The mining or entering of bitcoin into circulation is a complex process involving computer systems across the world that maintain the blockchain ledger, and verify transactions.
High-performance computers using the latest processor technology for GPU (graphics processing unit) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) microprocessors are required for the rapid calculations needed for mining. One of the leading manufacturers of these processing engines in NVIDIA, (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report
Often thought of as a digital 'gold rush,' the primary draw for miners is the reward of receiving bitcoin for performing the required calculations before other miners.
The Chinese government's recent crackdown on bitcoin mining is sending miners abroad with their equipment in tow. Many are reportedly moving to Kazakhstan and also the U.S. in search of cheap energy and other incentives.
The official Bitcoin Protocol created by founder Satoshi Nakamoto states that bitcoin mining will end when the total number reaches 21 million. Because the rate of mining is reduced or halved periodically, the final bitcoin won't be mined until around the