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Let's say you had one legit $20 and one quite good photocopy of the same $20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the real bill and the imitation one, someone that took the trouble of looking at either of those bills' serial numbers would observe that they had been the exact same number, and consequently one of them had to be fictitious.

This isn't a perfect analogy--we will 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 is an issue of controversy, as some miners think the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.

Note that I said that verifying 1 MB value of transactions makes a miner eligible to earn Bitcoin--not everyone who verifies transactions will receive paid out.

1MB of transactions can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction (though this is not in any way 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 reach the right answer to a numeric issue. This practice is also known as a proof of work.

The fantastic news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You may have heard that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that's not true in any way. 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 equivalent to the target hash.

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The bad news: Since it's guesswork, you need a lot of computing power in order to get there . To mine successfully, you need to get a higher"hash speed," 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 how much Bitcoin you can mine along with your mining rig's hash pace, the website Cryptocompare provides a helpful calculator.

Either way a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. These can run from $500 into wikipedia reference the tens of thousands. Some miners--particularly Ethereum miners--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a cheap way to cobble together mining operations. The photo below is a makeshift, high-tech 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 that I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100, and that I write that number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't need to guess the exact number, they just must be the first person to figure any number that's less than or equal to this 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 lose because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend 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 conditions, simultaneous answers occur frequently, but in 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 --which miner to honour. Typically, it is the miner who has done the work, i.e.

The losing block then becomes an"orphan block" .

Now imagine that I pose the"guess what number I am thinking of" question, however I am not asking only 3 friends, and I am 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 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 what these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let us unpack the term"hexadecimal."

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