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In 2009it had been 50. In 2013, it was 25, at 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 precious over time but also more expensive for miners to produce.

Here's the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. First, they need to confirm 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can technically be as little as 1 transaction but are 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 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 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 below the target is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is adjusted every 2016 cubes, or roughly every 2 weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

The opposite is also true. If computational power is taken off of the network, the difficulty adjusts downward to make mining simpler. .

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

"Let's say I am thinking of 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've both technically came at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There is 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 am thinking of' question, but I am not asking just 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I am asking millions of prospective miners and I'm 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 7 trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the catch to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the right hash, they also must be the first to do it.

Because 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. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktop computers. Over time, however, miners realized that pictures cards commonly utilized for video games tend to be more capable of mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the match.

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

Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so aggressive that it can only be done profitably with all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older models of ASICs, the expense 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 roughly 80% to 90 percent 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 confirmed roughly every 10 minutes. But its important to remember that 10 minutes is a goal, not a guideline.

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The bitcoin network can process about seven transactions per second, with go to my blog transactions being logged in the blockchain each 10 minutes. As the network of bitcoin consumers continues to grow, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions that can be processed in 10 minutes.