What Value does mining provide?


As you mentioned, bringing coins into the network is one of the main purposes of mining. But this reward is just an incentive to do the other more important part of mining: 'processing' transactions.


As detailed here, when a block has been solved, not a single bit can be changed without invalidating it.

This means that all of the transactions in the block have been processed, and are 'final' in the sense that they are in the blockchain and will not change (assuming that block is a part of the best/longest blockchain). Imagine how bad it would be if you could change the transaction ledger to mark someone no longer being paid, or not being paid the amount that you said you paid them.


Requiring billions of mathematical steps to be taken to solve a block means that it is very hard to accomplish. Honest miners that mine on the tip of the blockchain get rewarded for this in the form of bitcoins. But attackers who try to go back...

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Over a span of nearly forty years consulting to the mining industry, I have worked with many mining engineers. On the basis of long experience, I can say with confidence that mining engineers spend most of their time in meetings, listening to consultants and staff and making hard decisions about the mine they work for or manage.

When they are not in meetings, the mining engineers that I have known drive around the open pit, or descend the underground workings where they walk around to see if things are going as they should. And if things are not going as they should, they talk (mostly) to the people who are supposed to be making things go properly and the mining engineers remind them of their duty and the consequences of failing to live up to their duty.

Sometimes the mining engineers leave the mine and go to the office building in some distant city where the head office is located. There they meet with even more senior mining engineers, accountants, and lawyers to...

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Find answers to recurring questions and myths about Bitcoin.

Table of contents


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.

Bitcoin is the first implementation of a concept called "cryptocurrency", which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list, suggesting the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. The first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in 2009 in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi left the project in late 2010...

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Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth from an orebody, lode, vein, seam, or reef, which forms the mineralized package of economic interest to the miner. Ores recovered by mining include metals, coal and oil shale, gemstones, limestone, and dimension stone, rock salt and potash, gravel, and clay. Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, or created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or even water. Mining of stone and metal has been done since pre-historic times. Modern mining processes involve prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials, and final reclamation of the land after the mine is closed. The nature of mining processes creates a potential negative impact on the environment...

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Handling missing values correctly is an important part of effective modeling. This section explains what missing values are, and describes the features provided in Analysis Services to work with missing values when building data mining structures and mining models.

Definition of Missing Values in Data Mining

A missing value can signify a number of different things. Perhaps the field was not applicable, the event did not happen, or the data was not available. It could be that the person who entered the data did not know the right value, or did not care if a field was not filled in.

However, there are many data mining scenarios in which missing values provide important information. The meaning of the missing values depends largely on context. For example, a missing value for the date in a list of invoices has a meaning substantially different from the lack of a date in column that indicates an employee hire date. Generally, Analysis Services treats missing...

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Pity that Process Mining is being targeted as a process discovery technique because this reduces the full spectrum of process mining capabilities that goes far beyond that perspective.

As a practitioner and with hands on experience on process mining project in complex environments like Airport Management (check the case study I carried together with Fluxicon on BP Trends)


shows quite clearly the value process mining is capable of.

Thus instead of making reflections about the manifesto, people should start thinking that as results are being delivered that process mining is not a theoretical approach that is trying to become hype, is currently an approach to business transformation and adaptation that goes far beyond traditional approaches available so far.

I should say that for my point of view,...

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If “mining” sounds like a process which extracts value from Bitcoin, nothing could be further from the truth!

Miners are the backbone of the Bitcoin network:

Without miners, the network would collapse and lose all value.

The role of miners is to secure the network and to process every Bitcoin transaction.

Miners achieve this by solving a computational problem which allows them to chain together blocks of transactions (hence Bitcoin’s famous “blockchain”).

For this service, miners are rewarded with newly-created Bitcoins and transaction fees.

The Blockchain

To understand mining, it’s first necessary to understand the Bitcoin blockchain.

It works like this:

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the blockchain, in a linear, time-stamped series of bundled transactions known as blocks.

The blockchain is essentially a public ledger, which is freely shared, continually updated and under no central control.

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Mining is the extraction (removal) of minerals and metals from earth. Manganese, tantalum, cassiterite, copper, tin, nickel, bauxite (aluminum ore), iron ore, gold, silver, and diamonds are just some examples of what is mined.

