Bitcoin mining is becoming a major trend and there are those that are claiming to have made some big bucks by mining for Bitcoin. But what exactly do you need to start mining yourself and is it worth the start up cost?
Anyone, living anywhere in the world, can mine for Bitcoin as long as they have reliable internet access. You can even start mining using your computer’s CPU to get a feel for it; however, this is going to be a very slow process and you are probably better off investing in some of the equipment necessary to make Bitcoin mining easier and more worthwhile.
Bitcoin mining has a lot to do with processing complex mathematical problems and algorithms. Graphics cards, with graphic processing units, can really help speed up the process of solving blocks and therefore make you money faster. GPUs also have a variety of other uses so you would not have wasted your money if you decide to step away from Bitcoin mining. Although GPUs are expensive and are way above your CPU in terms of processing mathematical problems, they are now considered outdated in the world of Bitcoin mining as the industry has started to grow exponentially.
The next step up from GPUs is an FPGA or a Field Programmable Gate Array. Increasing in the speed of calculations and in price, the FPGA is a circuit that is designed to be customised for Bitcoin mining by a manufacturer or the miner himself if he has the necessary skills and knowledge. These FPGAs can be wired in a variety of different configurations, have memory blocks and have the option to have more than one chip inserted. FPGAs are quite popular among Bitcoin miners but can be confusing for newcomers in the industry and it is best to get your FPGA configured by someone who knows what they are doing rather than try and configure it yourself.
The best piece of equipment you can have for Bitcoin mining is most an ASIC Bitcoin Miner, or also known as an Application Specific Integrated Circuit. ASICs, as their name suggests, are built for one purpose only and that is to solve the mathematical problems that create blocks, or more simply, to mine for Bitcoins. The speeds at which ASICs work are incredible. This is by far the most lucrative piece of equipment if you can afford the initial purchase of one, which can cost a pretty penny.