Bitcoin seems to be practically everywhere these days. Participants on social media share memes and swap stories of epic gains and losses. Banks, hedge funds, and others are reviewing it in boardrooms in hopes that they can use it to turn a handsome profit. And regulators around the world are attempting to find how they and their rules fit in the new paradigm brought about by the Bitcoin blockchain. Quite a showing for a technology that’s only been around for twelve years.
What’s driving these developments? Simply put, the exponential growth of Bitcoin from an obscure collectible worth basically nothing to a decentralized monetary network with units that are worth tens of thousands of dollars apiece. And what’s driving Bitcoin’s growth in value? Nothing more or less than the desire of millions of people the world over to acquire and use Bitcoin in their everyday lives.
For most people, the quickest way to obtain Bitcoin is by buying it on a cryptocurrency exchange. After all, exchanges literally make their money by making it as easy as possible for you to click the “buy” button. That said, I’d argue that buying through an exchange, while simple, is not the most productive way to acquire Bitcoin. Instead, I’d argue that the best way to get Bitcoin and also support the blockchain as much as possible is through mining.