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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 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 precious 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. To begin with, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as small 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 solve a complex computational math problem, also called a"proof of work" What they are actually doing is trying to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that's less than or equivalent 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. In other words, the chance of a pc producing a hash beneath the target is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That amount is adjusted every 2016 blocks, or roughly every two weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.
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The reverse is also true. If computational power has been taken off of this network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining easier. .
"Let's say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they've both theoretically arrived at viable answers, because 16<19 and 12<19. There is no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the goal answer of 19. .
"Now imagine I present the'imagine what number I am thinking of' question, however I am not asking only three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite hard to guess the right answer." .
If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here's the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners need to think of the ideal hash, they also must be the first to perform it.
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These can run from $500 to the tens of thousands. .
Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably with the most up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older versions of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit available, one pc is seldom enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools" .
An mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing power and split the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately large number of cubes 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 odds, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, 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. Since 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.