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Ignore any of the concerns about doing this. If I've got an old laptop laying around, how do I go about mining Bitcoin using Bitcoin Core?

I've just downloaded Bitcoin Core and there doesn't appear to be any way of doing this and I've found no reliable guide online about how to do this. Just lots of nonsense about buying gear or all the hype around it all.

I'm just wanting to do a basic proof of concept so I can understand how it all works for contributing to the network.

It's my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong!) that it's highly unlikely that you will earn any Bitcoins/Satoshis from doing this as you have to hit on that highly unlikely point in time when you actually win the race to compute the calculation etc. I don't really understand how all that works to be fair. I guess what I'm saying is that it's not like you can leave a laptop lying around for 1 hr and see 1 Satoshi deposit into your wallet, and 2 within 2 hrs etc. as a contribution of effort.

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