Bitcoin is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. At its core lies the idea of ‘mining’. For Bitcoin, mining serves two main purposes:
- Ensuring that the transactions being added to the Bitcoin blockchain are valid.
- Releasing new BTC into circulation.
In this article, let’s find out how long it takes to mine 1 bitcoin, how much bitcoin is in one block, and other mining-related questions.
- How much does it cost to mine one bitcoin?
- How many bitcoins can be mined in a day?
How long does it take to mine 1 bitcoin?
When miners mine BTC, they essentially use their ASICs to solve cryptographically hard puzzles to add blocks to the Bitcoin blockchain. In return, they get a block reward, which is currently worth 6.25 BTC. The Bitcoin protocol has a consistent block production rate of 10 minutes, which releases freshly mined coins into the ecosystem.
So, a more accurate way of asking how long it takes to mine 1 bitcoin would be to ask how long it takes to mine one Bitcoin block.
How much bitcoin is in a block?
While it is near impossible to say how many bitcoins there are in a block, we can at least estimate how many transactions there could be in each block. We know that Bitcoin can currently do ~5 transactions per second. One Bitcoin block is produced every 10 minutes. So, that’s 10*60 = 600 second and 600*5 = ~3000 transactions.
Can you still mine bitcoin?
Yes, you can still mine bitcoin today. Bitcoin currently has a fixed upper cap of 21 million. In other words, we will never have more than 21 million BTC. As of writing, 19,155,262 BTC, or 91.22% of the overall supply, has been mined already. However, due to a process called halving, wherein the total BTC being released gets halved every four years, miners will mine the last BTC in 2140. So, miners can still mine bitcoin for the next 118 years.
How much does it cost to mine one Bitcoin?
There are several factors that you must keep in mind when measuring the cost of your mining operations:
- Cost of mining hardware can range from $2,000-$20,000 per ASIC.
- Cost of electricity. Places with easy access to coal or hydropower will have cheaper electricity.
- Cooler climates prevent your mining hardware from overheating, which means your mining operations will be significantly more efficient.
You must factor in all these things, along with the market conditions, to understand how profitable your operations will be.
How many bitcoins can be mined in a day?
As mentioned above, the average block production rate is around 10 minutes. So, you can mine (24*60)/10 = 144 blocks per day. Also, the block reward for each block mined is 6.25 BTC.
This means there are about 144*6.25 = 900 BTC (~$17.5 million as of writing) up for grabs per day.
So, how many of these BTC can a miner earn? Of course, that depends on the efficiency of your mining operations.
What factors affect how fast one bitcoin can be mined?
The time it takes to mine one bitcoin can vary greatly depending on the mining difficulty. The mining difficulty is a metric that determines how challenging it is to find a new block. The higher the difficulty, the more laborious the mining process. The difficulty metric can’t be controlled and is governed by Bitcoin’s source code. The difficulty metric goes up when there are more miners in the system and vice-versa.
The efficiency of your mining process will be dependent on the difficulty metric and the quality (and quantity) of your mining equipment. Right now, mining bitcoins by running a solo operation is nearly impossible. You are better off joining a mining pool and combining your hashing power with the rest of the organization.
Bitcoin’s importance can’t be understated. It has become an integral part of the modern zeitgeist. Mining remains an essential part of Bitcoin. If you want to understand more about Bitcoin, then you need to understand the various nuances of the mining process. Want to know more about Bitcoin and cryptos in general? Check out CoinSmart’s GetSmart Hub.