How Long Does It Take to Mine 1 Bitcoin?

Written by Sean GraytokUpdated: 12th Dec 2021
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This article will answer how long it takes to mine 1 Bitcoin block, explain why Bitcoin was designed this way, and how the protocol adjusts to keep things on schedule.

How Long Does It Take to Mine 1 Bitcoin?

It takes about 10 minutes to mine1 Bitcoin block with the most capable mining rig.

The entity that successfully mines the new block receives a block reward, consisting of 6.25 BTC and the associated transaction fees within the block.

Given the industrialization of Bitcoin mining, a standalone mining operation in someone’s basement will have insufficient computational energy, or hash rate, to effectively compete for block rewards.

It might take years for a solo miner to mine just one block and earn the corresponding bitcoin.

Therefore, most solo miners join a mining pool, a group of miners who combine their computational resources over a network and act as a team to find blocks.

They pool their hash rate together to better compete for blocks and share the economical risks and rewards of bitcoin mining.

Understanding The Time to Mine 1 Bitcoin

As more miners come online, the network’s total hash rate increases, and it becomes more competitive to mine 1 Bitcoin block successfully.

Every 2016 blocks, the Bitcoin protocol adjusts the difficulty of mining to accommodate changes in hash rate.

These difficult adjustments occur every two weeks and ensure. Bitcoin maintains its programmatic supply schedule.

New BTC enters the supply on a predetermined schedule dictated by the Bitcoin protocol.

There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin, and about 19 million have already been issued.

The remaining two million will be issued by the halvingschedule, which halves the issuance rate every four years.

It is currently 6.25 BTC every 10 minutes until 2024, then 3.125 until 2028, and so on.

This means the last bitcoin will be mined about 120 years from now in 2140.

By spreading the supply distribution over a century, Satoshiengineered a fair opportunity for people to acquire it well into the future.

If all 21 million BTC were issued in the first year of Bitcoin, the handful of early adopters would own all of the coins, and the network would be limited to them alone. So much for a global network.

The programmatic supply distribution fixes this. In 2055, for example, early adopters will have to pay the same amount to acquire a new BTC as the people who are first learning about it.

This is why it takes an average of 10 minutes to mine 1 Bitcoin block; the network must remain on schedule.

Bitcoin Mining: Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to mine 1 bitcoin at home?

The time it takes to mine 1 Bitcoin block at home varies. It depends on your mining equipment and which mining pool you’re in. However, the total Bitcoin network takes about 10 minutes to mine one block.

How much bitcoin can you mine in a day?

Under the current halving era, there is 900 bitcoin that can be mined in a day, on average. There are typically 144 blocks mined per day, and the current block reward is 6.25 BTC. Multiplying the number of blocks by the block reward results in a new 900 BTC per day.

How much does it cost to mine 1 bitcoin?

It costs about the same, or just below the market price of BTC to mine 1 bitcoin. The economic incentives align to reward those willing to expend the resources and conduct proof-of-work to secure the network. On-chain metrics, such as market cap to thermocap, actually track the total miner spend and can gain insights on the market. Bitcoin also can significantly impact the energy sector by capturing stranded energy, for example. So while the competition to mine will continue to increase, various technological innovations related to energy will reduce different cost variables.

How long will it take to mine every bitcoin?

It will take another 120 years to mine every bitcoin. Regardless of how many resources are expended to mine more, the Bitcoin protocol will adjust the mining difficulty to ensure the integrity of its predetermined supply schedule.

Bottom Line: How Long Does It Take to Mine 1 Bitcoin?

Author Jimmy Song shared an interesting thought: “Imagine getting 76 tails in a row in a coin flip. That’s the current Bitcoin difficulty proof-of-work. About every 10 minutes some machine somewhere gets 76 tails in a row.”

Those are the mathematical odds a miner faces when mining 1 Bitcoin block. It might take centuries for a single computer to stumble across 76 tails in a row.

But this miracle happens every 10 minutes because there are hundreds of thousands of computers trying to achieve just that.

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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice.

Sean Graytok
Sean Graytok

Sean Graytok is our Co-Founder and leading expert in investing and financial management. His work has been cited in leading industry publications, such as InvestorPlace and Business Insider. Sean is interested in the people and technologies that are improving the world.