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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it was 25, in the time of writing it is 12.5, and sometime in the middle 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 precious over time but also more expensive for miners to make.

Here's the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. First, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as small 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 put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must fix a complex computational science difficulty, also called a"proof of work." What they are actually doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, known as a"hash," that is less than or equivalent 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 computer producing a hash below the target is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in seven trillion. That amount is corrected every 2016 blocks, 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 the network, the difficulty adjusts downward to make mining simpler. .

"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and that 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 very first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

"Let us say I'm thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they've both technically came at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There's no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the goal answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I pose the'imagine what number I'm thinking of' question, but I'm not asking just three friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite difficult to guess the right answer." .

If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the catch to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to come up with the ideal hash, but they also must be the very 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 create hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be performed competitively on normal desktop computers. Over time, however, miners recognized that graphics 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.

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

Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so competitive 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 cost of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, one computer is seldom enough to compete with exactly what miners call"mining pools." .

A mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing ability and split the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of cubes 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 odds, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. But its important to keep in mind that 10 minutes is a target, not a rule.

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The bitcoin network can process about read this seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain each 10 minutes. As the network of bitcoin consumers 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.