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The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created in 2009 and has taken the world by storm. In the past decade, cryptocurrencies have completely changed the way people think about money, and this progress continues to break records as time passes. From its humble origins to modern-day uses, here’s a brief history of cryptocurrency mining technology and how we got here.

The Age of Mining

Mining is the process of validating transactions on a blockchain. In order to do this, miners compete to solve complex mathematical problems. The first miner to solve the problem gets to add the next block of transactions to the blockchain and is rewarded with cryptocurrency.

The Dawn Of Crypto (2009–2013)

In 2009, an anonymous person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto released a white paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. This event is widely considered to be the birth of cryptocurrency. Early adopters began mining Bitcoin with their personal computers in the following years. As the network grew, miners began pooling their resources to increase their chances of earning rewards.

GPU Era, a Rough Ride Through The Crypto World (2013–2014)

Back in 2013, when Bitcoin was still in its early days and mining it was relatively easy, people used their GPUs (graphics processing units) to mine cryptocurrencies. This was the era of  ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits), designed specifically for mining and nothing else. The first ASICs were expensive and hard to get, so only a few could afford them.

ASIC Era, Supercomputers Built For Hashing (2014–Present)

Since the early days of Bitcoin, mining has been performed by computers with ever-increasing capabilities. In the beginning, CPUs were used to mine BTC. Then GPUs came along and increased hash rates significantly. FPGAs followed suit, and then ASICs took over, becoming the most efficient type of miner by far. Today, ASICs are purpose-built for BTC mining and are, orders of magnitude, more powerful than any other type of miner. They’re also very expensive, resulting in mining power’s centralization.

What’s Next?

The cryptocurrency mining landscape is constantly evolving. The mining process becomes more efficient and profitable as new technologies are developed and adopted. For example, the introduction of ASIC miners has made GPU mining obsolete


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