What is Bitcoin Mining?

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Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto [10] and released as open-source software in Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining.

They can be exchanged for other currencies, [12] products, and services. As of Februaryovermerchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.

The word bitcoin first occurred and was defined in the white paper [5] that was published on 31 October There is no uniform convention for bitcoin capitalization.

Some sources use Bitcoincapitalized, to refer to the technology and network and bitcoinlowercase, to refer to the unit of account. The unit of account of the bitcoin system is a bitcoin.

Named in homage to bitcoin's creator, a satoshi is the smallest amount within bitcoin representing 0. As with most new symbols, font support is very limited.

Typefaces supporting it include Horta. On 18 Augustthe domain name "bitcoin. In Januarythe bitcoin network came into existence after Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first ever block on the chain, known as the genesis block. This note what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided been interpreted as both a timestamp of the genesis date and a derisive comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking.

The receiver of the first bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finneywho created the first reusable proof-of-work system RPOW in In the early days, Nakamoto is estimated to have mined 1 million bitcoins. So, if I get hit by a bus, it would be clear that the project would go on. Over the history of Bitcoin there have been several spins what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided and deliberate hard forks that have lived on as separate blockchains.

These have come to be known as "altcoins", short for alternative coins, since Bitcoin was the first blockchain and these are derivative of it. These spin offs occur so that new ideas can be tested, when the scope of that idea is outside that of Bitcoin, or when the community is split about merging such changes. Since then there have been numerous forks of Bitcoin. See list of bitcoin forks. The blockchain is a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. A novel solution accomplishes what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided without any trusted central authority: The blockchain is a distributed database — to achieve independent verification of the chain of ownership of any and every bitcoin amount, each network node stores its own copy of the blockchain.

This allows bitcoin software to determine when a particular bitcoin amount has been spent, which is necessary in order to prevent double-spending in an environment without central oversight.

Whereas a conventional ledger records the transfers of actual bills or promissory notes that exist apart from it, the blockchain is the only place that bitcoins can be said to exist in the form of unspent outputs of transactions.

Transactions are defined using a Forth -like scripting language. When a user sends bitcoins, the user designates each address and the amount of bitcoin being sent to that address in an output. To prevent double spending, each input must refer to a previous unspent output in the blockchain. Since transactions can have multiple outputs, users can send bitcoins to multiple recipients in one transaction. As in a cash transaction, the sum of inputs coins used to pay can exceed the intended sum of payments.

In such a case, an additional output is used, returning the change back to the payer. Paying a transaction fee is optional. Because the size of mined blocks is capped by the network, miners choose transactions based on the fee paid relative to their storage size, not the absolute amount of money paid as a fee.

The size of transactions is dependent on the number of inputs used to create the transaction, and the number of outputs. In the blockchain, bitcoins are registered to bitcoin addresses. Creating a bitcoin address what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided nothing more than picking a random valid private key and computing the corresponding bitcoin address.

This computation can be done in a split second. But what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided reverse computing the private key of a given bitcoin address is mathematically unfeasible and so users can tell others and make public a bitcoin address without compromising its corresponding private key. Moreover, the number of valid private keys is so vast that it is extremely unlikely someone will compute a key-pair that is already in use and has funds.

The vast number of valid private keys makes it unfeasible that brute force could be used for that. To be able to spend the bitcoins, the owner must know the corresponding private key and digitally sign the transaction.

The network verifies the signature using the public key. If the private key is lost, the bitcoin network will not recognize any other evidence of ownership; [8] the coins are then unusable, and effectively lost.

Mining is a record-keeping service done through the use of computer processing power. To be accepted by the rest of the network, a new block must contain a so-called proof-of-work PoW. Every 2, blocks approximately 14 days at roughly 10 min per blockthe difficulty target is adjusted based on the network's recent performance, with the aim of keeping the average time between new blocks at ten minutes.

In this way the system automatically adapts to the total amount of mining power on the network. The proof-of-work system, alongside the chaining of blocks, makes modifications of the blockchain extremely hard, as an attacker must modify all subsequent what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided in order for the modifications of one block to be accepted.

Computing power is often bundled together or "pooled" to reduce variance in miner income. Individual mining rigs often have to wait for long periods to confirm a block of transactions and receive payment. In a pool, all participating miners get paid every time what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided participating server solves a block. This payment depends on the amount of work an individual what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided contributed to help find that block.

