Mining: In Depth
Listed here are a few reasons someone may want to try mining Monero. It is far from a complete list of all the reasons to mine Monero.
Someone should try mining if they want to…
- help secure the Monero network against attack
- learn more about how the Monero network works
- make their computer earn cents a day that may be worth dollars in the future
- try to earn an income where all other opportunities are suppressed
Mining on a personal PC may not be very lucrative. However, it is believed that what is mined can add up over time if the value of the cryptocurrency rises.
How Does Mining Help The Monero Network
Mining is the thing that Satoshi Nakamoto really invented when he invented Bitcoin. The ability to have many unknown actors all competing for the same thing and agreeing on a winner without a central organizer. Also known as proof of work.
Monero operates via a blockchain, a chain of blocks all mathematically linked to each other. Each block contains transactions that happen on the Monero network and adding the next block is what miners are competing over. In order to find a block, miners are working to solve a complex math equation. The first one to solve the equation, gets rewarded. This is called “solving a block”. The method for guessing the equation is to literally try every number, every guess is known as a hash. The number of times your computer can guess a second is known as it’s hash rate.
Monero is governed via a formula that takes into account the total hash rate (power) of the network. This formula tries to maintain an average block time of 2 minutes. In order to maintain that 2 minute goal, the formula will adjust in difficulty as more hash rate (computer power) is added. A network that can achieve 1 hash per second will be slower/weaker then a network that can achieve 1 million hashes per second.
All this hash rate adds up and is what helps secure the Monero network. If a bad actor wanted to try and take control of the network in order to perform something malicious, like solving a block to give themselves a million free Monero, they would need to acquire enough hash rate to equal 51% of the existing network. This is known as a 51% attack. The higher the networks hash rate is, the more secure it is. So every hash added helps the network become that much more secure!