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

This isn't a perfect 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 is a matter of controversy, as some miners believe the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.

Note that I said that verifying 1 MB value of transactions makes a miner qualified to earn Bitcoin--not everyone who supports transactions will get paid off.

1MB of transactions can technically be small as 1 transaction (although this is not at all 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 issue. This process 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 difficult mathematical problems--that is not true at all. What they are doing is trying to be the first miner to think of 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's guesswork, you need a lot of computing power in order to get there . To mine successfully, you need to have a high"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 could mine with your mining rig's hash rate, the site Cryptocompare provides a helpful calculator.

Either a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. These can her latest blog run from $500 into the tens of thousands.  Some miners--particularly 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 into the metal pole.

Example: I tell three friends that I'm thinking about 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 just have to be the first person to figure any number that's less than or equal to this number I'm thinking of.

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

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The losing block then becomes an"orphan block." .

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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. Instead, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I am thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite difficult 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 only of numbers, but also letters of this 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's base 10. This in turn means that each and every digit has 10 chances, 0-9.

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