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In 2009it had been 50. In 2013, it was 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 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 produce.

Here's the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to happen. To begin with, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction but are more often a few thousand, depending on how much information 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 labour ." What they are 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 about 7,184,404,942,701. In other words, the chance of a computer producing a hash beneath the target is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That amount is corrected every 2016 cubes, or about every two weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The reverse is also correct. If computational power has been taken off of this network, the problem adjusts downward to make mining easier. .

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"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and I write that number on a sheet of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't have to guess the exact number, they simply must be the first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to the 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 supposes 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 nearer to the goal answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I present the'imagine what number I am thinking of' question, but I'm not asking only three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I am 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 difficult to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the grab to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners need to come investigate this site up with the right hash, but they also have to 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 produce hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be carried out competitively on normal desktops. 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 game.

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

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

An mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing ability and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of blocks are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In 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 massive network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed roughly every 10 minutes. But its important to remember that 10 minutes is a read 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 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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