How cryptocurrency mining works? A comprehensive guide to understanding the process

Discover how cryptocurrency mining works, including the process, equipment, and rewards, in this comprehensive guide to crypto mining.

May 24, 2024 - 15:37
May 24, 2024 - 15:38
How cryptocurrency mining works? A comprehensive guide to understanding the process
Cryptocurrency mining

Many individuals are intrigued by cryptocurrencies, and an increasing number are investing in them. However, even among those who trade cryptocurrencies regularly, few truly comprehend the underlying technology.

This lack of understanding stems from the current predominant use of cryptocurrencies as speculative tools. Many individuals are focused on chasing profits and pay little attention to other aspects. While only minimal technical knowledge is necessary to engage in trading, we believe that understanding the fundamentals is beneficial. Education can dispel uncertainty and skepticism, which still pervade the broader public perception of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Mining serves as a prime example. Let's delve deeper.

What is crypto mining?

Mining serves as a decentralized agreement system, involving numerous individuals globally in upholding crypto networks. It refers to the validation of pending transactions for inclusion in the blockchain database. While mining is crucial for Proof of Work blockchains such as Bitcoin's, newer blockchains often adopt Proof of Stake and alternative consensus mechanisms that do not require or permit mining.

Mining on Proof of Work blockchains establishes the chronological order of transactions, ensuring the immutability of the crypto ledger. To be confirmed and included, transactions must be packaged in a block that meets strict encryption criteria, verified and validated by miners on the network. Unlike traditional electronic money systems where transactions are verified by credit card companies, mining in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is decentralized, with no involvement of government authorities, ensuring the network's neutrality.

In contrast to the centralized systems of traditional banking where all transactions are recorded, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin rely on miners to confirm transactions. This process, akin to gold mining in its investment of work and energy to produce a valuable asset, rewards miners for validating blocks of transactions and adding them to the blockchain.

Understanding the fundamentals of cryptocurrency mining

Explaining how crypto mining works can be likened to the process of gold mining. Just as we invest effort to extract valuable material like gold, in the digital realm, Bitcoin mining involves a similar concept. However, instead of physical resources, Bitcoin mining operates entirely in the virtual world.

While obtaining gold is straightforward, the process can be volatile and unpredictable, much like mining cryptocurrency.

In gold mining, there's an economic incentive when the costs of mining (labor, equipment) are lower than the value of the gold extracted per ounce. Similarly, Bitcoin mining offers incentives as miners discover new Bitcoins at predetermined levels of difficulty and energy consumption.

In Bitcoin mining, the economic incentive arises when the costs associated with mining (electricity, computing power) are lower than the value of the mining rewards.


Successful miners are rewarded with new Bitcoins when they add a new block to the blockchain. However, due to the complexity of the mathematical operations required for block validation, individual miners rarely receive this reward. Instead, miners form "mining pools" to combine their computing power. Rewards are then distributed among pool members based on their contribution, with those contributing more computing power receiving a larger share.

The reward for adding a block is halved every 210,000 blocks, which occurs approximately every four years. Initially set at 50 Bitcoins, the reward halved to 25 Bitcoins in 2012. This halving process is designed to control the supply of new Bitcoins, with the total supply capped at 21 million coins.

The presence of more miners enhances network security, making it extremely difficult to manipulate. However, an increase in miners also raises the mining difficulty, reducing individual profitability. Despite this, many miners continue mining, believing in the potential future value of Bitcoin, even if current rewards do not cover their costs.

How to mine cryptocurrencies?

What exactly is cryptocurrency mining? You've now got the gist of it. You might even be feeling eager to give it a try yourself. So, let's delve into the hardware and procedures needed to set up a home mining operation. Get ready to wield your pickaxe!


To begin mining Bitcoin, your first step is to invest in the right computer hardware. A faster, more powerful computer increases your likelihood of success.

In theory, anyone can mine cryptocurrencies by running mining software on their computer. However, without proper research, the profits are likely to be minimal.

In Bitcoin's early years, ordinary home computers and consumer-grade graphics processing cards were sufficient for mining. However, this approach has become largely ineffective in recent years due to the introduction of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) designed specifically for mining. ASICs perform only the computational operations required for crypto mining but are loud, hot devices unsuitable for home use. Is crypto mining profitable? It can be, but if you aim to strike it rich with Bitcoin mining, be prepared to invest heavily in custom hardware.

Ethereum surged in popularity in 2016 and 2017, partly because it allowed significant coin profits using home computers, alongside a growing market and substantial profits.

Mining pools

Miners soon realized that combining multiple GPU units could boost their profits. This realization led to the establishment of entire mining farms in regions with cheap access to electricity and computer equipment, making many millionaires in the process. Some mining companies even rented out their computing power to consumers.

With the rising popularity of Bitcoin mining, some individuals began joining mining pools to increase their chances of receiving rewards.

How to start?

Cryptocurrency mining requires energy-efficient equipment, and finding the optimal balance between cost and performance is crucial.

If you choose to embark on cryptocurrency mining, be prepared for the challenges posed by electricity costs. Solo mining, as it's known, can be tough, so it's advisable to join a mining pool or community. These groups combine their computing power to enhance their cryptocurrency mining efforts.

Why is it called a "pool"? Let me clarify with an analogy. Imagine computing power as water and the entire Bitcoin network as a vast sea. Those with the most water have the best chance of receiving rewards, akin to having a large bucket of water. However, most individuals only possess a small bucket. To increase their chances, they combine their buckets and pour the water into a pool. If the pool wins a reward, it's distributed among members based on how much water they contributed.

For newcomers, joining a mining pool is advisable. However, it's important to choose reputable pools. Specialized software is essential for mining, even if you have top-notch hardware. Setting up this software requires technical expertise, making it more suitable for those with some experience.

How to receive rewards?

Once your mining hardware and software are set up, you can begin mining right away! However, you might be curious about where your potential earnings will go.

Payouts are typically made in Bitcoin, as it's the most widely used cryptocurrency in the mining community.

As you likely know, Bitcoin cannot be deposited into a traditional bank account, so you'll need a cryptocurrency wallet. Your Kriptomat wallet is a great option.

The mining software will send any rewards you earn to the crypto wallet address you provide.

Energy consumption

Mining cryptocurrency comes at a cost: energy consumption. Mining equipment operates at maximum capacity, generating significant amounts of heat and consuming substantial energy. Consequently, many large-scale mining operations are located in colder northern regions, where cooling costs are lower.

It's challenging to precisely gauge the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. However, it's evident that cryptocurrency mining, especially Bitcoin mining, has contributed significantly to global warming, generating more heat than many countries. The environmental impact also includes the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the source of the electricity used for mining.

What is the meaning of mining cryptocurrency?

We are currently experiencing a unique era where individuals are dedicating significant time, effort, and resources to extracting virtual assets that are represented by digital codes. While this may appear unconventional, it reflects the natural progression of society and technology. What seems unusual today may become commonplace in the future.

Human society has thrived on the exchange of goods for money. So, why couldn't this system accommodate entirely digital currency? After all, the entire financial system is already transitioning into the digital realm. As the world becomes more digital, cryptocurrencies are poised to play a significant role, with miners being a crucial component of this system.

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