“Mining” crypto, doesn’t call for you to wander around the internet in search of something that glitters. What it does involve is solving special, complicated puzzles that enable miners to first examine transactions, and then verify them, before adding this information to a string of information known as the blockchain.
While regular computers may have been enough in the past to help solve these crypto puzzles, that is no longer the case today; particularly since more people are competing for a finite amount of Bitcoin, and high-powered computers are needed to crack these puzzles more quickly. “The mining, or transaction processing, is accomplished by incredibly expensive and powerful computers whose sole function is to run algorithms to solve the mathematical problem that allows their owner to win a Bitcoin block — and the revenue that comes with it,” Richard Baker, CEO of miner and blockchain services provider TAAL Distributed Information Technologies, explained to Forbes.
As such, the heart of any Bitcoin mining operation or “rig” is a strong, bare-bones computer, according to CNET; and currently, the preferred Bitcoin mining computer of miners today is an application-specific integrated circuit or ASIC unit, because it can run through as many as 100 trillion puzzle solutions per second (via Forbes). Further, one ASIC, which can set you back more than $10,000, isn’t enough to do the trick, since the more computers you have, the higher the chances are of finding your Bitcoin.