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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it had been 25, in the time of writing it's 12.5, and sometime in the center 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 is the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to occur. To begin with, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can technically be as small as 1 transaction but are more often several thousand, depending on how much information each transaction stores.

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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should solve a complex 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, called a"hash," that's 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 computer producing a hash beneath the target is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is adjusted 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 is taken from the network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining simpler. .

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"Say I tell three friends that I'm thinking about 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 specific number, they just must be the very first person to figure any number that's less than or equal to the number I'm thinking of.

"Let us say I am 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've 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 nearer to the goal answer of 19. .

"Now imagine I present the'guess what number I am thinking of' question, however I'm 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'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite hard to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the address grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners need to think of the ideal hash, but they also must be the first to do 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. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktops. Over time, however, miners realized that pictures cards commonly used for video games were 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 to the tens of thousands. .

Nowadays, 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 versions of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, 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 power and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately large 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 huge 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 about seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain every 10 minutes. As 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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