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Let's say you had one legit $20 and one really good photocopy of the same $20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the true bill and the fake one, someone that took the trouble of looking at both of the bills' serial numbers would observe that they were the exact same number, and thus one of them needed to be fictitious.

This isn't a great analogy--we will 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 set by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be a matter of controversy, as some miners believe the block size ought to be increased to accommodate more data.

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

1MB of transactions can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction (though 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 meet two conditions. One is a matter of effort, one is a matter of luck.

2) You have to be the first miner to arrive at the perfect answer to a numeric problem. 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 difficult mathematical problems--that is not true in any way. What they are actually doing is trying to be the first miner to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number (a"hash")  which 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 first. To mine , 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 pace, the website Cryptocompare offers a very helpful calculator.

Either way a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated link 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 cheap way to cobble together mining operations.  The photo below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine.  The graphics cards are those rectangular blocks with whirring circles.  Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the pictures cards to the metal pole.

Case in point I tell three friends I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and that 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 simply must be the very 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 am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they've both technically came at viable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There's no"extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the target answer of 19. .

In Bitcoin terms, simultaneous answers happen frequently, but at 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 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 I pose the"figure what number I'm thinking of" question, but I am not asking just 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I am asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking about a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it is going to be extremely hard to guess 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 this alphabet. Why is that

In order to understand these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let us unpack the term"hexadecimal."

As you know, we utilize 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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