Bitcoin mining is the process of spending computing power to add transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions or blockchain, secure the network by approving transactions, and keep all users in the system synchronized, ensuring fairness. Much like the Bitcoin data center, except designed to be fully decentralized with miners operating in all countries and no individual having control over the network. The ledger of past transactions generated is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place.

The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. This process is called”mining” because it resembles gold mining, and it is also a temporary mechanism used to issue new bitcoins. Unlike gold mining, however, Bitcoin mining provides a reward in exchange for useful services required to operate a secure payment network. Mining will still be required after the last bitcoin is issued.