The early days of Bitcoin mining are often described as bitcoin mining ph scale gold rush. Those with a strong interest in such things, namely cypherpunks, cryptographers, technically-minded libertarians and assorted hackers, were first to stake their claim. But is there still gold in them thar hills?
Bitcoin mining has grown from a handful of early enthusiasts into a cottage industry, into a specialized industrial-level venture. The easy money was scooped out a long time ago and what remains is buried under the cryptographic equivalent of tons of hard rock. A new block is created on average every ten minutes. This is the cryptographic work which miners perform in order to find the solution which allows them to define a new block. PoW hashing ensures the proper function of the Bitcoin blockchain.