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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 center 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 valuable over time but also more costly for miners to make.
Here's the catch. In order for bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things have to occur. First, they need to verify 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can technically be as small as 1 transaction but are 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 should solve a intricate computational science difficulty, also referred to as a"proof of work." What they're 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 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 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 adjusted every 2016 cubes, 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 off of this network, the problem adjusts downward to make mining easier. .
"Let us say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes important source 12, then they have 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 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'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be quite hard to guess the right answer." .
If 1 in seven trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here's the grab to the grab. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the ideal hash, they also must be the first to do it.
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These can run from $500 into the tens of thousands. .
Today, bitcoin mining is so competitive that it can only be done profitably using the most 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 available, one computer is rarely 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 large 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 chances, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, 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 seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain every 10 minutes. As 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.