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In 2009it was 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 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 costly 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 confirm 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction but are far more often a few 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 must solve a intricate computational science difficulty, also called a"proof of labour ." What they're doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that's less than or equal to the 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. That is, the chance of a computer 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 blocks, or about every two weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The opposite is also correct. If computational power is taken off of the 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 need 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 am 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's no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the target answer of 19. .

"Now imagine I present the'imagine what number I'm thinking of' question, however I'm not asking just 3 friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be extremely hard to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in seven visit trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here's the grab to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners have 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 miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can produce hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktops. Over time, however, miners recognized that graphics cards commonly used for video games tend to be 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. .

Today, 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 versions of ASICs, the expense 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" .

An mining pool is a group of miners that visit site 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 the massive network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed roughly right here 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 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 that can be processed in 10 minutes.

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