Maya Maceka | 09 May, 2023

What Is Bitcoin Mining? Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin Mining in 2024

Key Points

  • Bitcoin mining is a process where miners verify Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain by solving math puzzles to earn newly minted Bitcoin as a reward. 
  • The current mining reward is 6.25 Bitcoin, which is set to halve around May 2024.
  • You can mine Bitcoin with your own ASIC hardware or by renting hardware on the cloud, and it helps to join a mining pool to increase your chances of success.
  • There are risks and challenges associated with Bitcoin mining, such as volatility in the Bitcoin price, environmental questions, and future regulation.

If you’ve started your crypto journey by asking the question, what is cryptocurrency, you’re probably ready to ask the next logical question for crypto newcomers, namely, what is Bitcoin mining? Well, let me welcome you to the fascinating world of Bitcoin mining, a digital gold rush that has captured the imagination of tech enthusiasts and financial experts alike!

In 2022, Bitcoin mining generated a whopping $9.55 billion in revenue, a 37.5% decline from 2021 but an impressive figure nonetheless. It's no wonder this digital endeavor has captured the attention of so many.

In this article, we'll delve into the captivating mechanics of this innovative process, giving you a glimpse into the heart of the decentralized cryptocurrency phenomenon. Plus, you don’t need to be a programming whiz or even learn Solidity to understand Bitcoin mining.

Join us as we uncover the secrets behind Bitcoin mining, the role of miners, and the opportunities within this exciting digital frontier. Get ready to dig into the exciting world of digital currency mining!

What Is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining is a crucial process that keeps the Bitcoin network up and running while also ensuring its security and integrity. But what exactly is it?

In essence, Bitcoin mining refers to the computational work performed by miners to verify and confirm transactions on the blockchain, which is a decentralized digital ledger that records every Bitcoin transaction in a transparent and tamper-proof manner, meaning any central authority or entity does not control it.

Miners dedicate their powerful computer systems, specifically designed for this task, to solve complex mathematical problems using a process known as hashing, which involves generating a 64-digit hexadecimal number that must meet certain criteria.

These problems are essentially cryptographic puzzles, and by solving them, miners validate transactions and group them into blocks.

Once a block is complete, it is added to the blockchain, and the miner responsible for its completion is rewarded with new bitcoins, as well as transaction fees from the transactions within the block. This reward system incentivizes miners to participate in the process, thus ensuring the proper functioning of the Bitcoin network.

As of April 2024, the reward for successfully mining a block on the Bitcoin network is 6.25 bitcoins. The reward decreases over time, and it's estimated that the last Bitcoin will be mined in the year 2140.

But it's not just about maintaining the network; mining also plays a vital role in securing the blockchain. The decentralized nature of the Bitcoin ledger, combined with the computational power required to mine new blocks, makes it incredibly difficult for fraudulent transactions to be added or for hackers to compromise the system.

In fact, an attacker would need to perform a 51% attack, which involves controlling more than 50% of the network's mining power, to even stand a chance of manipulating the blockchain — a highly unlikely scenario given the vast number of miners involved.

To learn to start mining by yourself, there’s a noteworthy 5-in1 Bitcoin course on Udemy.

Types of Bitcoin Mining 

As the popularity of Bitcoin has increased so has the complexity of the mining process. If you’re unsure how to mine Bitcoin, there are several options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.


CPU Mining

GPU Mining

ASIC Mining

Cloud Mining

Pool Mining


Uses the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer to mine Bitcoin.

Uses a graphics processing unit (GPU) to mine Bitcoin.

Uses specialized hardware designed for Bitcoin mining.

Users rent mining equipment remotely over the Internet.

Combines miner resources to increase the chances of success.

Ease of Use






Processing Power (Hashes/Sec)

1-50 H/s

50-250 MH/s

1-14 TH/s

Varies depending on the service

Varies depending on the pool

Energy Consumption




Depends on the service

Depends on the pool

Cost (Per Unit/Per Hour)

Free - included in computer

$300-$1,200 per GPU

$500-$10,000 per ASIC

$50-$5,000 per contract

Free - fee taken from earnings

Maintenance Requirements







Not scalable

Not highly scalable

Highly scalable


Highly scalable


Very low





How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

The Bitcoin mining process starts with the puzzle-solving task that miners undertake using specialized hardware called ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits). These have been specifically designed to solve the complex mathematical problems that are required to add a new block to the blockchain. Still, these problems are incredibly complex and require a lot of computational power to solve.

