In the Bitcoin system, the production of all the new money is done on a stable base. This money is equally paid to those who operate the Bitcoin network by doing Bitcoin mining.
Making money with your computer
So yes, Bitcoin mining allows to make money by letting a computer work. However! Bitcoin mining is a free and open market. It is not a easy way to make money out of thin air.
Gains with Bitcoin mining are proportional to the power of computer hardware to solve the mathematical calculations. The whole network is powered by these calculations, which rewards you for your services. To be profitable, Bitcoin mining have to generate profits despite the cost of equipment and the electrical cost to operate at full capacity. That may be difficult.
Technologies used for Bitcoin mining
At the dawn of Bitcoin, classic computers were enough to run the network. However, competition has intensified gradually as the use Bitcoin increased as a dynamic market. In order of effectiveness, CPU processors, ATI graphics cards and FPGA chips succeeded to each other. Today, all these technologies are outdated and are no longer profitable.
Due to strong competition, ASIC is the only technology that can now offer potential income. An ASIC chip is a chip specialized to perform specific calculations. Some companies such as Avalon and ButterflyLabs faced the challenge of producing ASICs for Bitcoin network. ASIC chips can produce up to 40 times more calculations per second than a graphic card for the same price with a much lower power consumption. However, unlike graphics cards, ASICs have no resale value outside of a use with Bitcoin.
Pool have more stable incomes
When starting with Bitcoin mining, it is important to understand that a computer has very little chance of solving a mathematical problem aired by Bitcoin. It is a matter of chance. The more powerful is the equipment used, the more it can make attempts per second, increasing the chances of success. However, without buying a fleet of very expensive ATI cards, Bitcoin mining alone can take weeks, months or years before touching any gain.
The pools are small cooperation of bitcoins miners who wish to combine their strength in order to share Bitcoins earned fairly. Being part of a pool is the best way to raise Bitcoins stably when you don't wish to invest heavily in computer parts. Many free open pools exists, such as bitminter
the evolution of incomes with Bitcoin mining over time
Bitcoin mining is not a guaranteed investment. Indeed, the income can be earned with Bitcoin mining depend on several things. The value of the BTC (Bitcoin) is the first of all, because the value of Bitcoin fluctuates according to supply and demand. Since the creation of new BTC is stable and limited, an increase in demand for Bitcoin also means an increase in its value, and vice versa.
Competition and the difficulty are also important factors. The more there is people mining, the more the mathematical difficulty factor to generate Bitcoins increases, because the network Bitcoin is designed so that the same amount of money is created each month, regardless of the number of people working to generate this amount. This way, Bitcoin mining is a perfect market. If Bitcoin mining is too profitable, new investors arrives and dilute earnings. When Bitcoin mining is not profitable enough, some investors abandon, increasing the gains of subborn investors.
It is also interesting to note that the creation of new BTC is designed to gradually stop. Deprived of this source of income in the coming years, then Bitcoin miners will increasingly perceive optional transaction fees. Since transactions with fees are likely to be processed more quickly by the Bitcoin miners, banks and network users will be likely to add a tiny fee like a fraction of a cent for certain transactions.
How to start Bitcoin mining
pool probably offers the easiest way to start without having computer knowledge. You can simply register with bitminter and click to start their software. The software immediately displays the calculation speed your computer gets to reach and earnings are displayed consistently and rapidly inside the bitminter account. It is then possible to transfer the obtained Bitcoins Bitcoin to an address that belongs to you.
In contrast, if you want to make Bitcoin mining alone, the procedure is generally more complicated. It requires to install the bitcoin software on a computer and change its configuration to start in server mode. Then, it requires to use a specialized command line software such as poclbm or cgminer on each computer used to generate Bitcoins. This software must connect to the server to receive Bitcoin calculations to be done and transmit the results.
There is also a possibility to avoid centralized pools and take good sides of both world with p2pool
, which is a decentralized pool. It is still more complicate to setup than just using bitminter. However, you don't rely on a pool that is vulnerable to DDoS attacks or dishonnest pool owners practises and you get paid directly on your Bitcoin wallet without intermediate.
Participating on the Bitcoin network operations
Bitcoin mining is a way to participate in the Bitcoin network operation. Some only sees Bitcoin mining as an investment since it is designed to be an open and competitive market. Still, some people involved in Bitcoin mining also do it for the interest of helping the network to function. Each computer used for Bitcoin mining allows the system to verify the validity of each transaction and protects the network from any form of attack.