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Let's say you had one legit $20 and one quite good photocopy of that same $20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the true bill and the imitation one, someone that took the problem of looking at both of the invoices' serial numbers would see that they had been the exact same number, and thus one of them needed to be fictitious.

This isn't a great analogy--we'll explain in more detail below. .

Once a miner has confirmed 1 MB (megabyte) worth of Bitcoin transactions, they are entitled to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was set by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be an issue of controversy, as some miners believe the block size ought to be increased to accommodate more data.

Note that I stated that verifying 1 MB worth of transactions makes a miner eligible to earn Bitcoin--not everyone who verifies transactions will get paid off.

1MB of transactions can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction (though this is not at all common) or several thousand. It depends on how much data the transactions consume.

In order to earn Bitcoin, you need to meet two conditions. One is a matter of effort, one is a matter of luck.

2) You must be the first miner to arrive at the perfect answer to some numeric problem. This practice is also known as a proof of work.

The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You might have heard that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that is not true at all. What they're doing is trying to be the first miner to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number (a"hash")  which is less than or equivalent to the hash.

 

 

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The bad news: Because it is guesswork, you need a lot of computing power in order to get there first. To mine successfully, you need to get a high"hash speed," which is measured in terms of megahashes per second (MH/s), gigahashes per second (GH/s), and terahashes per second (TH/s).

If you want to estimate how much Bitcoin you could mine with your mining rig's hash rate, the site Cryptocompare offers a very helpful calculator.

Either a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. These can run from $500 into the tens of thousands.  Some miners--particularly Ethereum miners--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a cheap method to cobble together mining operations.  The photo below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine.  The graphics cards are such rectangular blocks with whirring circles.  Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the pictures cards to the metal rod.

ExampleI tell three friends that I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and I write that number on a sheet of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't have to guess the exact number, they simply have to be the very first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to the number I'm thinking of.

 

 

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Let's say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend click to investigate C guesses 12, then they have both theoretically arrived at workable answers, since 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. .

In Bitcoin terms, simultaneous answers occur frequently, but in the end of the day there can only be one winning answer. When multiple simultaneous answers are presented which can be equal to or less than the target number, the Bitcoin network will decide by a simple majority--51 percent --which miner to honour. Typically, it's the miner that has done the work, i.e.

 

 

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The losing block then becomes an"orphan block." .

 

 

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Now imagine I present the"guess what number I'm thinking of" question, but I am not try here asking only 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite difficult to guess the right answer.

 

 

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The number above has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand up to now. As you likely noticed, that number consists not just of numbers, but also letters of the alphabet. Why is that

In order to understand what these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let's unpack the term"hexadecimal."

As you know, we utilize the"decimal" system, which means it is base 10. This in turn means that every digit has 10 chances, 0-9.

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