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

This 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 set by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be an issue of controversy, as some miners believe the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.

Note that I stated that verifying 1 MB worth 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 little 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 fulfill two conditions. One is a matter of work, one is a matter of luck.

2) You have to be the first miner to reach the right 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 may have heard that miners are solving challenging 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") that is less than or equivalent to the target hash.

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The bad news: Since it is 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 measured 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 could mine along with your mining rig's hash rate, the site Cryptocompare offers a very helpful calculator.

Either 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--particularly Ethereum miners--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a cheap way to cobble together mining operations. The photograph below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine. The graphics cards are such rectangular blocks with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the pictures cards to the metal pole.

ExampleI tell three friends that I'm thinking of 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 the number I'm thinking of.

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Let us say I'm thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they have both theoretically arrived at viable 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 in the end of the day there can only be one winning answer. When multiple simultaneous answers are presented which can be equal to or less than the target number, the use this link Bitcoin network will determine by a simple majority--51 percent --which miner to honour. Typically, it's the miner that has done the most work, i.e.

The losing block then becomes an"orphan block" .

Now imagine I present the"guess what number I am 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 am thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be quite difficult to guess the ideal answer.

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The number above has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand up to now. As you probably noticed, that number consists not just 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 us unpack the term"hexadecimal."

As you know, we use the"decimal" system, which means it is base 10. This in turn means that each and every digit has 10 chances, 0-9.