Mining is the creation of Bitcoin currency. There will never be more than twenty one million Bitcoins mined. As a decentralized currency, the validation process is not controlled by any single authority. With Bitcoin currency, mining is manifested by “nodes” (another name for miners). “Nodes” are those people who hold the expensive computer power required for the validation process of Bitcoins. They are rewarded in Bitcoins.
The purpose of mining is to validate transactions and to add transactions to the public transaction record, which is called the block chain. Miners collect transactions on the network into large bundles called blocks. The block is released to the block chain during the mining process and are linked into one continuous, authoritative record, which doesn’t permit any conflicting transactions.
The validation process requires the solution of a highly complex mathematical problem. The solution to the problem becomes part of the transaction record. Without the solution and the proof of work, the transaction cannot take place. The mathematical components of all Bitcoin transactions are designed to keep Bitcoins secure and ensure only legitimate transactions are allowed.
Technically any one can be a miner; however mining requires increasingly powerful computer processors to solve increasingly complex mathematical equations. New Bitcoins are generated and awarded to the miner who successfully solves the mathematical problem. The complexity of the mathematical problems automatically adjusts, to ensure transactions are validated, and new Bitcoins are released at a set rate of six blocks per hour, or one block every ten minutes.