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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it had been 25, at 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 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 for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must occur. First, they must confirm 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction but are far more often a few thousand, depending on how much information each transaction shops.

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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should solve a complex computational math problem, also called a"proof of work" What they're doing is trying to come up with 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's a bet. .

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 computer producing a hash below the target is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That level is adjusted 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 is taken from this network, the difficulty adjusts downward to earn mining simpler. .

"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100, and that 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 just must be the first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to the number I'm thinking of.

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

"Now imagine that I present the'imagine what my latest blog post number I'm thinking of' question, however I'm not asking only 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I am asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be quite hard to guess the right answer." .

If 1 in seven 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 have to be the first to do it.

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 produce hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, however, miners realized that graphics cards commonly utilized for video games tend to be more effective at mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the match.

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

Today, bitcoin mining is so competitive it can only be done profitably with the most up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly versions of ASICs, the cost of energy find out consumption actually exceeds 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." .

An mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing power and divide 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 odds, scaling difficulty read this article levels, and also the huge network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, its important to remember that 10 minutes is a target, not a guideline.