Okay, but how do you mine Bitcoin? Well, mining hardware performs calculations on hash functions, which are algorithms that take an input (in this case, the data in the block being added) and produce a fixed-length output that is unique to the input and cannot be reversed. The SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit) function is used by Bitcoin to generate the required hashes.

To mine a new block, miners must find a hash that meets a certain requirement called the target. This target is a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Miners repeatedly try different inputs (nonce values) until they find a hash that meets the target requirement.

The first miner to find a hash that meets the target requirement is rewarded with newly minted bitcoins and transaction fees. This process is known as proof-of-work (PoW), as miners have to prove they have done the work required to add a new block to the blockchain.

Mining is a competitive process, and as more miners join the network, the difficulty of the mathematical problems increases, making it harder to find a hash that meets the target requirement.

This concept is reflected in the Bitcoin difficulty level, which is adjusted periodically to ensure that the rate at which new blocks are added to the blockchain remains relatively constant, despite the increase in the total computational power of the network. 

Cool, we now know how BTC mining works, but you probably want to know how to start Bitcoin mining, right? Let’s dive into that now.

Mining Pools

In 2024, the easiest way to get started with BTC mining is to join a mining pool. These are groups of miners who work together and share their computational power to increase their chances of finding a hash that meets the target requirement.

When a block is successfully mined, the rewards are split among the members of the pool based on their contributions.

How to Choose a Reliable Mining Pool

Choosing a reliable mining pool is crucial for maximizing your earnings as a Bitcoin miner. Some factors to consider when selecting a mining pool include the pool's size, fees, payout methods, and reputation. 

Look for pools that are transparent about their operations, have a history of consistent payouts, and have a low percentage of orphaned blocks (blocks that are rejected by the network). Some of the most popular mining pools of 2024 include Braiins Pool (previously Slush Pool), F2Pool, and Poolin.

How to Store Mined Bitcoin 

After you have successfully mined Bitcoin, you need to store it in a secure wallet. E-wallets are a popular choice because they are secure, convenient, and accessible from anywhere. 

To ensure the security of your Bitcoin, it's important to choose a reliable and trustworthy e-wallet. There are different types available, including hardware, software, and online wallets. Consider doing research and checking out reviews to find the best crypto wallets that suit your needs.

Once you have selected a wallet, be sure to keep your private keys safe to prevent any loss or theft of your Bitcoin. 

What Equipment is Required to Mine Bitcoin?

If you want to know how to mine Bitcoin at home, you will need specialized equipment, including ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits), which are purpose-built for mining Bitcoin.

In the past, Bitcoin mining rigs may have been built around CPUs (Central Processing Units) or GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), but in 2024, you really need to use an ASIC to increase your chances of successfully mining Bitcoin, otherwise, you may never recoup your investment.

ASICs are more efficient and powerful than regular computer components because they are specifically designed to solve the complex mathematical equations required for Bitcoin mining. Some popular ASIC models include the Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro and the MicroBT Whatsminer M30S.

Other equipment required for Bitcoin mining includes a power supply, cooling system, and internet connection.

Differences Between ASICs and Regular Computer Components

ASICs are purpose-built for mining Bitcoin and are significantly more efficient and powerful than regular computer components. ASICs are designed to perform one specific function (mining Bitcoin), whereas regular computer components are designed to perform a variety of tasks. ASICs are more expensive than regular computer components, but they are more efficient and cost-effective for Bitcoin mining.

How Long Does it Take to Mine One Bitcoin?

The time it takes to mine one Bitcoin depends on several factors, including the processing power of the mining hardware, the difficulty of the mining algorithm, and the amount of competition on the network.

The Bitcoin network is designed to produce one new block approximately every 10 minutes, and each block contains a reward of 6.25 Bitcoins as of 2024.

At the current network difficulty level, which adjusts every 2016 blocks (approximately every two weeks) to maintain a consistent block time, it would take the average miner with a standard ASIC miner approximately 605 days (about 1.66 years) to mine one Bitcoin.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the mining difficulty level and the price of Bitcoin can fluctuate significantly over time, which can affect the profitability and time it takes to mine one Bitcoin.

How Much Do Bitcoin Miners Make?

So, you’re probably wondering, is Bitcoin mining profitable? Well, it can be a profitable venture, but the amount of money miners can make depends on various factors, such as the price of Bitcoin, the cost of electricity, the mining difficulty, and the efficiency of their mining hardware.

Mining rewards are the primary source of income for Bitcoin miners. When a miner successfully adds a new block to the blockchain, they receive a block reward, which is currently set at 6.25 bitcoins. In addition to the block reward, miners also earn transaction fees paid by users for each transaction included in the block.

