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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it was 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 rate 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 make.

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

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Second, in order to add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should solve a intricate computational science difficulty, 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 equal 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. In other words, the chance of a pc producing a hash below the goal is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That amount is corrected every 2016 blocks, or about every 2 weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

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

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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 have to guess the specific number, they just have to be the first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to this number I'm thinking of.

"Let's say I'm thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they've both theoretically arrived at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There's no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the goal answer of 19. .

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

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

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Because bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the ideal answer before another miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can create hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners can be performed competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, however, miners recognized that pictures cards commonly used for video games tend to be more effective at 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. .

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

An mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing ability and divide 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 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 remember that 10 minutes is a goal, not a rule.

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The bitcoin network can process about seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain every 10 minutes. As the network of read bitcoin consumers 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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