26.6 min read

What is crypto mining?

Describing what crypto mining is and its process in detail. Start with the explanation in simple terms and end with how crypto mining is profitable.

Crypto mining, cryptocurrency issuance, blockchain transactions validation

Written by

Alex Crypto
Published on

May 17, 2023

Since the world of cryptocurrencies made its way into our life, we've all heard of crypto mining one way or the other. But how many of us really know what it is or how it happens? Moving forward into the era of decentralized currencies we decided to raise the curtain on the basic terms and processes of mining and make it simple and clear for everyone willing to try. So what does mining crypto mean? How to start a crypto mining business? How to calculate crypto mining profit? How to report crypto mining on taxes? We'll answer all these questions and explain what is crypto mining in simple terms so you don't have to ask ever again. Let's go!

What is crypto mining in simple terms

What Is Crypto Mining in Simple Terms

The first thing you need to clarify is what is cryptocurrency mining? Crypto mining is the process of verifying and adding new transactions to a blockchain by solving complex mathematical equations using specialized hardware and software. Sounds good but complicated, right? Let's try to put a question differently – what is crypto mining for dummies? In simple terms, crypto mining is the process by which new bitcoins are entered into circulation.

How does crypto mining work?

How Does Crypto Mining Work

So we are quite done with definitions of what is mining in cryptocurrency, but how does crypto mining work? Well, the process is called "mining" because it is similar to the extraction of valuable minerals from the earth. In the case of crypto mining, miners compete to find a solution to a mathematical problem, and the first miner to solve the problem is rewarded with new coins and transaction fees. This process requires significant computing power and electricity and is crucial to maintaining the security and decentralization of the blockchain network. And if you ever take interest in how to start crypto mining business, here are the basic terms you need to know about it.


Crypto mining is based on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which requires miners to solve complex mathematical problems to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain. When a new transaction is made on the blockchain, it is broadcast to all nodes on the network.

Transaction hash

To validate the transaction, the miner must create a unique digital signature called a transaction hash. The hash is a 64-digit hexadecimal number that is created by combining the transaction data with a random number called a nonce. The miner then adds this hash to the blockchain, along with the nonce used to create it.


And what is crypto mining without people who actually do it? The miner who solves the problem and adds the block to the blockchain is rewarded with newly created cryptocurrency coins. The rate at which new coins are created is predetermined and is known as the block reward.

Hash rate

increase the chances of solving the problem and adding the block to the blockchain, miners need to have a high hash rate. This is the number of calculations that a miner can perform per second. However, the mining difficulty, which is adjusted every few blocks, ensures that blocks are added to the blockchain at a consistent rate.

Mining difficulty

The mining difficulty is a crucial aspect of the blockchain network's security and stability, as it ensures that new blocks are not created too quickly or too slowly. It also ensures that miners continue to put in significant computing power to maintain the network's security and decentralization. In short, mining difficulty is a measure of how hard it is to find a solution to the mathematical problem that the blockchain network presents to miners.


While finding your way through "How do I start crypto mining", you should also be familiar with halving as it is another important factor that impacts crypto mining profitability. It is the process of reducing the block reward by half after a certain number of blocks are added to the blockchain. This happens periodically to control the rate at which new coins are created and maintain their scarcity.

What is a crypto mining pool?

As you can imagine, there are thousands of miners involved in mining crypto. Some of them decide to unite their forces and create mining pools. So what is a crypto mining pool? It is a group of miners who pool their resources and computing power to increase their chances of earning block rewards. Members of a mining pool share the workload and split the rewards proportionally based on their contribution to solving the problem.

What hardware is used for mining?

If you are wondering how to start mining crypto, it's important to know that it requires specialized hardware, such as Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) miners. ASIC miners are designed specifically for mining cryptocurrencies and are more efficient than GPUs. Although they are also more expensive and can become obsolete quickly. And GPUs, on the other hand, can be used for other purposes and are more flexible.

What is crypto mining software?

A lot of people think that good hardware is enough to get crypto mining going and have no idea about what is crypto mining software, even though it's very important. Crypto mining software is used to manage the mining hardware and connect it to the blockchain network. It allows miners to adjust settings such as hash rate, power consumption, and pool configuration. Popular mining software includes CGMiner, BFGMiner, and EasyMiner. If you have questions like, "How do I use crypto mining software?" – we'll cover it later, or you can try going online and watching some guides, there're plenty of them everywhere.

How is crypto mining profitable

How Is Crypto Mining Profitable

So now when we are done with the basics of how does mining crypto work, it's time to get into the profitability of it all. Crypto mining can be profitable if the cost of mining, including electricity and hardware expenses, is less than the value of the rewards earned through mining. The rewards include newly created coins and transaction fees. To be profitable, miners need to carefully manage their expenses and choose a cryptocurrency that has a high enough value to make mining profitable. Additionally, joining a mining pool can increase the chances of earning rewards and making a profit. 
The profitability of crypto mining depends on several factors, and we'll take a look at them next.

