Bitcoin Mining Facts
Bitcoin Mining Facts 2018
With Bitcoin being the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency, there is quite a bit of interest in the practice of Bitcoin mining. Are you curious about what the practice entails and what its prospects are for the upcoming year? This article will present the six top facts and statistics regarding Bitcoin mining in 2018.
Industry experts predict that Bitcoin mining will last for over a century.
Bitcoin mining is the process by which expert users (“miners”) of the cryptocurrency problems can generate new coins, and solving the cryptographic problem that creates each new coin will reward the user who first provides the correct solution with a certain number of Bitcoins depending on the problem they solved. However, the possible number of Bitcoins in circulation is limited; since Bitcoin mining involves generation of new coins, mining, too, must also be limited by the ceiling in the possible number of coins. Based on current mining rates and projections for the rate at which coins will be mined in the future, industry experts estimate that the final possible Bitcoin will be mined around the year 2140.
The amount of electrical power necessary for Bitcoin mining exceeds the amount of electricity used annually in 81% of the world’s countries.
Because Bitcoin mining relies on solving mathematically complex cryptographic puzzles, doing it efficiently requires using quite a bit of computing power. Bitcoin miners use supercomputers to efficiently solve the mining problems, and these supercomputers need enormous amounts of electricity to run. In fact, research shows that Bitcoin mining takes more electrical power than is used annually in the 159 smallest countries in the world – out of 195 recognized countries total, that means Bitcoin mining uses more electricity per year than about 81% of countries worldwide.
Bitcoin mining is part of the security protocols of using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
In order to create Bitcoin transactions, users must solve a difficult math problem called a proof-of-work scheme. These problems are designed to be hard to find solutions for, yet also relatively easier to verify. Bitcoin relies on other miners to verify the transaction that was just added. These miners compete to solve increasingly difficult cryptographic problems in order to verify Bitcoin transactions within the public ledger blockchain. By having Bitcoin’s blockchain available as open source and having publicly viewable transaction history, users can themselves contribute to the security and verifiable authenticity of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin mining is on track to become 16.5% easier.
Bitcoin mining is the use of computers to solve cryptographic problems in order to find the hashes of new Bitcoins, and the difficulty of mining Bitcoin is a measure of how much computing power it takes to return a certain amount of currency. In early 2018, Bitcoin mining difficulty was rated at 1,590,896,927,258. As Bitcoins are found, it becomes easier to find additional coin hashes, and the difficulty rating is adjusted. The next adjustment will cause the mining difficulty to drop 16.5%, making it that much easier to generate the same amount of money.
As of late 2017, more than 12 million people are trading Bitcoin just on Coinbase, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the United States, alone.
Bitcoin has been around since 2009 but the cryptocurrency’s popularity really started to soar in 2017. By November, the Coinbase Bitcoin exchange had over 12 million customer accounts – more than the number of accounts at well-known brokerage firm Charles Schwab. The Coinbase iPhone app was among the most frequently downloaded apps in the Apple App Store. With that, Bitcoin has clearly entered the mainstream.
China is a power player in Bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin’s mining network was heavily concentrated in China as of 2017. Twenty major mining pools, which controlled around 80% of the total available Bitcoin hashes were located in China. Recent crackdowns by Chinese authorities might reduce this figure somewhat as Chinese policies become stricter and companies relocate their mining efforts.