Why mine?

Mining is a money making business. Not only do mining companies prosper, but governments also make money from revenues. Workers also receive income and benefits.

Mining in Peru. Photos by Rhett Butler

What are the minerals and metals used for?

Minerals and metals are very valuable commodities. For example, manganese is a key component of low-cost stainless steel. It is also used to de-color glass (removing greenish hues), but in higher concentrations, it actually makes lavender-colored glass. Tantalum is used in cell phones, pagers, and lap-tops. Cooper and tin are used to make pipes, cookware, etc. And gold, silver, and diamonds are used to make jewelry.

Large scale mining versus small scale...

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Miners are valuable members of the work force that engage in the risky but essential task of extracting minerals and other important substances from the earth. The materials that are harvested are used to provide a number of goods and services to the buying public. In some cases, the miner works with highly technical equipment, and in other situations, he might perform his duties with the same simple tools that have been used for centuries.

Perhaps the most commonly recognized type is the coal miner. Coal mining involves extracting coal from underground mines, a task that is carries a high degree of risk. Historically, few precautions were made to protect these miners safe from physical danger, including respiratory problems. The second half of the 20th century saw a number of reforms in the industry, however, including the addition of protective gear that serves to minimize the chances for ongoing health issues.

Mining in general is a dangerous profession. Much of...

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Association rule mining is the data mining process of finding the rules that may govern associations and causal objects between sets of items.

So in a given transaction with multiple items, it tries to find the rules that govern how or why such items are often bought together. For example, peanut butter and jelly are often bought together because a lot of people like to make PB&J sandwiches.

Also surprisingly, diapers and beer are bought together because, as it turns out, that dads are often tasked to do the shopping while the moms are left with the baby.

The main applications of association rule mining:

Basket data analysis - is to analyze the association of purchased items in a single basket or single purchase as per the examples given above. Cross marketing - is to work with other businesses that complement your own, not competitors. For example, vehicle dealerships and manufacturers have cross marketing campaigns with oil and...
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The terms data mining and data warehousing are often confused by both business and technical staff. The entire field of data management has experienced a phenomenal growth with the implementation of data collection software programs and the decreased cost of computer memory. The primary purpose behind both these functions is to provide the tools and methodologies to explore the patterns and meaning in large amount of data.

The primary differences between data mining and data warehousing are the system designs, methodology used, and the purpose. Data mining is the use of pattern recognition logic to identity trends within a sample data set and extrapolate this information against the larger data pool. Data warehousing is the process of extracting and storing data to allow easier reporting.

Data mining is a general term used to describe a range of business processes that derive patterns from data. Typically, a statistical analysis software package is used to identify...

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A quick and dirty mining rig


Mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin's public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. Bitcoin nodes use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.

Mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady. Individual blocks must contain a proof of work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block. Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function.

The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. Mining is also the mechanism used...

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Mining surveyors use scientific tools to determine the viability of proposed and existing mines.

What Does a Mining Surveyor Do?

Mining surveyors are a type of surveyor or mapping scientist that use all the tools, technologies and methods at the disposal of the discipline to record details for mines. They will look at maps and GIS data to determine potential areas of new resources. They will also use similar data to determine the potential future use of an existing mine - i.e. whether it is worth the investment to remove the remaining material or to close the mine. This is an essential role in efficient extraction of material and for determining the future viability on grounds of environmental protection and / or profitability. This is a broad role requiring a multidisciplinary approach. It is also an applied science that utilizes many geoscience technologies - new (GPS and GIS for planning) and old (maps, on-the-ground measurements, property ownership documents) and...

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We use the general term mining to describe the activity of recovering materials from the earth. It is from these raw materials we take minerals we need or the raw material from which we win metal. Mining is a broad term, and there is more to it than might meet the eye.

In mining, we might extract the ore of a metal. After processing, we'd win the metal, be it iron, copper, aluminum, or any other metal we use (and we use most of them!). In the case of stone for use as a building material, we mine the marble, granite, limestone, slate or any other rock we can utilize. Sand, pieces of rock and other aggregate products are also mined, and they are vital to building and construction. Even if you call the activity quarrying, you are describing a mining operation. The earthen materials necessary to make Portland cement are mined. Imagine a world without cement, if you can. There is so much more.

