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Let us say you had one legit $20 and one really good photocopy of that same $20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the real bill and the fake 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 had to be false.
That isn't a great analogy--we will explain in more detail below. .
Once a miner has confirmed 1 MB (megabyte) worth of Bitcoin transactions, they are eligible to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was set by Satoshi Nakamoto, and is a matter of controversy, as some miners believe the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.
Note that I said that verifying 1 MB value of transactions makes a miner qualified to earn Bitcoin--not everyone who verifies transactions will receive paid out.
1MB of transactions can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction (although this is not at all common) or several thousand. It depends on how much information the transactions take up.
In order to earn Bitcoin, you need to fulfill two conditions. One is a matter of effort, one is a matter of luck.
2) You have to be the first miner to reach the perfect answer to some numeric problem. This process is also known as a proof of work.
The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You might have discovered that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that's not true in any way. What they are 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's guesswork, you need a lot of computing power in order to get there first. To mine successfully, you need to have a high"hash rate," that is quantified in terms of megahashes per second (MH/s), gigahashes per second (GH/s), and terahashes per second (TH/s).
If you want to estimate just how much Bitcoin you can mine along with your mining rig's hash pace, the website Cryptocompare offers a helpful calculator.
Either a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. These can run from $500 to the tens of thousands. Some miners--particularly Ethereum miners--buy individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a low-cost method to cobble together mining operations. The photograph below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine. The cards are those rectangular blocks with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards to the metal pole.
Example: I tell three friends I'm thinking about 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 specific number, they simply must 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 us say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 over at this website and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came 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 happen frequently, but at the end of the day there can only be one winning answer. When multiple simultaneous answers are presented that are equivalent to or less than the target number, the Bitcoin network will determine by a simple majority--51 percent --that miner to honour. Typically, it's the miner who has done the work, i.e.
The losing block then becomes an"orphan block" .
Now imagine I pose the"guess what number I'm thinking of" question, however I'm not asking just three friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, 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 extremely hard to guess the ideal 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 this alphabet. Why is that
In order to understand these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let's unpack the word"hexadecimal."
As you know, we use the"decimal" system, which means it is base 10. This in turn means that every digit has 10 possibilities, 0-9.