You are currently viewing What is Bitcoin Mining? Its Purpose, Legality & profitability. (With FAQs)

What is Bitcoin Mining? Its Purpose, Legality & profitability. (With FAQs)

What is Bitcoin mining?  Bitcoin mining is the process of creating valid blocks that add transaction records to the Bitcoin (BTC) public ledger, known as the blockchain. It is an important component of the Bitcoin network as it solves the so-called “double spending problem”.

The problem of double spending is related to the need to reach an agreement on transaction history. Bitcoin ownership can be mathematically proven using public key cryptography. However, cryptography alone cannot guarantee that a particular coin has not been previously sent to someone else. Based on time, there must be an agreed order. However, external inputs can be manipulated by anyone, and participants must trust that third party.

In this article, we will cover what is bitcoin mining, how bitcoin mining works, whether bitcoin mining is illegal, and various other related topics.

Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin Mining

Table of Contents

How does bitcoin mining work?

Mining (blockchain mining in general) uses economic incentives to provide a reliable way to order data. Third-parties ordering transactions are organized in a decentralized way and receive financial rewards for correct actions. On the contrary, all cheating leads to the loss of economic resources, at least as long as the majority is honest.

In the case of Bitcoin mining, this result is achieved by creating a series of blocks that are mathematically and verifiably stacked in the correct order using specific resource stakes. This process relies on the mathematical properties of cryptographic hashes (methods of encoding data in a standardized way).

Hash is a one-way cryptographic tool. This means that it is almost impossible to decrypt the input data without testing all possible combinations until the result matches a particular hash. So how is bitcoin mined?

What bitcoin miners do

They go through trillions of hashes every second until they find one that meets a condition called difficulty. Both the difficulty and the hash are very large numbers represented in bits, so the condition simply requires that the hash be less than the difficulty.

Difficulty readjusts every 2016 block of Bitcoin (or about 2 weeks) to maintain a constant block time. Block time refers to the time it takes to find each new block while mining.

A hash generated by a miner is used as an identifier for a particular block and consists of data found in the block header. The key components of the hash are the Merkle Root (another aggregated hash that encapsulates the signatures of all transactions within that block) and the unique hash of the previous block.

This means that even the smallest component of a block will significantly change the expected hash, and each subsequent block’s hash will change as well. Nodes immediately reject this fake version of the blockchain, protecting the network from tampering.

By requesting difficulty, the system ensures that Bitcoin miners are doing real work. Spend time and energy hashing possible combinations. For this reason, Bitcoin’s consensus protocol is called “proof of work” to distinguish it from other types of block-building mechanisms. A malicious entity has no choice but to restore all mining power to attack the network. For Bitcoin, that would cost billions of dollars.

But how long does it take to mine 1 bitcoin? Usually, it takes about 10 minutes to create BTC, but this only applies to powerful processors. The bitcoin mining hardware you use determines your mining speed.

What is the Purpose of Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is an essential component of the network system to reach a consensus on the current state of the ledger. This is important in helping people make bitcoin transactions safely.

The Bitcoin network is a globally distributed public ledger consisting of a vast list of timestamped transactions. For example, suppose a ledger entry indicates that Mr. A sent Mr. B 1 bitcoin at 10 am on Monday. The ledger is updated approximately every 10 minutes by adding “blocks” containing a list of new transactions. The existence of a ledger voluntarily stored by thousands of participants called “nodes” allows everyone to see both the current status and the complete history of Bitcoin ownership.

By design, there is no central authority to decide which transactions are added to new blocks. Instead, the state of the ledger (or “truth”) is determined collectively through node coordination according to the Bitcoin protocol. This decentralization gives Bitcoin some of its most interesting properties – namely censorship resistance and permission lessness.

Most nodes only verify the authenticity of transactions, store the ledger, and propagate updates to other nodes (updates take the form of new blocks added to the chain). However, a small group of nodes called miners competes to create new blocks. When miners create new blocks, they effectively update the state of the ledger, the “truth” about who owns what.

Bitcoin mining performs several functions

  • Distribute new coins.
  • This is part of a more complete system that ensures only valid transactions are added to the blockchain.
  • A way to prioritize transactions when throughput is limited.
  • Provides financial incentives for participants (miners) to allocate resources to the network, and the allocated resources help protect the network from attackers. Note that the attackers here primarily refer to the miners themselves. In other words, by making mining expensive, Bitcoin allows miners to play by the rules.

Is bitcoin mining worth it?

To find answers to the above questions, do a cost-benefit analysis (using a web-based calculator) to see if bitcoin mining is worth the effort. A cost-benefit analysis is a systematic method used by an organization to determine actions to take and actions to avoid.

Before committing resources, first, determine whether you are willing to invest the required initial capital in hardware, and determine the future value and difficulty of Bitcoin. It is also important to research the difficulty level specific to the cryptocurrency you wish to mine to see if the mining operation will be profitable. It means fewer miners mining BTC and easier to get BTC. Still, as the price of Bitcoin and the difficulty of mining increases, more miners are expected to compete for less BTC.

