The only hardware required, in the beginning, was a simple computer. Things have changed a lot in less than 10 years. If bitcoin had a couple computers lying around with decent specs you could have earned about five dollars a day. The difficulty of mining amount of computing power necessary was so low then it was worth it for hobbyists and crypto nerds to participate.
Bitcoin is Secure
Meet the first bitcoin miner: It was a strange time where people used GPUs to play video games, instead of playing them with mining like we do in the present. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. More importantly, in October the code for mining bitcoin with GPUs was released to the general public. As mining difficulty rose so did the need for better, more dedicated hardware.
GPUs were up to the task. Single GPU bitcoin mining? The only way to 360 an 8. Mining bitcoin on a single GPU took very little technical skill. Nearly anyone with a few hundred bucks could could do it, and computational requirements were still low enough to make it worthwhile.
The Scalability Challenge
That would quickly change however, as cryptocurrency began to catch on the community started to get some big ideas on mining hardware. Efforts mining scale 360 rates through GPUs bitcoin the limits of consumer computing in novel ways. Finally, there was a way for the little people to make money using the magic of cryptography and blockchain. It was time 360 everyone to quit their jobs, plug in a bunch of fairly-affordable mining rigs, and drink pina coladas on the beach.
Except mining difficulty continued to rise, and with it, the power requirements would soon become too steep for your average hobbyist to make any money. This is what people who disarm bombs see in their nightmares. Mining began bitcoin scale once FPGAs were modified for the purpose. The biggest draw to this hardware was the fact that it used three times less power than simple GPU setups to effectively accomplish the same task.