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However, just how can you create a system that has a decentralized ledger How can you give someone the ability to upgrade the ledger without giving them a lot of powerin case they become corrupt or negligent in their job
Well, Bitcoins rulesalso known as the Bitcoin protocolsolves this in a very creative way I like to phone Who Wants to Be a Banker
In short, anyone who wants to take part in updating the ledger of Bitcoin transactions, known as the blockchain, can do this. All you need is to guess a random number that solves an equation generated by the system. Sounds easy, right
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Of course, this guessing is done by your computer. The more powerful your computer is, the more guesses you can create in one second, increasing your chances of winning this game. If you manage to figure correctly, you earn bitcoins and have 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 guess, your mining program determines which of the current pending transactions will be grouped together into the next block of transactions. Compiling this cube represents the moment of glory, as youve now develop into a temporary banker of Bitcoin who has to update the Bitcoin transaction ledger known as the blockchain. .
2. The block youve created, along with your solution, is sent to the whole network so other computers can affirm it. Its somewhat much like a Rubiks cube: The solution is quite hard to achieve but very easy to validate.
3. Every computer which validates your solution upgrades its copy of the Bitcoin transaction ledger together with the transactions you chose to include in the block.
4. The machine generates a predetermined amount of bitcoins (currently 12.5) and rewards them to you as compensation for time and energy you spent solving the math problem.
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5. Additionally, you get paid any transaction fees which were attached to the transactions you inserted into the next block.
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6. Each of the transactions in the cube youve only entered are now confirmed by the Bitcoin network and are virtually irreversible.
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So thats Bitcoin mining in a nutshell. Its called mining because of the fact that this procedure helps mine new Bitcoins from the system. But if you think about it, the mining component is just a by-product of this transaction confirmation procedure. So that the name is somewhat misleading, since the main objective of mining is to maintain the ledger in a decentralized manner. .
As you can imagine, since mining is based on a form of guessing, for each block, a different miner will guess the number and be granted the right to update the blockchain. Obviously, the miners with more computing power will succeed more often, but due to the law of statistical probability, its highly unlikely that the exact 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 principles for mining in a way that the further mining power the network has, the harder it is to guess the answer to the mining math problem. Therefore that the difficulty of this mining method is actually self-adjusting to the gathered mining capability the network owns. .
If more miners join, it will get harder to solve the issue; when many of them drop off, it is going to get easier. This can be known as mining issue.
Now, rememberthis is on average. We can have two cubes being added 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 great deal of miners out there. In reality, Satoshi, the inventor of Bitcoin, and also his friend Hal Finney were a couple of the only people mining Bitcoin back at the time using 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. Since Bitcoin began to catch on, people looked for more powerful mining solutions.