Essentially, miners are serving the Bitcoin community by confirming every transaction and making sure that every single one of them is legitimate. Every time a new block is ‘sealed off’, a miner gets a reward. As of October 2017, the bounty stands at 12.5 Bitcoins per block.
The rate at which new coins appear resembles the rate at which commodities like gold are mined from the ground. Hence why the process is called ‘mining’ Bitcoin Evolution Review.
Hash rate is the number of calculations that your hardware can perform every second. It is a very important parameter, as a higher hash rate will obviously increase your chances of solving the mathematical problem, sealing off the block and collecting your reward.
What miners are looking for is a specified output of the hash function. When it comes to hash functions, the same input will always produce the same output, but they are designed to be unpredictable. So, the best possible way to find a specific output is to try as many random inputs as possible. Moreover, mining is very competitive, so in order to collect a reward, the miner will need to be able to go through those random inputs as quickly as possible. Hence why choosing hardware with higher hash rate is extremely important for successful mining.
In the early days of Bitcoin, many people were drawn to it, because to them it was a revolutionary and liberating idea. Indeed, a decentralized, self-governing network where ordinary users were in charge of ensuring that the transactions will go through was a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by banks, tax authorities and massive corporations keeping an eye on how people spend their own money. Back then, Bitcoin’s value was nowhere near what it is today. So, a lot of miners were motivated by the idea of Bitcoin and not just profit. They were able to generate hash sequences and confirm transaction using powerful enough computers and even laptops.