A few years ago, Mutai was working odd jobs on farms in rural Kenya. Now he is a cryptocurrency miner in Nairobi. Mutai began researching cryptocurrencies last year. He says he was curious about what was making these alternative coins drive. There were already many Bitcoin miners. Instead, Mutai started mining Ethereum, a similar but less well-known cryptocurrency. For him, internet-based currencies are revolutionary. They open up a world of finance that might not have been accessible for a self-taught tech-obsessed kid from Kenya with no college degree. It is also a nefarious world of online hucksters and frauds. Mutai takes the chance. Is the gamble worth it?
Essentially, a cryptocurrency is an encrypted digital coin. Transactions made with these digital coins are, added to a growing database known as a blockchain and that is where the miners come in. concisely, mining cryptocurrencies is supporting the network, helping the verification, and adding of transactions to the whole blockchain database. Put simply, instead of companies like VISA and Mastercard securing transactions miners do.
How then does Mutai make money? 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 are mining. It can be a lucrative business. Cryptocurrencies have soared in the last year. At the start of 2019, Bitcoin was worth $966. Now it has smashed the $12,000 mark. Ethereum has also shot up standing at an also all-time high of $225.
Mutai says he makes about $800 each month. Once the mining machine is up and running, aside from the regular power-cuts, he can kick back and let the computer do the work. However, the huge amounts of electricity needed to run the sort of powerful computers capable of mining can be a hindrance. But all in all, it is a worthy gamble that can pay off in huge rewards
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