Clay and other earthen materials are used in the ceramics industry. Glass...

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Data mining with WEKA, Part 1

Michael Abernethy
Published on April 27, 2010

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What is data mining? You may find yourself asking this question occasionally, as the topic seems to be getting increased attention in the world of technology. You read that companies like Google and Yahoo! are generating billions of data points about all their users, and you may wonder, "What do they plan to do with all that information?" You may also be surprised to know that Walmart is one of the most advanced companies that mines data and applies the results to their business. Virtually every company in the world is using...

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Heymann, T. 2014. Understanding who benefits from gold mining. GREAT Insights, Volume 3, Issue 5. May 2014.

The international development community has paid increasing attention in recent years to the potential for the mining industry to act as an engine for growth and poverty reduction. There is decreasing support for the view that a ‘resource curse’ is inevitable – albeit few would deny that resource dependency can create both macro-economic and governance challenges. At the “Investing in Mining Indaba” in Cape Town earlier this year, Sir Paul Collier, formerly Chief Economist at the World Bank, spoke about the mining industry “taking over” from development agencies. This prompts a new perspective, as to whether the pendulum has swung too far? Mining companies can have significant impact and capacity but they do not have the mandate or skills to be development ‘agencies’.

Mining can only optimise its contribution to development in the context of co-operative...

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In customer relationship management (CRM), Web mining is the integration of information gathered by traditional data mining methodologies and techniques with information gathered over the World Wide Web. (Mining means extracting something useful or valuable from a baser substance, such as mining gold from the earth.) Web mining is used to understand customer behavior, evaluate the effectiveness of a particular Web site, and help quantify the success of a marketing campaign.

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Web mining allows you to look for patterns in data through content mining, structure mining, and usage mining. Content mining is used to examine data collected...

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Cryptocurrency is an encrypted decentralized digital currency transferred between peers and confirmed in a public ledger via a process known as mining.

Below, we take a simplified look at how cryptocurrencies like bitcoin work. First, let’s review the basics and essentials of cryptocurrency, and then we will do an overview of the other properties that have made cryptocurrency what it is today.

The Cryptocurrency Basics

In order to understand how cryptocurrency works, you’ll need to understand a few basic concepts. Specifically:

Public Ledgers: All confirmed transactions from the start of a cryptocurrency’s creation are stored in a public ledger. The identities of the coin owners are encrypted, and the system uses other cryptographic techniques to ensure the legitimacy of record keeping. The ledger ensures that corresponding “digital wallets” can calculate an accurate spendable balance. Also, new transactions can be checked to ensure that each...

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— In coal mining, (1) the weight of the rocks above a narrow roadway is transferred to the solid coal along the sides, which act as abutments of the arch of strata spanning the roadway; and (2) the weight of the rocks over a longwall face is transferred to the front abutment, that is, the solid coal ahead of the face and the back abutment, that is, the settled packs behind the face.

Acid deposition or acid rain — Refers loosely to a mixture of wet and dry "deposition" (deposited material) from the atmosphere containing higher than "normal" amount of nitric and sulfuric acids. The precursors or chemical forerunners of acid rain formation result from both natural sources, such as volcanoes and decaying vegetation, and man-made sources, primarily emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides resulting from fossil fuel combustion.

Acid mine water — Mine water that contains free sulfuric acid, mainly due to the weathering of iron pyrites.

Active workings — Any...

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When the preliminary feasibility study of a mineral project has not been completed yet, but you do want to estimate the mineral deposit value, you can calculate the potential value of a mining project by the back-of-the-envelope calculation described in this article.

Before you can calculate the potential mineral deposit value, you first need to gather some specific data regarding the ore body and the individual drill results.

This required data can be found in the mining company's press releases in which they announce their drill results. Make sure that this data is announced according to the guidelines of National Instrument 43-101 (i.e. approved by a Qualified Person) or similar international reporting standard.

The required data for calculating the potential mineral deposit value is explained in the table below.

To find out what I do in case some of the required data is missing or incomplete, or what I do when I need someone to verify...

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