How Long Does Each Bitcoin Take To Mine
The highest valued cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is expected to rise even further in value as time goes on. The simplest means of acquiring Bitcoin is to purchase it. However, over the years, Bitcoin mining has gained quite some focus.
So, how long does it take to mine 1 Bitcoin? It takes approximately 10 minutes, but that is dependent on a number of conditions. Read on to find out what they are.
What is Bitcoin Mining?
Bitcoin mining refers to the processes involved in the attempt to gain Bitcoin as a reward for validating transactions. By computing complicated math puzzles, computers (known in this context as network nodes) compete to add confirmed transactions to the blockchain. The node that wins is rewarded with a new block of Bitcoin.
Mining involves a lot of computing and electric power, which makes it quite expensive to achieve. There is also a limit to mining as only 21 million Bitcoins are available in supply, the last of which is predicted to be mined by the year 2140.
Bitcoin mining reward allocations are set to reduce by half every four years. This trend, known as Bitcoin halving, happens in spaces of 210.000 blocks. It was last observed, for the third time thus far, in May 2020, leaving the present reward rate at 6.25 Bitcoins for every block mined.
What Affects the Time Taken to Mine Each Bitcoin?
It takes about 10 minutes to mine 1 Bitcoin. However, one would have to consider the:
- type of mining hardware
- hash rate
- method of mining
- difficulty of mining
Type of Mining Hardware
It takes special computer hardware to handle the SHA-256 algorithm required for Bitcoin mining. Miners use GPUs (graphics processing units), FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) to mine Bitcoin. The electric power that these machines consume is an additional cost.
The amount of power that a network requires to find and validate transaction blocks is known as its hash rate. This indicates the number of operations (or hashes) that a blockchain network can perform per second. Naturally, where there are more network nodes to compete for the block, the network stands a better chance, and the hash rate is higher.
Method of Mining
Based on the resources available, a miner may choose to do solo mining, which entails taking on the responsibility alone for the maximum reward or to join a mining pool. Mining pools allow people a better chance to benefit from Bitcoin mining by sharing the computing and electric power expenses as well as the rewards.
As an aspiring miner looking to join a pool, you must consider the fees, hash rate, and reputation of the pool. Some common Bitcoin mining pools include F2Pool, Poolin, and Slush Pool.
Difficulty of Mining
Mining difficulty is a metric indicating how difficult it is to hit the right operation or hash to win a Bitcoin block. It indicates how hard a node has to work to win the reward. This metric is constantly fluctuating, making it tough to ascertain the precise time mining will take.
With Bitcoin, the network is set to adjust mining difficulty after every 2016 blocks mined to keep the time required to mine a new Bitcoin block at roughly 10 minutes. If it gets too easy to mine blocks, the network makes it more difficult, and vice versa.
Although the average is 10 minutes, the conditions surrounding Bitcoin mining are never stable, and so it is not easy to tell precisely how long it should take to mine 1 Bitcoin. Understanding how mining works makes it a bit clearer to see why this is so.