Bitcoin 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.
An application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC, is a microchip designed and manufactured for a very specific purpose. ASICs designed for Bitcoin mining were first released in 2013. For the amount of power they consume, they are vastly faster than all previous technologies and already has made GPU mining financially unwise in some countries and setups.
AntMiner is a brand name for bitcoin mining ASIC hardware. Several models exist that are made for mining Bitcoin (SHA256 algorithm), Litecoin (Scrypt algorithm), Dash (X11 algorithm) as well as other algorithms.
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