When Bitcoin started, mining was the only way to own it, but after some time, it started trading on the exchanges. Mt Gox which started in 2010 was the only exchange for trading Bitcoin till February 2014 and filed for bankruptcy.
Mt. Gox was based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan and started its operations in July 2010, by 2013 and into 2014 it was handling over 70% of all Bitcoin (BTC) transactions worldwide, as the largest Bitcoin intermediary and the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange.
Today, if you need to own a Bitcoin, you can get it from mining it on the blockchain. You just need to set up a mining device that can be in the form of an electronic device.
Today, millions of people are mining Bitcoin, so even getting a fraction of it is very difficult. Of the 21 million Bitcoin that can be mined, over 18 million have already been mined and are in circulation, so only 3 million are left.
In 2009 when the mining started, for every successful block, miners used to get 50 Bitcoin, which has been halving by 50% every four year. As per this estimate, only 6.5 Bitcoin can be received by a miner today for adding a block, which will further be reduced to 3.125 Bitcoin in 2024.
Initially, you could mine Bitcoin through your home personal computer, mobile phones, graphic cards, but after the price of Bitcoin started making news globally, mining Bitcoin from personal electronic equipment became unfeasible.
Let us now check, how we can mine Bitcoin today?
Mining Bitcoin is a very technical process and requires huge processing power. One can use a desktop computer or a laptop that has a good CPU, motherboard, Higher RAM speed, and huge storage. The only difference and the most important requirement here is the graphics processing unit (GPU) or the video card. A high-performance GPU is an essential aspect if a person wants to mine Bitcoin.
Apart from this, you can also buy Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) mining equipment that was specifically designed to mine Bitcoin. The price of an ASIC miner is very high, but if you are ready to invest, it might give you the desired results.
What is an ASIC Bitcoin miner?
Since it’s now impossible to profitably mine Bitcoin with a standard computer or laptop, you’ll need specialized hardware called ASICs.
Originally, Bitcoin’s creator wanted Bitcoin to be mined on CPUs (like your laptop or desktop computer). However, Bitcoin miners discovered they could get more hashing power from graphic cards. Graphic cards were then surpassed by ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).
Nowadays all serious Bitcoin mining is performed on dedicated Bitcoin mining hardware ASICs, usually in thermally-regulated data centers with low-cost electricity.
How to find the best Bitcoin miner
When you are selecting Bitcoin mining equipment, you need to check these features. Remember, many countries don’t allow ASIC miners, so before you invest thousands of dollars, kindly check the legal implications.
Hash rate: This is a very important factor to look into before you buy any ASIC miner. How many hashes per second the Bitcoin miner makes your equipment more efficient to mine Bitcoin.
Efficiency: An efficient equipment will give you more rewards. Because there are many ASIC miners that use more power and give you less Bitcoin. So if you calculate the energy you have used to run the machine and what you have mined, you need to select the miner that gives you more Bitcoin after deducting power costs.
Price: Cheap mining hardware will mine fewer Bitcoins, so don’t go for cheap ASIC miners. The fastest and more efficient mining hardware is going to cost more. Don’t try to buy a miner based on only price or only hash rate.
Bitcoin mining hardware companies
Bitmain: It is one of the biggest ASIC miners in the world today. It makes the AntMiner line of Bitcoin miners. Bitmain is based in Beijing, China, and also operates a mining pool. However, after China’s ban on cryptocurrency in September 2021, one needs to do due diligence before buying any equipment.
MicroBT: MicroBT is another Chinese ASIC miner manufacturer, based out of Shenzhen. Their WhatsMiner series is a major competitor to Bitmain’s AntMiner line. Please do your due diligence.
Bitfury: Bitfury is a UK-based ASIC manufacturer and a leading security and infrastructure provider for the Bitcoin Blockchain.
iBeLink & Obelisk: Both are US-based company that manufactures ASIC miner.
Spondoolies: It is an Israel-based company producing Bitcoin mining equipment. Even though you get ASIC miners in the market, China is a leader in manufacturing mining equipment.
You can also buy Bitcoin mining equipment from e-commerce companies too.
Bitcoin Mining Equipment
In addition to a Bitcoin mining ASIC, you’ll need some other Bitcoin mining equipment.
Power supply: Bitcoin rigs need special power supplies to funnel and use electricity efficiently.
Cooling Fans: Bitcoin hardware can easily overheat and stop working. Buy a sufficient amount of cooling fans to keep your hardware working.
Backup generators: You may want generators as a backup in case your main source of electricity goes down.
The minimum requirement to mine Bitcoin from your personal computers & laptops according to Bitcoin.org a bare minimum (with default settings) is as follows.
Your desktop, the laptop needs ARM chipsets of more than 1 GHz, disk space of 350 GB with a download speed of 250 MB/day (8 GB/month*), upload speed of 5 GB/day (150 GB/month), a memory of 512 MB and an operating system namely Windows 7/8.x/10, Mac OS X, Linux, or some BSDs.
To mine Bitcoin with bare minimum custom settings is as follows.
Your desktop or laptop needs ARM chipsets of more than 1 GHz, disk space of 7 GB with a download speed of 150 MB/day (5 GB/month*), upload speed of 10 MB/day (300 MB/month), a memory of 256 MB and an operating system namely Windows 7/8.x/10, Mac OS X, Linux, or some BSDs.
To mine Bitcoin at the minimum recommended is as follows.
Your desktop, the laptop needs ARM chipsets of more than 1 GHz, disk space of 350 GB with a download speed of 500 GB/day (8 GB/month*), upload speed of 5 GB/day (150 GB/month), a memory of 1 GB and an operating system namely Windows 7/8.x/10, Mac OS X, Linux, or some BSDs.
Note: *For running the Bitcoin Core application a one-time 340 GB space is required.
Legal: Bitcoin use is prohibited or restricted in some areas.
Bandwidth limits: Some internet plans will charge an additional amount for any excess upload bandwidth used that isn’t included in the plan. Always check whether your internet connection is subjected to such limitations and monitor your bandwidth use so that you can stop Bitcoin Core before you reach your upload limit.
Anti-virus: Several people have placed parts of known computer viruses in the Bitcoin blockchain. This blockchain data can’t infect your computer, but some anti-virus programs quarantine the data anyway, making it more difficult to run Bitcoin Core. This problem mostly affects computers running Windows.
Attack target: Bitcoin Core powers the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network, so people who want to disrupt the network may attack Bitcoin Core users in ways that will affect other things you do with your computer, such as an attack that limits your available download bandwidth.
The price of Bitcoin is very high and so is the requirement of electricity. It is a Klever idea to do your own research (DYOR) on the legalities of Bitcoin miners in your country. Otherwise, you will black your hands in mining Bitcoin.
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Disclaimer: This article is only for educational purposes, it does not recommend any buying of ASIC equipment or Bitcoin mining.