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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 real bill and the imitation one, someone who took the problem of looking at either of the invoices' serial numbers would observe that they were exactly the same number, and consequently one of them had to be fictitious.

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

Once a miner has confirmed 1 MB (megabyte) worthiness of Bitcoin transactions, they are eligible to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was set by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be a matter 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 (although this is not in any way common) or several thousand. It depends on how much information 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 have to be the first miner to reach the right answer to some numeric issue. This process is also known as an evidence of work.

The fantastic news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You may have heard that miners are solving challenging 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 equal to the hash.

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The bad news: Since it is guesswork, you need a good deal of computing power in order to get there . To mine , 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 just how much Bitcoin you can mine with your mining rig's hash pace, the site Cryptocompare offers 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 the tens of thousands. Some miners--especially Ethereum miners--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a low-cost way to cobble together mining operations. The photo below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine. The cards are such rectangular cubes with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards into the metal rod.

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 simply have to be the first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to the number I'm thinking of.

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Let us say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came at viable answers, because 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 equivalent 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 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 would-be miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be quite hard 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, my review here that number consists not only of numbers, but also letters of this alphabet. Why is that

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

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