, thank you have a nice day. PIVX here I come

Very good thank

What do you think of cloud mining ?

I´ll do a blog post about it soon

Good, I am looking forward to read it

I have followed you.
you follow me...
@lovelu3650

Great post....🤔😁👍👏👏👏👏lots of good information about mining ⛏. Upvoted and resteemed keep posting and steem on.

Very interesting information, I feel interested to be able to mine bitcoin as well

Send me min 0.20 sbd i will upvote u profitble 😊

Great article, I'm not new to mining but it is always good to have reference articles for people who are.

nice and informative post.

Very good article!! Well made and easy to read!!

Great post, this is all so very new to all of us and explaining basic information is essential

very good post :)

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