If you’re wondering if Bitcoin mining is legal, given its acceptance in various jurisdictions, the answer is yes. For example, Enigma (based in Iceland) opened one of the largest Bitcoin mining operations in the world.

Cryptocurrency mining is considered a business in Israel and is subject to corporate income tax. Cryptocurrency miners, on the other hand, are considered funders by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and may be subject to rules governing this behavior.

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has announced that in November 2021, a new coin-shaped “Bitcoin City” will be built near the base of the Conchagua volcano. Bitcoin mining is said to be powered by geothermal heat throughout the city. El Salvador raises a $1 billion “Bitcoin bond” with the help of Blockstream crypto infrastructure provider to start building the city.

However, bitcoin mining is prohibited in Algeria, Nepal, Russia, Bolivia, Egypt, Morocco, Ecuador, and Pakistan. You should always check your local regulations to see if bitcoin mining is legal in your jurisdiction.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Affect the Price of Bitcoin?

In most cases, miners sell their earned bitcoins to cover the costs associated with mining. These costs contribute to net selling pressure. Attempts by miners to maximize profitability by holding or selling Bitcoin based on market dynamics can influence Bitcoin price volatility. It is argued here that if the price of Bitcoin rises, miners may try to hold onto Bitcoin longer in hopes of making more profits. Selling pressure drops and prices rise faster. However, if the price of Bitcoin falls, miners may sell not only their reserves but also their newly acquired Bitcoins. This will lead to even more downward volatility.

Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?

Bitcoin mining is a highly competitive industry with low-profit margins. The main input is electricity, but it also requires a significant up-front investment in hardware and facilities to house the hardware. The primary hardware is known as an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). This is a computing device dedicated to running Bitcoin hashing algorithms. Profitability is primarily dependent on consistent access to low-cost power applied to the most efficient ASIC hardware.

Bitcoin mining is a naturally balanced system. As the Bitcoin price rises, miners’ margins increase. This will encourage more miners to participate in the market. However, newcomers mean more difficulty creating new blocks. This forces everyone involved to expend more resources and reduces overall profitability. Bitcoin’s sustained price decline has historically put some miners out of business as the costs outweighed the returns.

How do Bitcoin Miners Get Paid?

The network recognizes the work done by Bitcoin miners in the form of rewards for generating new blocks. It has two types of rewards:

New bitcoins are created in each block and fees are paid by users for transactions on the network. But how much do miners earn?

In May 2020 it reached 6.25 BTC, and newly created bitcoin block rewards account for the majority of miner revenue. This value is programmed to halve at fixed intervals of about 4 years, so at some point, bitcoins will no longer be mined and only transaction fees will guarantee the security of the network.

By 2040, the block reward will fall below 0.2 BTC and only 80,000 of the 21 million Bitcoins will be mined. Mining will only effectively end after 2140, as the last of the BTC will be mined slowly.

Final Statement

Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process in which custom-made mining systems compete to solve mathematical puzzles. The first miner to solve the puzzle will be rewarded with Bitcoin. The Bitcoin mining process also verifies transactions on the cryptocurrency network and makes them trustworthy.

While in the early days of cryptocurrencies, individual miners using desktop systems played a role, the Bitcoin mining ecosystem was dominated by large mining companies operating mining pools distributed over many geographies. Bitcoin mining is also controversial because it uses an astronomical amount of energy. As awareness of climate change grows, some miners are moving their operations to areas that generate electricity using renewable energy sources.

Further Readings: Click on the below link to read the relevant article.


How much do Bitcoin miners make?

If a miner manages to add a block to the blockchain, they will receive 6.25 bitcoins as a reward. The reward amount is halved approximately every four years or every 210,000 blocks. In September 2022, Bitcoin was trading at around $20,000. This equates to $125,000 at 6.25 Bitcoins.

What is Bitcoin mining?

Bitcoin mining is the process of solving puzzles to create new Bitcoins. It consists of computer systems with special chips that compete with each other to solve mathematical puzzles. The first bitcoin miner to solve the puzzle will be awarded a bitcoin.

Is bitcoin mining legal?

Bitcoin mining is banned in various countries such as Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, and Qatar, according to TheStreet’s report on the November 2021 report by the US Library of Congress. However, while it is legal in the United States and most countries, not all US states allow the same.

How hard is Bitcoin mining?

“Mining” is performed using advanced hardware that solves very complex mathematical computational problems. The first computer that finds a solution to the problem gets the next block of Bitcoin and the process begins again. Cryptocurrency mining is tedious, expensive, and only sporadically rewarded.

Can you mine Bitcoin for free?

Technically, Bitcoin can be mined “for free”. If you already have the equipment, you can download one of the many free Bitcoin mining software available. However, this is only one factor of the mining process, other factors (mainly hardware) must be considered.

Leave a Reply