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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it had been 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 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 expensive for miners to make.

Here is the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. To begin with, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction but are 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 must fix a intricate computational math problem, also referred to as a"proof of labour " What they're doing is trying to think of 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's 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 computer producing a hash beneath the goal is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That amount is corrected every 2016 blocks, 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 is taken from the network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining simpler. .

"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and I write that number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't need to guess the specific number, they just have to be the very first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to this number I am thinking of.

"Let's say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came 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 goal answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I present the'guess what number I'm thinking of' question, but I am not asking just 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I am asking millions of would-be miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be extremely difficult to guess the right answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here's the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the right hash, but they also have to be the very first to perform it.

Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the ideal answer before another miner has almost everything to do with how fast your computer can create hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners can be performed competitively on normal desktop computers. Over time, however, miners recognized that pictures cards commonly used for video games tend to be more effective at mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the find more game.

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These can run from \$500 to the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so competitive it can only be done profitably using all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, one computer is seldom 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% of bitcoin computing power. .

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Between 1 in 7 trillion chances, scaling difficulty levels, and the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, its important to keep in mind that 10 minutes is a target, 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 users 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.