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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 center of 2020 it will halve to 6.25. .

At this rate 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 produce.

Here's the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must occur. First, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction but are more often several thousand, depending on how much data each transaction shops.

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Second, in order to add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must fix a complex computational math problem, also referred to as a"proof of labour ." What they are actually doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that's less than or equivalent to the target 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 about 7,184,404,942,701. That is, the chance of a computer producing a hash beneath the target is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That amount is corrected every 2016 blocks, or roughly every 2 weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

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

"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 specific number, they simply have to be the first person to guess any number that is less than or equal to this number I am thinking of.

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

"Now imagine I present the'guess what number I'm thinking of' question, but I am not asking just 3 friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be extremely difficult 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 bitcoin miners need to come up with the right hash, but they also must be the first to do it.

Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the right answer before another miner has everything to do with how fast your computer can produce hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be carried out competitively on normal desktop computers. As time passes, however, miners recognized that pictures cards commonly utilized 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 to the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive it can only be done profitably using all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly versions of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually exceeds the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, 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 blocks are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In July 2017, mining This Site pools and companies represented roughly 80% to 90% of bitcoin computing power. .

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Between 1 in 7 trillion chances, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed roughly every 10 minutes. However, its important to remember that 10 minutes is a target, not a rule.