What is Bitcoin Mining?
Bitcoin mining is the process by which new Bitcoin are put into circulation. Bitcoin transactions are validated digitally on the Bitcoin network and added to the blockchain ledger.
Mining refers to the process of powerful hardware solving a complex computational math problem that verifies blocks of transactions and updates them to the blockchain. Solving these problems requires powerful and sophisticated equipment. Miners who discover the solution to a complex hashing puzzle are rewarded with a portion of Bitcoin that is released into circulation without having to pay money for it.
Due to miners all over the world sharing in the responsibility of validating transactions, Bitcoin is considered a "decentralized" cryptocurrency that doesn't rely on one central authority for its regulation, like a bank or government.
Bitcoin mining is important to the blockchain because miners verify the legitimacy of Bitcoin transactions and prevent users from "double spending" the same Bitcoin twice illicitly. Mining also is essential to keeping new Bitcoin in circulation.