The word mining existed long ago and was not categorized then. It meant mining natural resources and using them for a variety of further tasks.
However, after the development of Bitcoin, a new kind of mining appeared called “crypto mining” and from this word bitcoin mining was born. Still, according to reliable data, the concept of cryptocurrency mining was first used by an anonymous developer, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi is the person who introduced the concept of Bitcoin mining and demonstrated Bitcoin mining in the Bitcoin white paper published 14 years before Bitcoin’s launch.
Proof of work is the consensus mechanism by which Bitcoin is generated. According to Bitcoin’s White, proof of work involves scanning values whose hash starts with a few zero bits when hashed with something like SHA-256. The average amount of work required is exponential in the number of zero bits required and can be seen by performing a single hash.
Bitcoin mining operations use heavy machinery to solve complex math problems and validate blockchain transactions. Carbon emissions generated by such activities contribute to the greenhouse effect, leading to an increase in global temperature. Cryptocurrencies that use PoW algorithms are the main reason for this problem.
Cryptocurrency mining has created approximately 110-170 million tons of carbon pollution globally and 25-50 million tons of carbon pollution in the United States alone. This process either buys from the power grid or uses computers and mining frameworks to generate energy.
Satoshi’s white paper also states that the majority vote is represented by the longest chain, where the greatest proof-of-work effort is spent. If honest nodes control the most CPU power, the honest chain will grow the fastest, overtaking competing chains. To modify a past block, an attacker would have to redo the block’s proof of work and all subsequent blocks before catching up and overtaking the work of honest nodes.
Currently, Bitcoin mining and its profitability raises hundreds of questions as BTC mining is considered the father of all other mining. Because the concept of crypto mining or his BTC mining went mainstream after the efforts of Satoshi his Nakamoto.
BTC’s halving is scheduled for 2024, significantly increasing the difficulty of mining. Another question now remains whether prices will rise to the levels experts expect. Another point to consider is whether this proof of work asset will remain in the game as Ethereum has moved consensus to proof of stake.