Cryptocurrency mining works by using specialised computers to solve complex mathematical problems that validate and verify transactions on a blockchain. Here's a simplified step-by-step explanation of the process:
Miners compete with each other to solve a mathematical problem related to the block. The problem requires significant computational power and involves guessing a random number called a "nonce."
Miners use their computers to perform numerous calculations, trying different nonces until one of them finds a solution that meets certain criteria.
The first miner to find the correct nonce announces it to the network, proving that they have done the necessary work.
Other miners verify the solution to ensure its correctness.
Once the solution is verified, the block is added to the blockchain, and the miner who solved the problem is rewarded with newly created cryptocurrency coins as an incentive.
The transactions in the newly added block are considered confirmed and cannot be altered, providing security and immutability to the blockchain.
The process of mining continues with a new block, and miners repeat the cycle to earn more rewards and contribute to the ongoing operation of the cryptocurrency network.
It's worth noting that mining difficulty adjusts automatically to maintain a consistent block creation rate.
This ensures that new blocks are added at a predictable pace, and the average time between blocks remains relatively constant.
Additionally, different cryptocurrencies may employ different mining algorithms, such as proof-of-work (PoW) or proof-of-stake (PoS), which determine how miners are rewarded and how consensus is achieved.