Block reward

Crypto mining can be profitable if the block reward and the value of the cryptocurrency are high enough to cover the expenses incurred by the miner. These expenses include the cost of hardware, electricity, internet bandwidth, and maintenance.


The profitability of mining depends on various factors, such as the hash rate, mining difficulty, coin price, and electricity cost – the last one is very important because we all know how much energy crypto mining use. It is essential to calculate the potential earnings and expenses before investing in mining hardware.

How much bandwidth does crypto mining use?

Crypto mining uses a significant amount of internet bandwidth, especially if multiple miners are working together in a pool. But exactly how much bandwidth does crypto mining use? The amount of bandwidth used depends on the number of transactions being processed and the size of the blockchain.

Why is crypto mining so energy intensive?

It is common knowledge that mining crypto is an extremely energy-consuming process. So why does crypto mining use so much energy? The answer is that it requires a lot of computing power to solve complex mathematical problems. As the mining difficulty increases, more computational power is needed, leading to higher electricity consumption. This pretty much answers the questions about why is crypto mining bad for the environment and calls for more sustainable solutions.

Crypto value is expected to grow

Crypto mining is becoming more popular as the value of cryptocurrencies continues to grow. Many experts predict that cryptocurrencies will become an essential part of the global financial system and their value will continue to increase in the long term. This has led to an increase in demand for crypto mining, as more people seek to earn cryptocurrency by mining.
By the way, you can also get income from mining crypto while engaging in liquidity mining. When did crypto mining start? Basically, it all began with the launch of Bitcoin. But crypto assets were already stored or traded even before the emergence of decentralized finance, and this storage principle led to liquidity mining as we know it. To put it simple, it is just a passive income method that helps crypto holders profit by utilizing their existing assets, rather than leaving them inactive in cold storage. So you can lend your coins to a decentralized exchange and get fees earned from trading in return.

How to start crypto mining

How to Start Crypto Mining

When we talk about ways how to invest in crypto mining, there are a few options: buying shares in a mining company or purchasing mining equipment to mine cryptocurrencies. One way to invest in crypto mining is to buy shares in a publicly traded mining company. But what is a crypto mining company? It is a business that specializes in mining cryptocurrencies, usually on a large scale. Crypto mining companies may use specialized hardware and employ a team of experts to manage the mining operation or they may also operate mining pools. Crypto mining companies may mine various cryptocurrencies, depending on their profitability and market demand.

Another option is to purchase mining equipment and set up a mining operation yourself or join a mining pool. Before investing in crypto mining, it is important to research the market and get to know all about how is crypto mining profitable, taking into account factors such as the cost of equipment, electricity, and maintenance, as well as the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. It is also essential to understand the legal and regulatory environment for crypto mining in your region and how is mining crypto taxed. You might also want to find out more about what is crypto data mining as it is the process of extracting and analyzing data from the blockchain and other sources to gain insights into the cryptocurrency market.

If you don't know how to start crypto mining or, as you might've heard, how to start a crypto mining farm, just follow these steps:

  • Choose a cryptocurrency to mine. You can research different cryptocurrencies and their mining requirements to find the most profitable one.
  • Choose your mining hardware. ASICs or GPUs are the most popular options, but you can also mine using a CPU.
  • Choose a mining pool or mine solo. Joining a mining pool can increase your chances of earning rewards, but solo mining allows you to keep all the rewards for yourself.
  • Download and install mining software. There are many different mining software options available, so you might be confused about what is the best crypto mining software. Well, the best mining software for you will depend on your specific mining needs and preferences. It is important to research and test different mining software options to determine the most suitable one for your mining operation. Some of the widely used options are BFGminer, CGminer, Phoenix Miner and NiceHash Miner.
  • Configure your mining software. Set up your mining software to connect to your chosen pool or wallet and adjust your mining settings.
  • Start mining. Turn on your hardware and let your mining software run. Monitor your earnings and adjust your settings as needed.

How to build a crypto mining rig

The first thing you might ask is – what is crypto mining rig? It is a specialized computer system that is used for mining cryptocurrency. Ok, now you'll need to know how to build a crypto mining rig. Building a crypto mining rig requires specialized hardware and knowledge of computer building. You will need to purchase components such as a motherboard, CPU, memory, power supply, storage, and cooling system. You will also need to choose your mining hardware and install mining software. There are many online tutorials and guides available to help you build a mining rig. It is important to ensure that your rig is energy-efficient and can handle the heat generated by mining hardware. In terms of how much data does crypto mining use, the amount can vary depending on the specific cryptocurrency being mined and the mining software being used. In general, crypto mining uses relatively small amounts of data compared to other internet activities such as streaming video or downloading large files.

