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In 2009, it had been 50. In 2013, it was 25, in 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 valuable over time but also more expensive for miners to produce.

Here is the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must occur. To begin with, they need to confirm 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can technically be as small as 1 transaction but are more often a few thousand, depending on how much data each transaction stores.

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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should fix a intricate computational math problem, also referred to as a"proof of work" What they're doing is trying to come up with 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 gamble. .

The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is about 7,184,404,942,701. That is, the chance of a pc producing a hash beneath the goal is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level 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 correct. If computational power is taken off of this network, the difficulty adjusts downward to make 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 sheet of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't need to guess the exact number, they pop over to these guys just must be the first person to guess any number that is less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

"Let's say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There's no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the target answer of 19. .

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

If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here's the catch to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners need to come up with the right hash, but they also must be the very first to perform it.

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Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the right answer before another miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can produce hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners can be carried out competitively on normal desktop computers. As time passes, however, miners recognized that graphics cards commonly used 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 competitive that it can only be done profitably with the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly versions of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually exceeds the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit available, 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 ability and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of blocks are mined by pools rather than Full Report 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 the huge network of consumers 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 consumers continues to grow, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions which can be processed in 10 minutes.

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