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Reviewing Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Mining

Originally, Bitcoin’s creator intended for bitcoin to be mined on central processing units (CPUs)—your laptop or desktop computer. However, Bitcoin ASICs surpassed both CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs) in terms of both their reduced electricity consumption and greater computing capacity. After gaining traction in mid-2013, when other hardware mining devices started hitting their bottlenecks in mining, Bitcoin ASIC miners have retained their lead.

When we say the words “block” and “chain” in the context of blockchain, we are actually talking about digital information (the “block”) that is stored in a public database (the “chain”). The Bitcoin protocol is built on the blockchain. So, with the launch of Bitcoin in 2009 as the first cryptocurrency, blockchain technology had its first real-world application.

Mining is the process of managing the blockchain. The job of ASIC Bitcoin miners is to review and verify previous bitcoin transactions and create a new block so the information can be added to the blockchain. The mining process involves solving complex mathematical problems using intrinsic hash functions linked to the block that contains the transaction data. Various Bitcoin miners compete intensely with each other to solve a necessary mathematical puzzle.

Originally, Bitcoin’s creator intended for bitcoin to be mined on central processing units (CPUs)—your laptop or desktop computer. However, Bitcoin ASICs surpassed both CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs) in terms of both their reduced electricity consumption and greater computing capacity. After gaining traction in mid-2013, when other hardware mining devices started hitting their bottlenecks in mining, Bitcoin ASIC miners have retained their lead.

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