Mining is the process of verifying transactions on a distributed public ledger known as a blockchain. Every cryptocurrency has its own corresponding blockchain, and miners are responsible for ensuring that all blocks stored within this network are valid.
To do this, miners must solve complex mathematical puzzles known as cryptographic hashes. The process of solving these puzzles is known as mining. When a miner successfully finds a cryptographic hash, it creates a new block on the blockchain that contains information about the most recent transactions.
This block is then securely linked to the previous block in the chain, creating a cryptographic chain of blocks that is largely immutable. In return for their hard work, miners are rewarded with a small amount of cryptocurrency known as a block reward.
Block rewards are essential to the security of cryptocurrency networks. By incentivizing miners to keep the network secure, cryptocurrency can remain decentralized and safe from 51% attacks and malicious actors. Cryptocurrency miners also use computing power to process transactions quickly and securely.
The more miners join the network, the faster and more secure it becomes, making crypto mining an important aspect of most cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin uses this concept and mining is the only way to get new bitcoins. Compared to traditional currencies there is no way to print additional money as needed.