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In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it was 25, at 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 for bitcoin miners to really earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to happen. First, they must verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction but are more often several thousand, depending on how much data each transaction shops.
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Second, in order to put in a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must fix a intricate computational science difficulty, also referred to as a"proof of work" What they're actually doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that is less than or equivalent to the hash.
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In other words, it is a gamble. .
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 pc producing a hash beneath the target is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is corrected every 2016 blocks, 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 has been taken off of the network, the difficulty adjusts downward to make mining easier. .
"Let us say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 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 nearer to the goal answer of 19. .
"Now imagine I pose the'imagine what number I am thinking of' question, however I'm not asking only three friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be extremely difficult to guess the ideal answer." .
If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here's the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the ideal hash, but they also have to be the first to perform it.
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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 all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models of ASICs, the cost of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit available, one computer is seldom enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools." .
An mining pool is a group of miners that combine their computing power and divide 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 roughly 80% to 90% of bitcoin computing power. .
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Between 1 in 7 trillion odds, scaling difficulty levels, and the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is confirmed roughly every 10 minutes. But its important important site 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 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.