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In 2009it had been 50. In 2013, it had been 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 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 is the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must happen. To begin with, they must confirm 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can technically be as little as 1 transaction but are more often a few thousand, depending on how much information each transaction stores.
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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners should fix a intricate computational science difficulty, 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 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 about 7,184,404,942,701. In other words, the chance of a computer producing a hash beneath the target is 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That amount is adjusted every 2016 cubes, or about 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 off of this network, the difficulty adjusts downward to earn mining simpler. .
"Let's say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they've both technically came at workable answers, because 16<19 and 12<19. There's no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the goal answer of 19. .
"Now imagine I present the'imagine what number I am 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 am asking millions of prospective miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be extremely difficult to guess the right answer." .
If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here's the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners need to think of the right hash, they also must be the very first to do it.
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These can run from $500 into the tens of thousands. .
Nowadays, bitcoin mining is so competitive it can only be done profitably using the most up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or older 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 who combine their computing ability and divide the their website 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 percent of bitcoin computing power. .
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Between 1 in 7 trillion odds, scaling difficulty levels, and the massive 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 find more info 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, but the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions which can be processed in 10 minutes.