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In 2009, it had been 50. In 2013, it had been 25, at the time of writing it is 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 valuable over time but also more expensive for miners to make.

Here is the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to occur. 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 several thousand, depending on how much data each transaction shops.

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Second, in order to add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should solve 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, known as 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 just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That amount is adjusted every 2016 cubes, or about every 2 weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The opposite is also true. If computational power has been taken from this network, the problem adjusts downward to make mining easier. .

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"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100, and that 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 simply have to be the very first person to guess any number that is 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 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came at workable answers, because 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'guess what number I'm thinking of' question, however I am not asking just three friends, and I am 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 hard to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here is the catch to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners need to come up with the ideal hash, but they also have to be the first to do it.

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Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the right answer before another great site miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can produce hashes. Only 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 to the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably with all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older models of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, 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 high number of blocks are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In July 2017, mining pools and companies represented approximately 80% to 90 percent of bitcoin computing power. .

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Between 1 in 7 trillion chances, scaling difficulty levels, and the huge network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, its important to remember 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, but 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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