The successful miner finding the new block is rewarded with newly created bitcoins and transaction fees. To claim the reward, a special transaction called a coinbase is included with the processed payments. The bitcoin protocol specifies that the reward for adding a block what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided be halved everyblocks approximately every four years. Eventually, the reward will decrease to zero, and the limit of 21 million bitcoins [f] will be reached c.

Their numbers are being released roughly every ten minutes and the rate at which they are generated would drop by half every four years until all were in circulation. A wallet stores the information necessary to transact bitcoins.

While wallets are often described as a place to hold [59] or store bitcoins, [60] due to the nature of the system, bitcoins are inseparable from the blockchain transaction ledger. A better way to describe a wallet is something that "stores the digital credentials for your bitcoin holdings" [60] and allows one to access and spend them.

Bitcoin uses public-key cryptographyin which two cryptographic keys, one public and one private, are generated. There are three modes which wallets can operate in.

They have an inverse relationship with regards to trustlessness and computational requirements. Third-party internet services called online wallets offer similar functionality but may be easier to use.

In this case, credentials to access funds are stored with the online wallet provider rather than on the user's hardware. A malicious provider or a breach in server security may cause entrusted bitcoins to be stolen. An example of such a security breach occurred with Mt. Physical wallets store offline the credentials necessary to spend bitcoins. Another type of wallet called a hardware wallet keeps credentials offline while facilitating transactions. The first wallet program — simply named "Bitcoin" — was released in by Satoshi Nakamoto as open-source code.

While a decentralized system cannot have an "official" implementation, Bitcoin Core is considered by some to be bitcoin's preferred implementation.

Bitcoin was designed not to need a central authority [5] and the bitcoin network is considered to be decentralized. In mining pool Ghash. The pool has voluntarily capped their hashing power at Bitcoin is pseudonymousmeaning that funds are not tied to real-world entities but rather bitcoin addresses. Owners of bitcoin addresses are not explicitly identified, but all transactions on the blockchain are public.

In addition, transactions can be linked to individuals and companies through "idioms of use" e. To heighten financial privacy, a new bitcoin address can be generated for each transaction.

Wallets and similar software technically handle all bitcoins as equivalent, establishing the basic level of fungibility. Researchers have pointed out that the history of each bitcoin is registered and publicly available in the blockchain ledger, and that some users may refuse to accept bitcoins coming from controversial transactions, which would harm bitcoin's fungibility.

The blocks in the blockchain were originally limited to 32 megabyte in size. The what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided size limit of one megabyte was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto inas an anti-spam measure. Transactions contain some data which is only used to verify the transaction, and does not otherwise effect the movement of coins.

SegWit introduces a new transaction format that moves this data into a new field in a what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided way. What does bitcoin mining hardware double sided segregated data, the so-called witnessis not sent to non-SegWit nodes and therefore does not form part of the blockchain as seen by legacy nodes. This lowers the size of the average transaction in such nodes' view, thereby increasing the block size without incurring the hard fork implied by other proposals for block size increases.

Bitcoin is a digital asset designed by its inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, to work as a currency. The question whether bitcoin is a currency or not is still disputed. According to research produced by Cambridge Universitythere were between 2. The number of users has grown significantly sincewhen there wereto 1. Inthe number of merchants accepting bitcoin exceededReasons for this fall include high transaction fees due to bitcoin's scalability issues, long transaction times and a rise in value making consumers unwilling to spend it.

Merchants accepting bitcoin ordinarily use the services of bitcoin payment service providers such as BitPay or Coinbase.

When a customer pays in bitcoin, the payment service provider accepts the bitcoin on behalf of the merchant, converts it to the local currency, and sends the obtained amount to merchant's bank account, charging a fee for the service. Bitcoins can be bought on digital currency exchanges.

According to Tony Gallippia co-founder of BitPay"banks are scared to deal with bitcoin companies, even if they really want to". In a report, Bank of America Merrill Lynch stated that "we believe bitcoin can become a major means of payment for what does bitcoin mining hardware double sided and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money-transfer providers.

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The bitcoin network is a peer-to-peer payment network that operates on a cryptographic protocol. It is widely associated with money laundering , black markets , fraud and other criminal activities. Users send and receive bitcoins , the units of currency, by broadcasting digitally signed messages to the network using bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet software. Transactions are recorded into a distributed, replicated public database known as the blockchain , with consensus achieved by a proof-of-work system called mining.

