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You might also view ASIC devices as similar to the microprocessor and random access memory (RAM) chips in your computer; only instead of being general integrated circuits as those are, Bitcoin ASIC miners are specific integrated circuits designed solely to maintain the Bitcoin blockchain—a public database that stores digital information. Developing and manufacturing ASICs as mining devices is costly and complex; but because ASICs are built especially for mining cryptocurrency, they do the job faster than less powerful computers.

Although investing in cryptocurrency is painstaking, costly, and only sporadically rewarding, some investors are drawn to it. People buy expensive ASICS and pay for lots of electricity so that they may earn more bitcoin, which may be exchanged for real-world currency.

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.

Bitcoin miners perform complex calculations known as hashes, and each hash has a chance of yielding bitcoin. The more hashes you perform, the more chances you have of earning bitcoin. Most people join a mining pool to increase their chances of earning bitcoin. Mining pools pay for high value hashes known as shares.

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