Bitcoin mining is a multi-billion industry, but with increasing number of blocks, the difficulty to mine bitcoins is growing as well.
The question that arises is whether one should invest in such phenomena or avoid it.
In this post, we’ll give you a few pointers on what are the risks involved in this particular venture.
Bitcoin mining secures transactions that are recorded in the Bitcoin’s public ledger the blockchain. The blockchain confirms these transactions to the rest of the network while they’re taking place.
Miners play a vital role in the Bitcoin ecosystem by keeping the Bitcoin community in check. They perform complicated mathematical tasks with specialized mining hardware, in order to mine new bitcoins but bitcoin’s system adds a new block to the blockchain every 10 minutes to ensure the verification and security of unprocessed transactions so that there is no double spending. Miners earn bitcoins, as rewards for their effort and often even paid transaction fees by buyers.
Possible risks follow:
Susceptible to High Price Volatility:
The main issue that comes with bitcoin mining is the fluctuation of the virtual currency. The cryptocurrency tends to swing over short periods of time. Also, the price depends on the demand and supply, since there are only 21 million Bitcoins available and with two-thirds of it to be already mined, the demand of bitcoins increases with each passing day.
Competition due to the introduction of Ethereum:
The reward for mining bitcoins about every four years and its current value is at 12.5 bitcoins, with average block time as 10 minutes. Whereas Ethereum’s block time is 12 seconds. Faster block time means quicker confirmation of transactions. Ethereum reward miners work to earn Ethers, which is a kind of token that fuels the network. You earn 5 ethers given for each block. You can also use it to pay for transaction fee and services on the Ethereum network. Also, Ethereum has over 89,752,192 coins currently existing, unlike Bitcoin, if it reaches its limit, more investors would switch to Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies thus, leading to lesser or no transactions for miners to confirm and earn rewards.
The “hard fork” scenario:
Bitcoin has become so popular that it isn’t able to manage the weight of all the transactions. With the currency growing exponentially along with the number of transactions, the 1MB block size limit is starting to be an issue thus, leading to delays in payment processing. This hard fork is splitting the network into two i.e. Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) and Segregated Witness (SegWit). Miners are in favor of BU as it gives them more control of the BTC network but BTC developers and enthusiasts choose to side with SegWit since they’re not in favor of letting miners be more in control of the network than they already are. The two obviously can’t co-exist side by side so they have to compete for legitimacy and users in order to function.
To conclude, bitcoin mining does have its pros and cons. Surely, as people become more aware of this cryptocurrency they would show more interest but for now, no one can predict the future of it.