Cryptocurrency mining turned ten this year. A decade ago it was a niche hobby for a handful of enthusiasts overclocking homebrewed-rigs in pursuit of a better world. Today it’s a global industry, complete with specialized equipment and dozens of stakeholders, from semiconductor manufacturers all the way to regional utilities and nation states.
Mining can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially for those new to crypto. With this in mind, we decided to publish a free primer that explains the process block-by-block. We chose to focus on Bitcoin, referencing other crypto protocols along the way. You’ll learn why mining is necessary, how it’s done, and who the major players are. We also get into the economics, ecological externalities and the road ahead.
As adoption grows and blockchain technology matures, we believe it’s important for crypto users to have a greater appreciation for mining and its purpose. The topic is undergoing significant study – from consensus algorithms to sources of energy consumption. We hope this note brings clarity to a complex subject and stimulates further discussion.