Though the days of mining bitcoin on a normal computer are sadly behind us, options still exist for those who wish to support the network by mining.
There are two options available for people interested in bitcoin mining:
Option 1: Purchase and run specialist hardware (ASIC’s)
These devices mine bitcoin far more efficiently than a desktop computer using custom processors (designed especially for bitcoin. They are powerful and require a large amount of power which will add considerably to your electricity bill, though much of this cost should be offset by the value of the bitcoin you mine. Mining will be done as part of a ‘Pool’ where you add your mining hardware to a mining group and get a return proportional to the hash power that you contribute. Mining pools vary in terms of associated costs and structure so be sure to look around!
Option 2: Buy a Cloud Mining Contract
Cloud mining is where you pay someone else to set up specialist hardware and pay you the mined bitcoin (minus a fee). These are mostly scam projects which will never generate a profit, or which may not have any miners at all! Do not partake in ‘Cloud Mining’.