Is It Legal?
Bitcoin mining in the United States is legal. However, in a few countries, mining bitcoin as well as the possession and use of bitcoin is not. There are local regulatory frameworks that provide certain protections and basic oversight in most of Western Europe and North America.
What Is Bitcoin Mining?
The Bitcoin mining process refers to the creation of new blocks of transactions that are added to the Bitcoin public ledger known as the blockchain. These blocks are created through solving algorithms with computer processors and a reward of Bitcoin is granted to the miners once the block is filled. Even though the ledger is public, actual users can remain hidden behind anonymous names. Any computer can be used to mine these bitcoins, but without large powerful processors, you probably won’t have much success. Successful miners use Bitcoin mining rigs that are machines designed specifically to solving these algorithms needed to create new blocks. Mining bitcoins use a lot of electricity so these mining rigs are built to quickly solve these algorithms in order to use the least amount of energy possible to maximize profits.
Where Is Mining Illegal?
Bitcoin was created to provide people an alternative to modern-day banking to save us from the inflationary policies of corrupt world governments and to show the world that a decentralized trust could be created through the means of robust mathematical models through cryptography. Now that Bitcoin is competing with the central banks, some governments are putting a ban on it and some are even planning to launch their own form of cryptocurrency. Some countries have put on an outright ban on Bitcoin while some countries have not really banned it, but are unclear about their stance. Here is a list of countries that have outright banned Bitcoin and mining. Keep in mind that this list can change at any time due to the fact that some of these countries have banned Bitcoin and mining until they figure out how to handle it.
There is no doubt cryptocurrencies are going to continue to thrive regardless of the push back from the traditional banking system. As momentum continues to push cryptocurrencies forward, banks and other financial institutions will either need to adjust to the times or get out of the way.
- Bitcoin mining using malware is highly illegal because the victim usually has not given consent and has no idea that their computer is being used by a third party to mine. This method uses malware specially made for mining and uses different ways to smuggle it onto unsuspecting victims. The most popular way is through malware-infected websites. Malware is loaded onto the victim’s computer unnoticed and begins to mine without the users’ consent. Since mining Bitcoin takes a lot of computing power, the hacker must throttle the mining down as to continue unnoticed by the victim. Another way is through pirated software obtained through torrent sites and other means. The end result is usually the same.
This article is not a source for legal advice as governments around the world adjust regulations as needed. If you have the equipment and electricity to mine and you are in an area where it is legal, please carry on as the Bitcoin network becomes stronger and more secure with every added miner.