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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 valuable over time but also more costly for miners to make.

Here's the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. To begin with, they need to confirm 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can technically 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 put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must solve a complex computational science difficulty, also referred to as a"proof of labour " What they are actually doing is trying to come up with 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 gamble. .

The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is all 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 adjusted every 2016 blocks, or roughly 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 off of the network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining simpler. .

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"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking of 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 have to guess the exact number, they just have to be the first person to guess any number that is less than or equal to this number I'm thinking of.

"Let us say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they've both theoretically arrived 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 target answer of 19. .

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

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

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Because 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 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 match.

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

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

An mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing ability and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately large 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 massive 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 every 10 minutes. Since 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.

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