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In other words, it is a bet. .
The reverse is also true. If computational power is taken from the network, the problem adjusts downward to earn mining easier. .
"Say I tell three friends that I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and I write that number on a sheet of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't have to guess the specific number, they just must be the first person to figure any number that's less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.
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"Let us say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C guesses 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 closer to the target answer of 19. .
"Now imagine that I pose the'guess what number I'm thinking of' question, but I am not asking just three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I'm asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be extremely difficult to guess the right answer." .
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If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound difficult enough as is, here's the catch to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to come up with the right hash, they also have to be the first to do it.
Because bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the right answer before another miner has almost everything to do with how fast your computer can create hashes. Only a decade ago, bitcoin miners could be carried out competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, however, miners realized that pictures cards commonly utilized for video games were more capable of mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the game.
These can run from $500 into the tens of thousands. .
Today, bitcoin mining is so competitive it can only be done profitably using all the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly versions of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually exceeds the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit at your disposal, one computer is seldom enough to compete with exactly what miners call"mining pools" .
An mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing power and divide the mined bitcoin between participants. A disproportionately high number of blocks are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. In July 2017, mining pools and companies represented roughly 80% to 90% of bitcoin computing power. .
Between 1 in 7 trillion odds, scaling difficulty levels, and also the huge network of users verifying transactions, one block of transactions is verified roughly every 10 minutes. However, its important to keep in mind that 10 minutes is a target, not a rule.
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The bitcoin network can process about seven transactions per second, with transactions being logged in the blockchain each 10 minutes. Since the network of bitcoin consumers continues to grow, however, the number of transactions made in 10 minutes will eventually exceed the number of transactions that can be processed in 10 minutes.
This issue at the heart of the bitcoin protocol is known as scaling. While bitcoin miners generally agree that something must be done to address scaling, there is less consensus regarding how can it. At the time of writing, there are two major solutions to this scaling problem, either (1) to lower the amount of data needed to confirm each block or (2) to increase the number of transactions that every block can store.
Solution 2 will cope with scaling by allowing for more information to be processed each 10 minutes. .
In July 2017, bitcoin miners and mining companies representing approximately 80% to 90% of their networks computing electricity voted to incorporate a program that will reduce the amount of data needed to confirm each block. In other words, they went with Solution 1.
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The app look at this now which miners voted to add to the bitcoin protocol is called a segregated witness, or SegWit. This expression is an amalgamation of Segregated, meaning to separate, and Witness, which refers to signatures on a bitcoin transaction. Segregated Witness, then, means to separate transaction signatures out of a block and join them as an extended block.