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Instead, they went with Solution 2. The resulting currency, called bitcoin cash, increased the blocksize to 8 Mb in order to accelerate the verification process to allow a performance of around 2 million transactions per day. At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash is valued at $545.00 to Bitcoins $6,328.11.

When you hear about bitcoin mining, you envisage coins being dug from the ground. But bitcoin isnt physical, so why do we call it mining

Since its like gold mining in the bitcoins exist in the protocols design (just as the gold is underground), but they havent been introduced into the light yet (like the golden hasnt yet been dug up). The bitcoin protocol stipulates that 21 million bitcoins will exist at some point.

They get to do this as a reward for creating blocks of validated transactions and including them in the blockchain.

Backtracking a little, lets talk about nodes. A node is a powerful computer that runs the bitcoin applications and helps to keep bitcoin running by participating in the relay of information. Anyone can run a node, you simply download the bitcoin applications (totally free ) and also leave a certain port open (the downside is that it consumes energy and storage space the network at time of writing carries up about 145GB).

One node will send information to some nodes that it knows, that will relay the information to nodes they know, etc.. That way it ends up getting around the whole network pretty fast. .

Some nodes are mining nodes (usually known as miners). These group outstanding transactions into blocks and add them into the blockchain. How do they do so by solving a complex mathematical puzzle that's part of this bitcoin app, and including the answer in the cube. The puzzle that needs solving is to find a number which, when combined with the data in the cube and passed via a hash function, creates a result that is within a certain range.

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(For fiction fans, this number is called a nonce, which can be a concatenation of number employed once. In the instance of bitcoin, the nonce is an integer between 0 and 4,294,967,296.)

How can they find this number By guessing at random. The hash function makes it impossible to predict exactly what the outcome will be. So, miners suppose the puzzle number and use the hash function to the combination of that guessed number and also the data in the cube. The resulting hash has to begin with a pre-established number of zeroes.

Whats more, there might be several nonces that make the desired result, or there might be none (in the event the miners keep trying, but using a different block configuration). .

The first miner to get a see resulting hash within the desirable range announces its victory to the rest of the network. The rest of the miners immediately stop work on that block and start trying to find out the mystery number for the next one. As a reward for its own work, the victorious miner has some new bitcoin. .

At the time of writing, the reward is 12.5 bitcoins, which in time of writing is worth nearly $200,000.

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Although its not nearly as cushy a deal as it sounds. There are a lot of mining nodes competing for that reward, and it's a question of luck and computing power (the more guessing calculations you can perform, the luckier you are).

Also, the costs of being a mining node are considerable, not only because of the powerful hardware needed (if you've got a faster processor than your opponents, you've got a better chance of finding the right number before they perform ), but also due to the large amounts of power that running these processors consumes. .

And, the number of all bitcoins awarded as a reward for solving the puzzle will decrease. Its 12.5 now, but it halves every four years or so (the next one is expected in 2020-21). The value of bitcoin relative to cost of power and hardware could extend up during the next few decades to partly compensate this reduction, but its not certain. .

The difficulty of the calculation (the required number of zeroes at the beginning of the hash string) is corrected frequently, so it takes on average approximately 10 minutes to process a block.

Why 10 minutes That is the amount of time that the bitcoin programmers think is necessary to get a steady and diminishing flow of new coins until the highest number of 21 million has been attained (expected some time in 2140).

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