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Not going to place element: return 0. But how Bitcoins are actually created is all too often overlooked. The currency isn’t minted at will in a factory setting. Bitcoins don’t just magically appear out of thin air.
Instead, they’re the products of complex software algorithms that run day and night on incredibly powerful computers. Part of Eric’s GPU-based mining rig. It takes time, dedication, and an extraordinary amount of water-cooled PC hardware. Most people approach mining with the hopes that they’ll turn a profit, but to me, it’s more about creating a freestanding currency,” Eric said. Luckily for him, profit came with the package. Eric has been mining Bitcoins since 2010, and at one point quit a high-paying job as a software engineer to devote all of his time to, figuratively speaking, extract gold from silicon. He doesn’t trade them and has no immediate plans to cash out.
With Bitcoin gaining traction as a viable currency, more and more people are interested in mining for a piece of the digital pie. However, mining for profit is more difficult than just loading up some software and watching the cash flow in. Roughly put, Bitcoin is an electronic currency that isn’t tied to any country or economy—it’s decentralized. In order to buy, trade, or use Bitcoins, the units of currency have to first be introduced to the market. And that’s where miners come in. Bitcoins themselves are algorithm-based mathematical constructs, created by a developer with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin mining software runs the Nakamoto algorithm, crunching numbers to solve this complex math problem. When an answer is found and verified as correct, a block of Bitcoins is rewarded to whoever found it. One of the rig’s many workhorses. Eric first got involved with Bitcoin in December 2010.
He was interested in learning more about electronic currency, when he stumbled across Bitcoin in an online forum and was immediately intrigued. 30 per Bitcoin at the time—Eric decided to jump right in and dabble with mining. But first, he had to get the right gear. Back in 2010, when Bitcoin was in its infancy, miners relied on CPUs to get the job done—so basically, your home PC could handle mining with the right software. Eric started with his home desktop setup. Shortly thereafter, miners discovered that it was more efficient to mine using the GPUs on graphics cards.