Why we are on the subject, there is a popular question online about how to build Raspberry Pi for cryptocurrency mining. Building a Raspberry Pi for cryptocurrency mining involves installing and configuring specialized mining software and connecting the Raspberry Pi to a mining pool. To begin, you will need a Raspberry Pi, a power supply, an SD card, and a miner. Once you have the hardware, you will need to install mining software, configure it to connect to a mining pool, and adjust the mining parameters. Finally, you will need to monitor the mining operation regularly to ensure that it is running smoothly and troubleshoot any issues that arise. While building a Raspberry Pi for cryptocurrency mining can be a fun project, it may not be the most efficient or profitable way to mine cryptocurrencies due to the limited computing power of the Raspberry Pi compared to dedicated mining rigs.

How do I use crypto mining software?

Crypto mining software allows you to manage your mining hardware and connect it to the blockchain network. After downloading and installing the software, you will need to configure it to connect to your chosen pool or wallet. You can also adjust your mining settings, such as hash rate and power consumption. Beware of mining malware – we'll talk about it in detail later, but just as a heads-up, you'll need to know how to check for crypto mining malware and how to remove crypto mining malware.

Why does crypto mining use GPU?

We've already established that ASIC miners are built specifically for mining, so why does crypto mining use GPU? The reason for that is they are highly efficient at performing the mathematical calculations required for mining. They are also more versatile than ASICs and can be used for other purposes, such as gaming or video editing. But remember that GPUs can be damaged by mining. The answer to how does crypto mining affect GPU is heat – as we know, mining generates a lot of heat and this is the most dangerous factor that can damage your GPU.

How to start crypto mining at home

Basically, if you want to know how to start crypto mining at home, you will need to follow the same steps as starting crypto mining in general. You will need to choose your hardware, software, and pool, and ensure that your mining rig is energy-efficient and has sufficient cooling. It is important to also check local regulations regarding mining and electricity usage (keep in mind how much energy does crypto mining use) and do your research on how is crypto mining taxed.

How to report crypto mining on taxes

Crypto mining earnings are subject to taxation in many countries. It is important to keep track of your earnings and expenses and report them accurately on your tax return. Consult with a tax professional on how to calculate crypto mining taxes and how to file crypto mining taxes to ensure that you are complying with local tax laws.


Risks of Crypto Mining

After talking about important issues like how to start crypto mining business, why is crypto mining so energy intensive and how to calculate crypto mining value for taxes, let's dive into how crypto mining works in terms of risks. Crypto mining involves risks, such as hardware failure, theft, and fraud. There is also a risk of investing in mining hardware that becomes obsolete quickly, leading to a loss of investment.

Probability of mining a new block

The probability of mining a new block depends on the hash rate and mining difficulty. A higher hash rate increases the chances of mining a new block, while a higher mining difficulty decreases the chances.

Legal issues

Crypto mining is subject to various legal and regulatory issues, such as electricity usage, tax compliance, and environmental impact. So while the concerns about how much electricity does a crypto mining rig use and how to calculate crypto mining taxes are quite pressing today, it is important to research and comply with local regulations to avoid legal issues.

Miners capitulation

Let's be honest, when we talk about what does mining for crypto mean, the first thing that comes to mind is profit. And so when there is a decrease in profitability or market conditions, miners might stop mining. This is known as miners capitulation and can lead to a decrease in hash rate and network security.

Malware fraud

What is crypto mining? It's a business. And as any business, it can be targeted by malware and fraud, such as phishing attacks and fake mining software. It is important to be cautious and use trusted software and pools to avoid falling victim to these attacks. Detecting crypto mining malware can be challenging, as it often runs in the background and can be difficult to detect without the use of specialized tools. So how to detect crypto mining malware? There are several signs that can indicate the presence of crypto mining malware on a computer or network, including slow computer or network performance, unusual network activity, strange processes running or increased electricity bills. The next question is – if you managed to find it, how to get rid of crypto mining malware?

How halving impacts miners

Halving is an event that occurs in the cryptocurrency network, where the reward for mining a new block is reduced by half. This can impact miners' profitability, as they will receive fewer rewards for their mining efforts. However, halving can also increase the value of the cryptocurrency, as the supply is reduced, leading to a potential increase in the value of the coins earned through mining. Don't forget about these peculiarities when you figure out how to start mining crypto at home.

How is the mining difficulty determined

The mining difficulty is determined by the network and adjusts automatically every few blocks. It is determined by the amount of computing power on the network and is designed to ensure that new blocks are mined at a steady rate. A higher mining difficulty means that it is more difficult to mine a new block, while a lower difficulty means that it is easier.
So we've explained what is crypto mining and how does it work – the process of verifying transactions on a blockchain network by solving complex mathematical problems. It requires specialized hardware and software and can be a profitable venture if done correctly. However, it also involves risks and legal issues and requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Be sure to remember all that when you go on a quest about how to start crypto mining at home because as the value of cryptocurrencies continues to rise, crypto mining is likely to remain a popular way to earn cryptocurrency. 

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