Satoshi Nakamoto , the designer of bitcoin claimed that design and coding of bitcoin began in The network requires minimal structure to share transactions. An ad hoc decentralized network of volunteers is sufficient. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will. Upon reconnection, a node downloads and verifies new blocks from other nodes to complete its local copy of the blockchain.

A bitcoin is defined by a sequence of digitally signed transactions that began with the bitcoin's creation, as a block reward. The owner of a bitcoin transfers it by digitally signing it over to the next owner using a bitcoin transaction, much like endorsing a traditional bank check.

A payee can examine each previous transaction to verify the chain of ownership. Unlike traditional check endorsements, bitcoin transactions are irreversible, which eliminates risk of chargeback fraud. Although it is possible to handle bitcoins individually, it would be unwieldy to require a separate transaction for every bitcoin in a transaction.

Transactions are therefore allowed to contain multiple inputs and outputs, allowing bitcoins to be split and combined. Common transactions will have either a single input from a larger previous transaction or multiple inputs combining smaller amounts, and one or two outputs: Any difference between the total input and output amounts of a transaction goes to miners as a transaction fee.

To form a distributed timestamp server as a peer-to-peer network, bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system. The signature is discovered rather than provided by knowledge. This process is energy intensive. Requiring a proof of work to accept a new block to the blockchain was Satoshi Nakamoto 's key innovation. The mining process involves identifying a block that, when hashed twice with SHA , yields a number smaller than the given difficulty target. While the average work required increases in inverse proportion to the difficulty target, a hash can always be verified by executing a single round of double SHA For the bitcoin timestamp network, a valid proof of work is found by incrementing a nonce until a value is found that gives the block's hash the required number of leading zero bits.

Once the hashing has produced a valid result, the block cannot be changed without redoing the work. As later blocks are chained after it, the work to change the block would include redoing the work for each subsequent block. Majority consensus in bitcoin is represented by the longest chain, which required the greatest amount of effort to produce.

If a majority of computing power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow fastest and outpace any competing chains. To modify a past block, an attacker would have to redo the proof-of-work of that block and all blocks after it and then surpass the work of the honest nodes. The probability of a slower attacker catching up diminishes exponentially as subsequent blocks are added. To compensate for increasing hardware speed and varying interest in running nodes over time, the difficulty of finding a valid hash is adjusted roughly every two weeks.

If blocks are generated too quickly, the difficulty increases and more hashes are required to make a block and to generate new bitcoins. Bitcoin mining is a competitive endeavor. An " arms race " has been observed through the various hashing technologies that have been used to mine bitcoins: As bitcoins have become more difficult to mine, computer hardware manufacturing companies have seen an increase in sales of high-end ASIC products.

Computing power is often bundled together or "pooled" to reduce variance in miner income. Individual mining rigs often have to wait for long periods to confirm a block of transactions and receive payment. In a pool, all participating miners get paid every time a participating server solves a block.

This payment depends on the amount of work an individual miner contributed to help find that block. Bitcoin data centers prefer to keep a low profile, are dispersed around the world and tend to cluster around the availability of cheap electricity. In , Mark Gimein estimated electricity consumption to be about As of , The Economist estimated that even if all miners used modern facilities, the combined electricity consumption would be To lower the costs, bitcoin miners have set up in places like Iceland where geothermal energy is cheap and cooling Arctic air is free.

A rough overview of the process to mine bitcoins is: By convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that produces new bitcoins owned by the creator of the block. This is the incentive for nodes to support the network. The reward for mining halves every , blocks. It started at 50 bitcoin, dropped to 25 in late and to This halving process is programmed to continue for 64 times before new coin creation ceases.

Various potential attacks on the bitcoin network and its use as a payment system, real or theoretical, have been considered.

The bitcoin protocol includes several features that protect it against some of those attacks, such as unauthorized spending, double spending, forging bitcoins, and tampering with the blockchain.

Other attacks, such as theft of private keys, require due care by users. Unauthorized spending is mitigated by bitcoin's implementation of public-private key cryptography. For example; when Alice sends a bitcoin to Bob, Bob becomes the new owner of the bitcoin. Eve observing the transaction might want to spend the bitcoin Bob just received, but she cannot sign the transaction without the knowledge of Bob's private key. A specific problem that an internet payment system must solve is double-spending , whereby a user pays the same coin to two or more different recipients.

