Bitcoin mining is looking a bit more attractive again.
When the virtual currency’s popularity was surging just a few years ago, almost anyone could set up a computer in their basement to mine bitcoins, a process needed to record transactions and ensure the propagation of the digital money, which exists as software. Miners who put their machines to work solving complex computational problems (and paying for the hardware and a higher electric bill) were rewarded with new bitcoins for their efforts. Some became paper millionaires as bitcoin’s price jumped to a peak of $1,137 in 2013 from $13 in less than two years.
Then, bitcoin’s price plummeted to a low of $183 last year, leaving only major miners with significant resources in the game. Many found it more profitable to join mining pools, or groups of miners that share computing power to harvest new bitcoins faster and more efficiently.
Now, there are signs that broader mining efforts are making a comeback, thanks to bitcoin’s price doubling since September. While that isn’t the only factor that determines whether mining is profitable, it’s an important one.
“When the price goes up, there’s more confidence in mining, and [mining equipment makers] go and design the next-generation chips,” said