The amount of money miners can earn from Bitcoin mining also depends on the cost of electricity. Mining requires a lot of energy, and electricity costs can vary greatly depending on the location and the source of energy. In some cases, electricity costs can make mining unprofitable, especially for miners with less efficient hardware.

To calculate how much money you can make from Bitcoin mining, you can use a Bitcoin mining calculator. These calculators take into account factors such as the mining difficulty, the cost of electricity, and the efficiency of your mining hardware to estimate your potential earnings.

What is Bitcoin Halving?

The total mining rewards earned by miners are subject to change due to the halving events that occur every 210,000 blocks, or approximately every four years. During a halving event, the block reward is cut in half, which reduces the number of bitcoins miners can earn from each block.

The most recent halving event occurred on May 11, 2020, when the block reward was reduced from 12.5 bitcoins to 6.25 bitcoins.

The next halving event is expected to occur in April or May of 2024, which will reduce the block reward to 3.125 BTC. Halvings will continue to occur until the final one in approximately 2140 when the maximum supply of 21 million bitcoins will be reached.

Success Stories of Profitable Bitcoin Mining

We've compiled a few real-life examples of individuals and pools who have made money from Bitcoin mining. These stories illustrate the potential rewards of Bitcoin mining, but it's important to remember that every situation is unique, and success isn't guaranteed.

  1. Jihan Wu: Wu is the co-founder of Bitmain, one of the largest manufacturers of Bitcoin mining hardware. Wu is estimated to have a net worth of over $1 billion, largely due to his involvement in the Bitcoin mining industry.
  2. Roger Ver: Ver is a Bitcoin investor and entrepreneur who started mining Bitcoin in its early days. Ver has claimed to have made millions of dollars from Bitcoin mining and investments in various cryptocurrency projects.
  3. Dave Carlson: Carlson is the founder of Giga Watt, a crypto mining company that operates a large-scale mining operation in Washington state. Carlson is estimated to have made millions of dollars from his mining operations.
  4. Genesis Mining Customers: Genesis Mining is a cloud mining company that allows customers to rent mining hardware and mine Bitcoin remotely. Some Genesis Mining customers have reported making profits of thousands of dollars per month, depending on the price of Bitcoin and the efficiency of their rented hardware. 

Mining Bitcoin Vs. Other Currencies 

Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, but it's not the only one that can be mined. Here's a comparison of Bitcoin mining with some other popular cryptocurrencies:


Mining Difficulty

Block Rewards




6.25 BTC




12.5 LTC



Moderate to High

2.2 XMR




10,000 DOGE


It's important to note that not all cryptocurrencies can be mined. Ethereum, Tether, Binance Coin, and Cardano for example, are not mineable and instead use other methods to maintain their blockchain, like the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.

Risks and Challenges of Bitcoin Mining

While Bitcoin mining can be a profitable venture, it's not without its risks and challenges. Here are some potential downsides of Bitcoin mining:

Investment Risk

Bitcoin mining requires a significant investment in mining equipment and electricity costs. The cost of mining hardware can be expensive, especially since it may become outdated or less profitable over time.

Price Volatility

The price of Bitcoin is highly volatile and can fluctuate significantly within a short period. Mining rewards can fluctuate as well, making it difficult to predict how much money you'll earn from mining.

Environmental Impact

Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and harboring the potential to harm the environment. At present, a lot of mining takes place in regions with cheap electricity. In fact, despite their blanket ban on crypto in 2021, China is still one of the main hubs for Crypto mining, and coal is still a significant source of electricity in this area. 

That said, nations like El Salvador that have embraced Bitcoin as a national currency are exploring ‘greener’ approaches to Bitcoin mining using Volcano power (sounds crazy, but it’s true!).

Regulatory Risk

The regulation of Bitcoin mining and cryptocurrencies, in general, is still in its early stages. While some countries have embraced Bitcoin mining, others have taken a more restrictive approach, which could potentially impact the industry's growth and profitability.


Bitcoin mining is highly competitive, with many miners competing to solve the same mathematical equations and earn rewards. As the network difficulty increases, it becomes more challenging and expensive to mine Bitcoin. And as the value of Bitcoin continues to rise, there's also a growing risk of hacking attempts targeting mining operations and Bitcoin exchanges. 

Technological Risk

There is always the risk that a new technological development, such as the emergence of quantum computing, could compromise the security of the Bitcoin network and render mining obsolete.

