By Ryan Velez
Cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency. You may hear how a few early investors are making bank with various cryptocurrencies, but what does this mean for the average person trying to make a leg up in an environment where this gets more and more difficult? Black Enterprise tells one such story, about a man from Kenya who decided to put away his farm tools for cryptocurrency mining.
Miners are the name for people who work behind the scenes of all of the coins that enthusiasts are investing in. Eugene Mutai works out of his native Kenya, and has set up his own mining rig to cash in on the creation of this digital currency. CNN reports that he previously worked as a farmer, but decided that it was time for a change. “I was curious about what was making these alternative coins drive. Bitcoin was hard to mine by that point in time,” Mutai tells CNN. “There were already many Bitcoin miners.” Instead, Mutai started mining Ethereum, a similar but less well-known cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is the signature cryptocurrency at the moment, and its recent rise has been the topic of many economists. As of this writing, it has crashed a bit, but many are looking with wary eyes not just for their own investments, but what this means for an industry that is now officially out of the shadows.
“The way I understand what mining cryptocurrencies is, is that it’s basically supporting the network and helping the verification and adding of transactions to the whole blockchain database,” Mutai told CNN. In the simplest form, miners confirm transactions instead of big banks and credit card companies.
Cryptocurrency is defined as limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions. Essentially, once a transaction takes place the network is notified immediately. Once the transaction is confirmed it cannot be reversed. Its records are then added to the blockchain. A miner’s job is to confirm the transaction.
This goes into how exactly Mutai and those like him make money. Every time he confirms a transaction and it is added to the blockchain, he gets paid. “There’s something known as a Hashrate, which is basically how fast can you verify transactions, and eventually help the transactions to be added to the block. The more powerful your computer, the more transactions you can verify, the more money you can make. Then for every transaction verification, you get something called a share, which is translated into the cryptocurrency that you’re mining,” Mutai continued. He brings in approximately $800 each month.