Crypto Mining Difficulties: Bitcoin Halving & Massive Electricity Consumption for Solving Transaction Puzzles

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Mining bitcoin is best described as a game. Users that want to mine Bitcoins do so by pouring their computers’ processing power into solving complex math problems. Users who successfully mine do so by being rewarded with newly created bitcoins.

Miners are rewarded with new bitcoins every time they successfully mine a block, and the block they mine is called a ‘block’. Once they mine a block, miners are rewarded with a certain number of bitcoins. The reward decreases smoothly over time so the total amount of bitcoins in existence will be cut in half every four years.

This is called the “bitcoin halving“. The amount of new bitcoins miners will receive decreases along with the difficulty of mining. Therefore, miners that have been mining for a long time stand to make more money than miners that have been mining for a short time.

Bitcoin’s New Puzzles

An organization that mines cryptocurrency has been operating from a remote Montana coal-fired power plant for the past year, which provided the optimal setting for its thousands of power-hungry computers to work around the clock in order to verify bitcoin transactions.

In response to increasing pressure from environmentalists to reduce the impact of its massive electricity consumption, Marathon Digital Holdings decided to relocate its computers, called miners, to a wind farm in Texas.

“For us, it just came down to the fact that we don’t want to be operating on fossil fuels,” said company CEO Fred Thiel.

It is imperative to have access to cheap, reliable electricity in the world of bitcoin mThe process of mining gold, which is fundamental to bitcoin’s value and existence, is becoming more energy-intensive and potentially unsustainable as the still widely misunderstood digital currency’s price rises.inable.

A new way to pay for things without government or central bank control was created when Bitcoin was created in 2009. Despite the volatility that can cause its price to sway wildly, its popularity has surged as a speculative investment despite its lack of widespread acceptance as a payment method. Over $5,000 was the value of one bitcoin in March 2020. In November 2021, it reached a record high of more than $67,000 before falling to almost $35,000 in January.

The process of verifying and recording transactions on the blockchain is at the core of bitcoin’s technology. Bitcoin transactions are verified by computers running complex mathematical calculations, with the winning machine rewarded with newly minted bitcoins. Currently, the owner of a machine that solves the puzzle receives 6.25 bitcoins – equivalent to about $260,000 total. 6.25 bitcoins are released every ten minutes as part of the system.

At first, bitcoin could be solved using a regular home computer, but the technology was designed so that as more miners work on the problems, they become harder to solve. Modern miners use specialized machines without monitors that are more like a high-tech fan than a computer. As more computers join the effort and puzzles become more difficult, the amount of energy used for solving the puzzles grows.

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