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In 2009, it was 50. In 2013, it was 25, in the time of writing it's 12.5, and sometime in the middle 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 to get bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. To begin with, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can technically 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 add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must fix a complex computational math problem, also called a"proof of labour " What they're doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that is less than or equal to the 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 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 reverse is also true. If computational power is taken off of the network, the problem adjusts downward to make mining simpler. .

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

"Let us say I'm thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 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 closer 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 three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be quite hard to guess the ideal 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 right hash, but they also have to be the first to our website 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 create hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners can be carried out competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, however, miners recognized 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 game.

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

Today, bitcoin mining is so competitive that it can only be done profitably with 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 available, one computer is rarely enough to compete with exactly what miners call"mining pools" .

An mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing ability 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 chances, scaling difficulty levels, and the massive network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, 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 transactions being logged in the blockchain every 10 minutes. Since the network of bitcoin users 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.