Cryptocurrency mining is validating and recording transactions on a network while creating new units of a specific . [1]


Crypto mining involves using specialized computer hardware to solve complex mathematical puzzles or algorithms. Miners compete against each other to find the solution and validate a block of transactions. Once a miner successfully solves the puzzle, they add the block to the and are rewarded with a certain amount of crypto as an incentive. [2]

The reward decreases transaction fees by creating a complementary incentive to contribute to the processing power of the network. Mining is measured by hash rate typically in TH/s.[5]

Some miners pool resources, sharing their processing power over a network to split the reward equally, according to the amount of work they contributed to the probability of finding a block. A "share" is awarded to members of the mining pool who present a valid partial

Mining Hardware

To participate in crypto mining, miners utilize powerful computer systems equipped with specialized mining hardware. In the early days of cryptocurrencies like , mining was possible using standard CPUs (central processing units) or GPUs (graphics processing units). However, as cryptocurrencies gained popularity and the mining difficulty increased, dedicated mining hardware called ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) was developed. ASICs are highly efficient and designed specifically for mining cryptocurrencies like , , etc. [1][3]

GPU Price Increase

An increase in cryptocurrency mining increased the demand for graphics cards (GPU) in 2017. The computing power of GPUs makes them well-suited to generating hashes. [6]

Mining Accelerator Chips

Multiple companies have developed specialized crypto-mining accelerator chips, offering higher price-performance capabilities compared to CPU or GPU mining. Intel, at one point, introduced its crypto accelerator chip, called Blockscale. [7]

Mining Pools

Mining pools allow miners to combine their computational resources in order to increase their chances of finding and mining blocks on a blockchain. When a block is successfully mined, the rewards are distributed among the participants based on their contributed computing power. [4]

Energy Consumption

Crypto mining requires substantial computational power, which translates into high energy consumption. This has led to concerns about the environmental impact of mining, particularly for cryptos like . The energy consumption associated with mining has prompted discussions on the development of more energy-efficient mining technologies and the use of renewable energy sources to mitigate environmental concerns. [4]

Mining Rewards

Miners are rewarded for their computational efforts in the form of newly minted cryptocurrency and transaction fees. The specific reward structure varies among different cryptocurrencies. For , the reward is halved approximately every four years in an event known as "Bitcoin halving." This mechanism is designed to control the inflation rate and ensure a limited supply of Bitcoin over time. [2]

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July 27, 2023


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