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Let us say you had one legit $20 and one really good photocopy of that same $20. If someone were to try to spend both the true bill and the imitation one, someone who took the trouble of looking at both of the invoices' consecutive numbers would see that they had been exactly the exact same number, and consequently one of them needed to be fictitious.

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

Once a miner has verified 1 MB (megabyte) worth of Bitcoin transactions, they are entitled 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 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 supports transactions will receive paid off.

1MB of transactions can technically be little as 1 transaction (although this is not at all common) or a few thousand. It depends on how much data the transactions consume.

In order to earn Bitcoin, you need to fulfill two conditions. One is a matter of effort, one is a matter of luck.

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

The fantastic news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You might have heard that miners are solving challenging mathematical problems--that is not true in any way. 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 equal to the target hash.

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The bad news: Because it's guesswork, you need a lot of computing power in order to get there first. To mine successfully, you need to have a higher"hash rate," which 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 along with your mining rig's hash pace, the site Cryptocompare provides a helpful calculator.

Either way a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an special info application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. These can run from $500 to the tens of thousands. Some miners--especially Ethereum miners--buy individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a cheap way to cobble together mining operations. The photo below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine. The graphics cards are those rectangular cubes with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards to the metal pole.

ExampleI tell three friends 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 specific number, they just have to be the first person to figure any number that's less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

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Let's say I'm thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they've 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 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 that are equal to or less than the target number, the Bitcoin network will decide by a simple majority--51%--which miner to honour. Normally, it's the miner who has done the work, i.e.

The losing block then becomes an"orphan block" .

Now imagine that I present the"guess what number I'm thinking of" question, however I'm not asking only three friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I am 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 the ideal answer.

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The number above has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand so far. As you likely noticed, that number consists not just of numbers, but also letters of the 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 each and every digit has 10 possibilities, 0-9.