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

At this speed of halving, the total 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 produce.

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

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Second, in order to add 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're actually doing is trying to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that is less than or equal to the target hash.

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In other words, it's 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 beneath the goal is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is corrected every 2016 blocks, or roughly every 2 weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The opposite is also true. If computational power is taken off of this network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining easier. .

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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 sheet of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't have to guess the specific number, they simply have to be the very first person to guess any number that is less than or equal to this number I am thinking of.

"Let us say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they have both technically came at workable 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 I present the'guess what number I am thinking of' question, however I am not asking only 3 friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite hard to guess the right answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the see this page right hash, they also must be the first to perform it.

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Because bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the right answer before another miner has almost everything to do with how fast your computer can create hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktop computers. As time passes, however, miners recognized that pictures cards commonly utilized 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 to the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so competitive that it can only be done profitably with the most up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, one pc is rarely enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools" .

A mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing power and divide 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 roughly 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 users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed roughly every 10 minutes. However, its important to keep in mind that 10 minutes is a target, not a rule.

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The bitcoin network can process about seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain each 10 minutes. Since the network of bitcoin users continues to grow, but 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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