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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it was 25, in the time of writing it's 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 costly for miners to produce.

Here's the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to occur. First, they must confirm 1 megabyte (MB) value of transactions, which can theoretically be as small 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 fix a intricate computational math problem, also called a"proof of labour " What they are doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, known as a"hash," that's less than or equivalent to the hash.

In other words, it is a gamble. .

The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is all about 7,184,404,942,701. In other words, the chance of a computer producing a hash beneath the goal is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is corrected every 2016 cubes, or roughly every two weeks, with the aim of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The opposite is also true. If computational power is taken from 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 exact number, they just have to be the very 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 of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have 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 nearer to the target answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I pose the'imagine what number I am thinking of' question, but I'm not asking only 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I'm 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 7 trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here is the grab to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners need to come up with the ideal hash, but they also must be the first to perform it.

Since bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the right 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 carried out competitively on normal desktop computers. Over time, however, miners recognized that pictures cards commonly utilized for video games were more effective at mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the match.

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

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive that it can only be done profitably using the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older versions of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even home with the newest unit at your disposal, one computer is seldom enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools" .

A mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing power and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately large number of blocks 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 chances, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of consumers verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. But its important to keep in mind that 10 minutes is a goal, not a rule.

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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 consumers continues to grow, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions which can be processed in 10 minutes.