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In 2009, it 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 speed 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 costly for miners to produce.

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

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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must fix 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, called a"hash," that's less than or equivalent to the target hash.

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In other words, it is a gamble. .

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 adjusted every 2016 cubes, or roughly every two weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The reverse is also true. If computational power is taken from this network, the difficulty 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 I write that number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't have to guess the exact number, they just have to be the very first person to guess any number that is less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

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

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

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here is the grab to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners need to come up with the right hash, they also have to be the first to do 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 create hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners can be performed competitively on normal desktops. Over time, however, miners recognized that graphics cards commonly utilized for video games were more capable of mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the game.

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

Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so aggressive that it can only be done profitably with the most 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 at your disposal, one computer 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 high number of cubes are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In visit this website July 2017, mining pools and companies represented roughly 80% to 90% of bitcoin computing power. .

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Between 1 in 7 trillion odds, 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 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. 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 that can be processed in 10 minutes.

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