An example of such a problem would be if Eve sent a bitcoin to Alice and later sent the same bitcoin to Bob. The bitcoin network guards against double-spending by recording all bitcoin transfers in a ledger the blockchain that is visible to all users, and ensuring for all transferred bitcoins that they haven't been previously spent. If Eve offers to pay Alice a bitcoin in exchange for goods and signs a corresponding transaction, it is still possible that she also creates a different transaction at the same time sending the same bitcoin to Bob.

By the rules, the network accepts only one of the transactions. This is called a race attack , since there is a race which transaction will be accepted first. Alice can reduce the risk of race attack stipulating that she will not deliver the goods until Eve's payment to Alice appears in the blockchain. A variant race attack which has been called a Finney attack by reference to Hal Finney requires the participation of a miner. Instead of sending both payment requests to pay Bob and Alice with the same coins to the network, Eve issues only Alice's payment request to the network, while the accomplice tries to mine a block that includes the payment to Bob instead of Alice.

There is a positive probability that the rogue miner will succeed before the network, in which case the payment to Alice will be rejected. As with the plain race attack, Alice can reduce the risk of a Finney attack by waiting for the payment to be included in the blockchain. Each block that is added to the blockchain, starting with the block containing a given transaction, is called a confirmation of that transaction.

Ideally, merchants and services that receive payment in bitcoin should wait for at least one confirmation to be distributed over the network, before assuming that the payment was done. Deanonymisation is a strategy in data mining in which anonymous data is cross-referenced with other sources of data to re-identify the anonymous data source.

Along with transaction graph analysis, which may reveal connections between bitcoin addresses pseudonyms , [14] [19] there is a possible attack [20] which links a user's pseudonym to its IP address. If the peer is using Tor , the attack includes a method to separate the peer from the Tor network, forcing them to use their real IP address for any further transactions. The attack makes use of bitcoin mechanisms of relaying peer addresses and anti- DoS protection. Each miner can choose which transactions are included in or exempted from a block.

Upon receiving a new transaction a node must validate it: To carry out that check the node needs to access the blockchain. Any user who does not trust his network neighbors, should keep a full local copy of the blockchain, so that any input can be verified. As noted in Nakamoto's whitepaper, it is possible to verify bitcoin payments without running a full network node simplified payment verification, SPV.

A user only needs a copy of the block headers of the longest chain, which are available by querying network nodes until it is apparent that the longest chain has been obtained. Then, get the Merkle branch linking the transaction to its block. Linking the transaction to a place in the chain demonstrates that a network node has accepted it, and blocks added after it further establish the confirmation. While it is possible to store any digital file in the blockchain, the larger the transaction size, the larger any associated fees become.

Various items have been embedded, including URLs to child pornography, an ASCII art image of Ben Bernanke , material from the Wikileaks cables , prayers from bitcoin miners, and the original bitcoin whitepaper. The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, law enforcement, and the media. Senate held a hearing on virtual currencies in November Several news outlets have asserted that the popularity of bitcoins hinges on the ability to use them to purchase illegal goods.

A CMU researcher estimated that in , 4. Due to the anonymous nature and the lack of central control on these markets, it is hard to know whether the services are real or just trying to take the bitcoins.

Several deep web black markets have been shut by authorities. In October Silk Road was shut down by U. Some black market sites may seek to steal bitcoins from customers. The bitcoin community branded one site, Sheep Marketplace, as a scam when it prevented withdrawals and shut down after an alleged bitcoins theft. According to the Internet Watch Foundation , a UK-based charity, bitcoin is used to purchase child pornography, and almost such websites accept it as payment. Bitcoin isn't the sole way to purchase child pornography online, as Troels Oertling, head of the cybercrime unit at Europol , states, " Ukash and paysafecard Bitcoins may not be ideal for money laundering, because all transactions are public.

In early , an operator of a U. A report by UK's Treasury and Home Office named "UK national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing" October found that, of the twelve methods examined in the report, bitcoin carries the lowest risk of being used for money laundering, with the most common money laundering method being the banks. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company and its founder in "with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving bitcoin".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For a broader coverage of this topic, see Bitcoin.