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In 2009, it was 50. In 2013, it had been 25, in the time of writing it is 12.5, and sometime in the center of 2020 it will halve to 6.25. .

At this rate of halving, the total number of bitcoin in circulation will approach a limit of 21 million, making the currency more scarce and valuable over time but also more costly for miners to make.

Here's the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to occur. First, they must confirm 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction but are more often several thousand, depending on how much data each transaction shops.

 

 

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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must solve a intricate computational science difficulty, also referred to as a"proof of work" What they are actually doing is trying to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number, known as a"hash," that's less than or equivalent to the hash.

 

 

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In other words, it is a bet. .

The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is about 7,184,404,942,701. In other words, the chance of a computer producing a hash below the goal is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That amount is corrected every 2016 blocks, or about every two weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

 

 

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The reverse is also correct. If computational power is taken off of the network, the difficulty adjusts downward to make mining simpler. .

 

 

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"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100, and that I write that number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't need to guess the specific number, they simply must be the first person to figure any number that's less than or equal to this number I am thinking of.

"Let's say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they have both theoretically arrived at viable answers, because 16<19 and 12<19. There is no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the target answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I pose the'guess what number I'm thinking of' question, however I am not asking only 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I am asking millions of prospective miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite hard to guess the right answer." .

If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here is the catch to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners need to come up with the ideal hash, but they also must be the very first to perform it.

 

 

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Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the ideal answer my sources before another miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can produce hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktop computers. Over time, however, miners realized that graphics cards commonly used for video games were more effective at mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the game.

 

 

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These can run from $500 to the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably using the most up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older versions of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually exceeds the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, one computer is seldom enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools" .

An mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing ability and split the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of cubes are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In July 2017, mining pools and companies represented approximately 80% to 90% of bitcoin computing power. .

 

 

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Between 1 in 7 trillion chances, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. But its important to remember that 10 minutes is a goal, not a guideline.

 

 

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The bitcoin network can process about seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain each 10 minutes. As the network of bitcoin consumers continues to grow, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions which can be processed in 10 minutes.

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