If you want to join in the bitcoin frenzy without simply buying the digital currency at today’s inflated prices, then bitcoin mining is another way to get involved. However, mining bitcoins does come with expenses — and risks — of its own.

And the more popular bitcoins become, the harder it is to mine them profitably. Unlike paper currency, which is printed by governments and issued by banks, bitcoins do not come in any physical form.

That creates a major risk, as hackers could theoretically create bitcoins from nothing. Bitcoin mining is how the bitcoin network keeps its transactions secure.

Bitcoin transactions are secured by blockchains, which make up a public ledger of transactions. Because of how blockchain transactions are structured, they’re extremely difficult to alter or compromise, even by the best hackers.

But in order to secure these transactions, someone needs to dedicate computing power to verifying the activity and packaging the details in a block that goes into the bitcoin ledger. And that’s precisely what bitcoin miners do. Read more from fool.com…

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