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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 try to spend both the real bill and the imitation one, someone who took the trouble of looking at either of those invoices' consecutive numbers would observe that they had been exactly the exact same number, and consequently one of them needed to be false.

This 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 eligible to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was established by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be an issue of controversy, as some miners believe the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.

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

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

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

2) You have to be the first miner to arrive at the perfect answer to some numeric problem. This process is also known as an evidence 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 at all. What they are actually doing is trying to be the first miner to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number (a"hash")  that is less than or equivalent 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 get a higher"hash speed," 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 along with your mining rig's hash rate, the website Cryptocompare provides a helpful calculator.

Either way a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an 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 low-cost method to cobble together mining operations.  The photo below is a makeshift, home-made mining machine.  The cards are those rectangular cubes with whirring circles.  Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the pictures cards to the metal pole.

Example: I tell three friends I'm thinking of 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 have to guess the specific number, they just 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 us say I am thinking about 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've both technically came at viable answers, because 16<19 and 12<19. There is no"extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the target answer of 19. .

In Bitcoin terms, simultaneous answers occur frequently, but in click to investigate 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%--which miner to honour. Typically, it's 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 present the"guess what number I'm thinking of" question, however I'm not asking only 3 friends, and I am not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of prospective miners and I'm 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 preceding has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand up to now. As you likely 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 us 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.

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