Ask Leo: How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Ask Leo: How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?. “It’s been hard to avoid hearing about cryptocurrencies lately, especially Bitcoin. Opinions run the gamut from it being ‘worthless, artificial gold”’ to the wave of the future and next universal currency we’ll all be using someday. Regardless of what you think about its future, the underlying technology is fascinating to people like me. Recent reports once again question the (unverified) excessive amount of electricity being used to power Bitcoin mining operations. The question is, of course, how does mining something that exists only as bits and bytes in a computer use so much electricity? Heck, just what is ‘mining’ in this context, anyway? To understand that a little better while sidestepping some of the complexity, we’ll play a game.”