Crypto Mining Wednesdays
What is Mining Cryptocurrency?
Mining cryptocurrency can be a lucrative endeavor with enough computing power
Mining cryptocurrency is in the news a lot lately. This isn’t mining in the traditional sense. There are no pick axes or canaries involved. Instead. it’s more about trying to win a blockchain lottery to earn the reward at the end.
What does that all mean? Let’s hash it out.
What is cryptocurrency?
To begin a discussion of mining cryptocurrency we need to start with what cryptocurrency is. Cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency with a cryptographic underpinning that is used as a secure medium of exchange. There are literally hundreds of different cryptocurrencies with varying real-world values. Many believe it’s the future of currency.
The most popular cryptocurrency is bitcoin, you may have heard of others like Etherium, too. While cryptocurrencies may differ in terms of the algorithms and encryption they use, they all share one similiarity: blockchain. And that’s what we need to talk about next.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that is impossible to alter. It uses hashing and a concept similar to salting to continuously complete blocks of information that chain to form an immutable ledger.
Hashing is the act of mapping data of any length to a fixed-length output. When cryptography is involved it’s a one-way function. The most popular hashing algorithm is SHA-256, which outputs at a length of 256 bits. Every hash value is unique. Even the tiniest alteration to the data being hashed caused the entire value to change.
Hashing is considered one-way because of the amount of computing power it would take to reverse-hash it. For a 256-bit output, calculate 2 to the power of 256 (2 X 2 X 2… 256 times). Your odds of finding the correct value are 1 in… the product of that equation. Those are astronomical odds. It would take a supercomputer thousands of years to compute that.
Blockchain + Cryptocurrency
Now let’s fit it all together. With a cryptocurrency blockchain, as transactions occur they are broadcast and added to various private ledgers. Each one of these transactions is digitally signed for the sake of authenticity. On the other end, there are people or groups collecting these transactions and building ledgers. They are also computing to find a value that when hashed along with the ledger, produces a set number of 0s at the beginning of the hash value. That’s the portion that’s similar to salting.
• What to bring
Be Sober - We serve coffee.
• Important to know
This is a Roundtable Discussion Meetup. People Who are New to Mining and Pros can have an open discussion about software and hardware. You can see how mining is done LIVE.
We will have machines running and hashing.