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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.

The first miner to find the solution to the puzzle is able to authorize the transaction (to add bitcoin to the block). Each winner in the Bitcoin-mining lottery receives a reward (a certain amount of bitcoin). The reward includes all of the transaction fees for the transactions in that block, which motivates miners to collect as many transactions into a block as possible to increase their reward.

There are many different brands of Bitcoin miners available, which can range in price from $20 to $5,000 depending on their power and complexity; and you may purchase Bitcoin ASIC miners in numerous places—like Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY). The Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Store even has an “easy-to-use” Bitcoin miner that you can download on your computer for free.https://12ea7800963ffec019cbea4bac9dd936.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

There are no physical “coins” in bitcoin, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that—along with all bitcoin transactions—is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoin is backed by millions of ASICs around the world called “miners.” By mining bitcoin, you can earn cryptocurrency without having to put down money for it. It is also the only way to release new bitcoin into circulation.

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