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In 2009, it had been 50. In 2013, it was 25, in the time of writing it's 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 precious over time but also more costly for miners to produce.

Here is the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to happen. First, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction but are far more often a few 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 must solve a intricate computational math problem, also referred to as a"proof of work" What they are actually doing is trying to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number, known as a"hash," that is 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. 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 amount is corrected every 2016 blocks, 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 has been taken from the network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining simpler. .

"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100, and that 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 first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to this number I'm thinking of.

"Let's 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've both technically came at workable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There is 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 am thinking of' question, but I am not asking just three friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I am thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite difficult to guess the right answer." .

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

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 produce hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners can be performed competitively on normal desktop computers. Over time, however, miners realized that pictures cards commonly utilized 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 to the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably with the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models 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." .

An mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing ability and split the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of cubes are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In check this site out July 2017, mining pools and companies represented roughly 80% to 90 percent 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. 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, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions which can be processed in 10 minutes.