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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 who took the problem of looking at both of the invoices' consecutive numbers would see that they had been the same number, and thus one of them had to be false.

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 established by Satoshi Nakamoto, and is a matter 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 in any way common) or a few 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 perfect answer to a numeric issue. This process is also known as a proof of work.

The fantastic news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You may have discovered that miners are solving challenging mathematical problems--that is not true at all. What they're 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 is guesswork, you need a good deal of computing power in order to get there first. To mine successfully, you need to get a high"hash rate," 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 can mine 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--especially Ethereum miners--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a low-cost method to cobble together mining operations.  The photograph below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine.  The cards are those rectangular blocks with whirring circles.  Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards to the metal pole.

Example: I tell three friends that I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and I write that number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. from this source My friends don't have to guess the specific number, they just must be the first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to this number I am thinking of.

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Let us say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they've both technically came at workable 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 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 that are equal 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.

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The losing block then becomes an"orphan block" .

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Now imagine that I pose the"guess what number I'm thinking of" question, but I'm not asking just three friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective 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 right 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 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 every digit has 10 chances, 0-9.

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