The Evolution of Bitcoin Hardware


Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has grown exponentially and its influence can be felt across the globe. Over 16.5 million Bitcoins are being circulated and as of the time of writing, the current BTC-to-USD exchange rate is well over $36,000. Bitcoin market capitalization has reached almost $710 billion, which makes it the most successful cryptocurrency in the world.

Behind Bitcoin’s success is a concatenation of technological innovations that has amazingly not been supported or aided by the government or any prominent institution, but rather by the collaboration of enthusiasts all over the world. As its value grew, the Bitcoin network attained an extraordinary level.

Bitcoin Mining

This is the major component of the distributed algorithm rule that ensures the regularity of Bitcoin transactions. The first Bitcoin mining hardware was designed by a spectrum of enthusiasts across the globe. 

In recent years, Bitcoin mining has been reinforced and is performed, oftentimes, in custom data centers, by adopting the latest technology nodes that immensely enhance energy efficiency to a very high level.

The mining system has become vertically integrated, with companies owning one or several data centers, building chips, and sustaining the hardware.

These data centers have been moved to areas with the least costs of running them, including power, land, and taxes. 

Mining Incentives

What motivates Bitcoin miners to perform the tasks well is not only essential to BTC transactions verification but also integral. For every block miners add to the blockchain, they are granted two rewards:

  • Block rewards: This was initially 50 BTCs during its inception, but this reward is halved every 210,000 blocks. This implies the maximum number of Bitcoins can never exceed 21 million. It has been predicted that about 99% of all Bitcoins will be mined by 2032.
  • Transaction fees: They are associated with block transactions and are paid by Bitcoin users as an incentive to motivate the miners. After earning Bitcoins, the miners might decide to sell them on an exchange like Coin-base, OKCoin, Bitcoin formula or simply retain them for appreciation. 

Block Generation

Bitcoin mining constitutes a key component that makes sure that the internet has enough time to reach and support a general protocol on new blockchain updates.

Miners must derive a value that ensures that a double SHA-256 hash of the block’s header is never up to (65535<<208)/difficulty.

Since SHA-256 is built to be non-invertible, the basic approach is to adopt brute force. If the value of difficulty is twice as large, then it will require twice as much brute force on average. This difficulty is often scaled every 2,016 blocks through the common network hash rate in the preceding period to attain a mean block creation time of 10 minutes. However, in reality, the time required to create blocks can be random. While certain blocks take seconds, others take hours. The Bitcoin network always strives to attain an equilibrium. Usually, when the network capacity rises due to the availability of more machines or more efficient hardware, groups of 2,016 blocks are mined faster and the difficulty is adjusted. 

Bottom Line

Since its inception, Bitcoin has grown in influence and popularity due to the consistent enhancements in some key components. It was once predicted that at some point, it would be more valuable than gold. 

Several components, such as mining, have been credited for the consistency of Bitcoin transactions – and rightly so. As technology keeps advancing, so too are the methods adopted in mining Bitcoin. Miners are incentivized to carry out their tasks to the best of their abilities and successful miners are rewarded. Bitcoin has come to stay and its value and influence can only keep growing.

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