In essence, mining is the process of leveraging computational power to secure a network in exchange for a payment. It is the most traditional way of making passive income in the cryptocurrency realm, even if it doesn’t necessitate holding any bitcoin.
Mining on a standard Central Processing Unit (CPU) was a practical method in the early days of Bitcoin. Most miners switched to employing more potent Graphics Processing Units as the network hash rate rose (GPUs).
As the rivalry grew more fierce, it mostly became the domain of Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), electronics that employ mining chips designed with this particular function in mind.
Companies with large resources available to spend on research and development dominate the highly competitive ASIC market. These chips would probably be out-of-date when they hit the retail market and would require a lot of mining time to become profitable.
As a result, mining bitcoins is now primarily a corporate operation rather than a practical source of passive income for the typical person.
On the other side, some people may still find success mining Proof of Work coins with lower hash rates. Using GPUs on these networks may still be practical. Mining less popular coins has a larger potential profit but also a higher possible danger.
The mined coins could have a glitch, lose all of their value overnight, carry minimal liquidity, or be hampered by numerous other issues.
It should be noted that installing and maintaining mining equipment demands a start-up cost and some technical know-how.