Bitcoin mining is the processing of transactions in the cryptocurrency system, in which the records of current Bitcoin transactions, known as blocks, are added to the record of past transactions, which is called the blockchain by a miner.
A Bitcoin is defined by the digitally signed record of its transactions, since its creation. The block is an encrypted hash proof of work that is created in a compute-intensive process. Miners use software that accesses their processing capacity to solve some transaction-related algorithms. In return, they are given a certain number of Bitcoins for each block. The blockchain prevents attempts to spend a Bitcoin twice, or the cryptocurrency could be counterfeited by copy and paste.
Bitcoin/cryptocurrency mining was conducted on the CPUs of individual computers, with more cores and greater speed resulting in more profitability. Then the system became dominated by multi-graphics card systems, after that field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and finally application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), trying to find more hashes with less electrical power usage.
Due to this constant escalation, it has become difficult for new miners to start the process. This adjustable difficulty is an intentional mechanism designed to stop inflation. To get around that problem, individuals often work in mining pools.
In the context of mining, a mining pool is the pooling of resources by miners, who share their processing power over a network and share the reward too, according to the quantity of work they contributed to the probability of finding a block. A “share” is awarded to miners who present valid partial proof of work.
Although Bitcoin started with individuals and small organizations mining, now larger mining organizations might spend tens of thousands on one high-performance, specialized computer.
In the malware world, one of the threats is mining botnet infections, in which user systems mine for Bitcoin without the owners’ permission, and funds are channeled to the botnet master.
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