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But just how do you create a system that has a decentralized ledger How can you give someone the ability to update the ledger without giving them too much powerin case they become corrupt or negligent in their work
Well, Bitcoins rulesalso known as the Bitcoin protocolsolves that in a very creative manner I love to phone Who Wants to Be a Banker
In a nutshell, anyone who wants to participate in updating the ledger of all Bitcoin transactions, known as the blockchain, can do so. All you need is to suppose a random number that solves an equation generated by the system. Sounds easy, right
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Of course, this guessing is all done by your PC. The more powerful your computer is, the further supposes you can create in one second, increasing your chances of winning this match. If you manage to guess correctly, you earn bitcoins and get to write the next page of Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. .
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1. Once your mining computer comes up with the ideal suspect, your mining program determines which of these current pending transactions will be grouped together into the next block of transactions. Compiling this block represents the moment of glory, as youve now become a temporary banker of Bitcoin who has to upgrade the Bitcoin transaction ledger known as the blockchain. .
2. The block youve generated, along with your solution, is sent to the entire network so other computers can affirm it. Its a bit similar to a Rubiks cube: The solution is very tough to achieve but very easy to validate.
3. Every computer which validates your solution updates its copy of this Bitcoin transaction ledger with the transactions that you opted to include in the block.
4. The machine generates a fixed amount of bitcoins (currently 12.5) and rewards them as compensation for the time and energy you spent solving the math issue.
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5. Additionally, you get paid any transaction fees that were attached to the transactions you inserted into the next block.
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6. All the transactions in the cube youve only entered are now confirmed by the Bitcoin network and therefore are virtually irreversible.
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So thats Bitcoin mining in a nutshell. Its called mining due to the fact that this procedure helps mine new Bitcoins from the computer system. But if you think about it, the mining component is just a by-product of the transaction confirmation procedure. So the name is somewhat misleading, since the main goal of mining is to maintain the ledger in a decentralized manner. .
As you can imagine, since mining is based on a type of guessing, for each block, a different miner will guess the number and be granted the right to update the blockchain. Of course, that the miners with computing power will succeed more often, but due to the regulation of statistical probability, its highly unlikely that the same miner will succeed every time. .
Now you know what Bitcoin mining is, you may be thinking, Cool! Free money! Where do I sign up Well, not so fast
Satoshi Nakamoto, who invented Bitcoin, crafted the rules for mining in a manner that the more mining energy the network has, the harder it is to guess the answer to the mining math issue. So that the difficulty of this mining method is really self-adjusting into the accumulated mining power the network possesses. .
If more miners join, it will get harder to solve the problem; when many of them drop off, it is going to get easier. This is known as mining issue.
Now, remember, this is on average. We can have two cubes being inserted minute after minute and then wait an hour for the next block. In the long run, this may even out to ten minutes on average.
As you can imagine, this type of self-adjusting mechanism has made a sort of arms race to acquire the most efficient and powerful miners as soon as possible.
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When Bitcoin first started out, there werent a lot of miners on the market. In fact, Satoshi, the inventor of Bitcoin, and also his friend Hal Finney were a few the only individuals mining Bitcoin back at the time with their own personal computers.
Using your CPU (central processing unityour computers brain and an integrated component in any computer) was enough for mining Bitcoin back in 2009, since mining issue was low. As Bitcoin began to catch on, folks looked for more potent mining solutions.