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In 2009it 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 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 costly for miners to make.

Here is the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to happen. First, they need to 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 information each transaction stores.

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Second, in order to add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should solve a complex computational science difficulty, also called a"proof of work" What they are 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's a bet. .

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 computer producing a hash beneath the target is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is corrected every 2016 blocks, or about every 2 weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

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

"Say I tell three friends that I'm thinking about 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 have to guess the specific number, they just must be the first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

"Let us say I'm thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both theoretically arrived at workable answers, because 16<19 and 12<19. There is no'extra credit' for check my reference Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the target answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I pose the'guess 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 would-be miners and I'm thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite hard to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the catch to the catch. Not only do important link bitcoin miners need to think of the right hash, they also have to be the first to perform it.

Because bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the ideal answer before another miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can create hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be carried out competitively on normal desktops. Over time, 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. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive that it can only be done profitably with all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older versions of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually exceeds the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, one computer is rarely enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools." .

An mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing power and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of cubes are mined by page 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 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 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, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions that can be processed in 10 minutes.