Bitcoin mining is booming, Learn the risks as well as the rewards.
Bitcoin has inspired thousands of cryptocurrencies since it launched in 2009, but in terms of value, it still stands alone. Despite the volatility of its price, its monetary policy builds in a measure of stability by limiting mining to 21 million Bitcoins across a predefined schedule. Although there are almost 19 million now in circulation, the reward for mining is periodically cut in half so that it will take until 2140 to exhaust the production of Bitcoin.
While other crypto networks also manage supply, none have been able to replicate Bitcoin’s popularity. As investors embraced the asset class, Bitcoin’s futures and exchange-traded funds became the first to be introduced in regulated US and European markets. It soon appeared on the balance sheets of companies like Tesla and Overstock. This demand helped push Bitcoin’s market cap past $1 trillion in November 2021. By way of contrast, the second-most-popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, reached only about half that value.
Bitcoin also stands out because of the industrial-scale mining operations, or farms, it has spawned. The largest crypto facilities with the most advanced technology are focused primarily or exclusively on Bitcoin, like the Genesis Mining farm, which consumes more electricity than any other company in Iceland. One of the biggest farms in North America is Riot Blockchain’s Texas facility, which occupies three large warehouses on 100 acres of land containing 60,000 mining computers focused only on Bitcoin.