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

That isn't a perfect analogy--we will explain in more detail below. .

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

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

1MB of transactions can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction (although this is not at all common) or a few 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 work, one is a matter of luck.

2) You have to be the first miner to arrive at the perfect answer to some numeric issue. This practice is also known as an evidence of work.

The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You might have discovered that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that is not true at all. What they're actually doing is trying to be the first miner to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number (a"hash") that is less than or equal 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 , you need to have a higher"hash speed," which 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 rate, the site Cryptocompare provides a very helpful calculator.

Either way 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 cheap way to cobble together mining operations. The photo below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine. The cards are such rectangular blocks with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards into the metal pole.

Example: I tell three friends I'm thinking of 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 need to guess the exact number, they just have to be the very first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to the number I'm thinking of.

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Let's say I'm thinking about 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 theoretically arrived at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There is no"extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the goal answer of 19. .

In Bitcoin read here conditions, 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 that I present the"figure what number I'm thinking of" question, but I am not asking only three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I am 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 so far. As you likely noticed, that number consists not only 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 knowwe utilize the"decimal" system, which means it's base 10. This in turn means that each and every digit has 10 possibilities, 0-9.