Future of Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining has already undergone significant changes since its inception, but the industry's future is still uncertain. Here are a few developments that are likely to shape the industry in the years to come:

Energy Efficiency

As concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining continue to grow, there is a push to develop more energy-efficient mining methods. Some innovative approaches include harnessing renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric power or geothermal energy, to power mining operations.

Regulatory Developments

Governments and regulatory bodies are beginning to take notice of Bitcoin mining and may seek to impose regulations to address concerns about energy consumption, money laundering, and other risks associated with mining. The impact of these regulatory developments on the industry remains to be seen.

Blockchain Technology Developments

As the broader blockchain ecosystem evolves, there may be new opportunities for Bitcoin mining and other forms of cryptocurrency mining.

For example, some projects are exploring the use of proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithms, which could reduce the energy consumption of mining. This could potentially make Bitcoin mining more accessible and profitable for a wider range of individuals and organizations.

Technological Advancements

Advances in computing technology, such as quantum computing, could pose a risk to the security of the Bitcoin network. This could potentially lead to the need for new encryption methods to secure the Bitcoin network. Alternatively, new technological developments could make mining more efficient and cost-effective.

Cryptocurrency Adoption

The increasing adoption of cryptocurrency could potentially drive the growth of the Bitcoin mining industry. As more people and businesses use cryptocurrency for transactions, the demand for miners and mining equipment may increase.

Overall, the future of Bitcoin mining is likely to be shaped by a range of technological, environmental, and regulatory factors. It will be important for miners and other industry participants to stay informed about these developments and adapt to changing conditions in order to remain profitable and sustainable.


So, what is Bitcoin mining? If you’ve made it this far, you now know that Bitcoin mining is an essential aspect of the cryptocurrency ecosystem that relies on powerful computer hardware and specialized Bitcoin mining software to solve complex mathematical puzzles.

This process secures the Bitcoin network by validating transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain while also rewarding miners with newly minted bitcoins for their efforts.

Bitcoin mining is a fundamental aspect of securing the decentralized digital economy, and you don’t even need to understand blockchain programming to grasp the underlying concepts that make this innovative process possible (it doesn’t hurt, though!). 

As you embark on this journey, remember that the landscape of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is ever-changing. It's essential to stay informed and keep learning. We hope that this article has sparked your curiosity and provided you with the necessary resources to enhance your understanding of Bitcoin mining and the broader world of blockchain.

Happy mining!

Fascinated by the Blockchain? Check out these:

Applications for Blockchain Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Do Bitcoins Need to Be Mined?

Bitcoins need to be mined to verify transactions on the blockchain and maintain the integrity of the network. This process creates new Bitcoins and provides a reward for miners who contribute computing power to the network.

2. How Does Mining Confirm Transactions?

Mining confirms transactions by solving complex mathematical problems that verify the validity of a transaction. This process requires a significant amount of computing power and electricity, but it ensures that transactions on the Bitcoin network are secure and cannot be altered.

3. Why Does Mining Use So Much Electricity?

Mining uses a lot of electricity because it requires a significant amount of computing power to solve complex mathematical problems. As the mining difficulty increases and more miners join the network, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining also increases.

Bitcoin mining is legal in most countries, but there are some countries where it is restricted or prohibited. It is important to research the laws and regulations in your country before engaging in Bitcoin mining. 

5. Does Crypto Mining Damage Your Gpu or Computer?

Crypto mining can put a strain on your GPU or computer due to the high computational demands of the process. However, if done properly with appropriate cooling and hardware, the impact on your computer should be minimal.

6. Can You Mine Bitcoin on Your iPhone?

It is technically possible to mine Bitcoin on an iPhone, but it is not recommended due to the low processing power of mobile devices. The energy consumption and potential damage to the device far outweigh the potential rewards.

7. How Much Money Can You Make Mining Bitcoin?

The amount of money you can make mining Bitcoin depends on several factors, including the current mining difficulty, the cost of electricity, and the price of Bitcoin. You can use a Bitcoin mining calculator to estimate your potential earnings.

8. How Do You Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool?

To join a Bitcoin mining pool, you will need to choose a pool that suits your needs and create an account. You will then need to configure your mining software to connect to the pool and start contributing computing power to the network.

9. What Is a Good Hash Rate for Bitcoin Mining?

A good hash rate for Bitcoin mining depends on the mining hardware you are using and the current mining difficulty. You can use a Bitcoin mining calculator to estimate your potential hash rate and earnings based on your hardware and electricity costs.

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By Maya Maceka

Maya Maceka is a writer from Canada who is passionate about technology and innovation. She is a specialist in DeFi, including blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. "Blockchain is going to change the way our world works — it's the future of content."

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