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Let's say you had one legit $20 and one really good photocopy of that same $20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the true bill and the fake one, someone that took the trouble of looking at both of the invoices' serial numbers would observe that they had been the same number, and consequently one of them had to be fictitious.

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

Once a miner has verified 1 MB (megabyte) worth of Bitcoin transactions, they are eligible to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was established by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be an issue of controversy, as some miners think 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 supports transactions will get paid out.

1MB of transactions can technically be small as 1 transaction (though this is not in any way common) or a few thousand. It depends on how much data 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 must be the first miner to arrive at the right 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 discovered that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that's not true at all. What they are actually doing is trying to be the first miner to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number (a"hash") which is less than or equal 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 . To mine , you need to get a higher"hash rate," 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 visit this page to estimate just how much Bitcoin you can mine along with your mining rig's hash rate, the website 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 into the tens of thousands. Some miners--especially Ethereum miners--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a cheap method to cobble together mining operations. The photo below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine. The graphics cards are those rectangular cubes with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the pictures cards to the metal pole.

Case in point I tell three friends I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and that 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 figure any number that is less than or equal to this number I'm thinking of.

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Let's say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses look at here now 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they've both technically came at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There is no"extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the goal answer of 19. .

In Bitcoin conditions, simultaneous answers occur frequently, but at the end of the day there can only be one winning answer. When multiple simultaneous answers are presented which can be equivalent to or less than the target number, the Bitcoin network will decide by a simple majority--51%--that miner to honour. Normally, it is 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 just 3 friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite 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 only of numbers, but also letters of this alphabet. Why is that

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

As you know, we use the"decimal" system, which means it's base 10. This find out in turn means that every digit has 10 possibilities, 0-9.