Early adherents to the Bitcoin industry have made significant fees through mining Bitcoin. Mining Bitcoin is the process by which new coins are created. Mining is carried out using certain computer programmes and utilises the processing power of the miner’s computer. At its inception, Bitcoin mining was relatively simple and the earliest miners were able to mine thousands and thousands of Bitcoin with limited expenditure.
However, at the same time, the value of Bitcoin was nowhere near where it was today and therefore any large profits being made from mining didn’t really begin to happen until a number of years after when the value of Bitcoin began to rise. Nowadays, Bitcoin mining is much harder. Each Bitcoin that is mined requires more processing power and therefore mining Bitcoin now involves significant processing power and can no longer be done without specialized equipment.
In addition, the costs of the electricity used to power this equipment is phenomenal, with Bitcoin mining currently estimating to be using the same power per day as a country the size of Morocco. Because of this, most Bitcoin mining has been taken over by companies who can make profit by scale based on buying large amounts of processing hardware at a discount as well as locating themselves in an area with extremely cheap electricity. For this reason, China is by far the largest Bitcoin mining country (mining over 60% of Bitcoin), followed by Georgia, Sweden and the US.