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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 middle of 2020 it will halve to 6.25. .

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

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

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Second, in order to add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should solve a complex computational math problem, also referred to as a"proof of work." What they're actually doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, known as a"hash," that is less than or equivalent to the target 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 all about 7,184,404,942,701. That is, the chance of a computer producing a hash beneath the goal is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That amount is adjusted every 2016 blocks, or roughly every 2 weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The reverse is also true. If computational power has been taken from this network, the difficulty adjusts downward to earn mining easier. .

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

"Let's say I'm thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they have both technically came at workable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There is no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the target answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I pose the'imagine what number I'm thinking of' question, but 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 is going to be extremely difficult to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here's the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think find more info of the ideal hash, they also have to be the very first to perform it.

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Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the ideal answer before another miner has almost everything to do with how fast your computer can produce hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be carried out competitively on normal desktop computers. As time passes, however, miners recognized that graphics cards commonly used for video games tend to be more capable of mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the match.

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

Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably with all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly versions of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit available, one pc is rarely enough to compete with exactly what miners call"mining pools" .

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

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

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

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