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In 2009it had been 50. In 2013, it was 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 entire 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's the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. First, they need to confirm 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction but are far more often several thousand, depending on how much data each transaction stores.

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Second, in order to add 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 are doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, known as a"hash," that is less than or equivalent to the hash.

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In other words, it's a bet. .

The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is all about 7,184,404,942,701. That is, 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 blocks, or roughly every 2 weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The reverse is also correct. If computational power has been taken from the network, the problem adjusts downward to make mining simpler. .

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"Say I tell three friends that 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 must be the very first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to this 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 guesses 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they have 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 target answer of 19. .

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

If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, check this here's the catch to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the ideal hash, but they also have to be the very first to do 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 could be performed competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, 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 into the tens of thousands. .

Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably using all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually surpasses 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 who combine their computing power and split 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 the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed roughly every 10 minutes. But 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 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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