So, you want to learn how to mine Bitcoin, right? Well, that’s good, because you've found the perfect place to start!

In the following guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Bitcoin mining. Of course, if you want to do it, I’m going to guess that you already know the very basics about the amazing disruptive technological and financial breakthrough that is Bitcoin!

If you’ve ever wondered where Bitcoins come from, how transactions are kept secure and consistent on the Bitcoin network, or how long does it take to mine a Bitcoin, this guide should be of great help to you.

So, grab your shovel and your head torch, and let’s go mining! Just kidding. I’m sure you know we’re not actually mining, right?

A Short Explanation of How to Mine Bitcoin

Before I get started teaching you how to mine Bitcoin, I should first offer a brief explanation of what we mean when we talk about Bitcoin mining.

As you most likely already know, Bitcoin is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency. It essentially works similar to a bank’s ledger (record of transactions). However, banks need you to trust them. Bitcoin is different. You only need to trust the code that created the network, and its rules. It’s no coincidence that Bitcoin was created just after the global financial crisis of 2008. It’s been designed to be trust-less money!

But wait a minute, if you don’t need to trust a bank, how do you know that people won’t cheat the network? How do you know that every Bitcoin can only be spent once?

The network is secured by specialized computer units called miners that are distributed across a large number of unique entities. When you submit a transaction to the Bitcoin blockchain, these miners need to check that you have the necessary Bitcoin to send it, and that various other rules are followed.

Transactions are grouped into blocks and then a string of characters must be guessed by the miners on the network. These characters are known as the “hash” of the block. Each block contains the hash of the previous block, as well as a new hash that needs to be guessed.

Once correctly guessed, the miner can add the block to the chain. This guessing process is called “proof-of-work”. It’s the single most important security feature that you need to know to know how to mine Bitcoin.

By including the hash of the previous block, the other miners on the network can verify that those transactions contained in a block did come after those in the blocks that went before it. This collection of blocks in the sequence is the blockchain. Simple, right?

Block Rewards and Miner Fees

Miners unlock new Bitcoin when they add a block to the blockchain. They also get the reward of the fees that users include in their transactions. This makes it worthwhile to spend money on the electricity and computer systems needed to mine. When each Bitcoin is worth thousands of dollars, it’s a very strong incentive indeed!

The Three Ways

Ok, now that you know exactly why you would want to mine Bitcoin, let’s get onto the bit I’m sure you all came here for – learning how to mine Bitcoin! There are three ways to start mining Bitcoin:

Pool Mining

Bitcoin mining as part of a larger pool of miners is the easiest, fastest, and most reliable way to make sure your Bitcoin mining operation is profitable. You join forces with other miners to share the rewards.

By signing up with a pool, you (and everyone else in the pool) are agreeing to split any Bitcoin you are rewarded with the other pool members. This means that you will receive small payments regularly.

However, not all pools are the same. There are plenty of things you need to consider when choosing a pool. They are:

The size of the pool.

The minimum payments.

The fees charged by the pool.

Size of the Pool

The size of the pool is an important thing to think about when you’re mining as part of a pool because as more people mine in the pool, the chances of being rewarded increase. However, since the rewards will be split between more users, they will also be smaller!

Joining large cryptocurrency mining pools is usually a comfortable option for beginners how to mine Bitcoin. This is because they will be getting many payments and won’t be spending lots on electricity waiting for the next fraction of a Bitcoin to be rewarded to them.

The Minimum Payment

Another important thing to look at is the minimum payment that the pool will let you withdraw. By minimum payment, I mean the smallest amount of Bitcoin that the pool will let you take out. If you’re very new to cryptocurrency mining, you’ll probably want to join a pool with as low a minimum payment as possible. This will mean that you can be sure that it all works as it should do in a shorter period.

You don’t want to be using lots of expensive electricity amassing a few hundred dollars worths of Bitcoin only to find that the pool disappears, or something very bad happens in cryptocurrency news to make Bitcoin’s price suddenly drop!

Pool Fees

Every pool charges a fee for organizing it all for you. The fee is usually a percentage of your profits. It will always be taken from the Bitcoin you mine automatically, so you don’t need to worry about paying it yourself!

Of course, we don’t need to tell you that the lower the fee you pay, the better for your profitability. That’s just obvious!

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