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Definition: miner hardware

The equipment required to mine cryptocurrencies, which is the competitive process of adding new transactions to a blockchain. Cryptos such as Bitcoin and the first version of Ethereum use the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, which requires the miner to solve a puzzle. Specialized hardware is used that contains custom-made chips (ASIC chips). These ASIC rigs are plugged into the Internet, turned on, configured and left to mine crypto. They also use a huge amount of electricity.

Regular Computers and GPUs
Cryptocurrencies are coming online constantly, and new cryptos can sometimes be mined with everyday computers or computers with stand-alone GPU cards installed.

Proof-of-Work (PoW) Processing
In order to solve the PoW puzzle, trillions of mathematical transformations, known as hashes, are computed every second. The hash rate of a computer, GPU or ASIC machine determines how successful a user will be in earning the block subsidy by being first to solve the puzzle and win the competition. See hash rate.

The Bitmain ASIC Miner
Custom made for blockchain hashes, the Antminer S9 was one of the fastest ASIC miner machines on the market in 2017. ASIC miners such as this use a whole lot more power than an ordinary PC, and this unit requires a stand-alone 1600-watt power supply. (Image courtesy of Bitmain Technologies, www.bitmain.com)

Miner Motherboard
In 2018, Asus introduced its H370 Mining Master motherboard with support for 20 graphics cards via USB riser cables. (Image courtesy of ASUSTeK Computer Inc., www.asus.com)