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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 center of 2020 it will halve to 6.25. .

At this rate 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 expensive for miners to produce.

Here is the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. To begin with, they need to 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 information each transaction shops.

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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 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 is less than or equal to the target hash.

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In other words, it's a gamble. .

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

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The opposite is also correct. If computational power has been taken from this network, the difficulty adjusts downward to earn mining easier. .

"Say I tell three friends that 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's less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

"Let us say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they lose because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 find out here now and Friend C supposes 12, then they've both technically came at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There's no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the target answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I present the'guess what number I'm thinking of' question, but I'm not asking only 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I'm asking millions of prospective pop over to these guys miners and I'm thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be extremely difficult to guess the ideal answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here's the catch to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the right hash, they also must be the very first to do 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 performed competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, however, miners realized that pictures cards commonly used for video games were more effective at mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the game.

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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 most up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually surpasses 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" .

A mining pool is a group of miners who combine visit their computing power and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of cubes 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 huge network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed 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 every 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 which can be processed in 10 minutes.