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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 attempt to spend both the real bill and the fake one, someone who took the problem of looking at either of those invoices' consecutive numbers would see that they were exactly the same number, and thus one of them needed to be false.

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

Once a miner has confirmed 1 MB (megabyte) worth of Bitcoin transactions, they are entitled to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was established by Satoshi Nakamoto, and is a matter of controversy, as some miners believe the block size ought to be increased to accommodate more information.

Note that I said that verifying 1 MB worth of transactions makes a miner eligible to earn Bitcoin--not everyone who verifies 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 several 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 work, one is a matter of luck.

2) You must be the first miner to reach the right answer to a numeric problem. This practice is also known as an evidence of work.

The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You may have discovered that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that is not true in any way. What they are 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 target 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 . To mine successfully, you need to have a high"hash speed," 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 to estimate just how much Bitcoin you could mine with your mining rig's hash rate, the website 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--buy individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a low-cost way to cobble together mining operations.  The photograph below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine.  The graphics cards are those rectangular blocks with whirring circles.  Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards to the metal rod.

ExampleI tell three friends that I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100, and 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 simply must be the very first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to this number I am thinking of.

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Let's say I'm thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came at workable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There's no"extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer 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 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. Normally, it is 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 am thinking of" question, however I'm not asking only 3 friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be extremely hard to guess go now the right answer.

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The number preceding has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand so far. 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's unpack the term"hexadecimal."

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

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