# The Definitive Guide to Trading Bitcoin Futures

In 2009it was 50. In 2013, it was 25, in the time of writing it's 12.5, and sometime in the center of 2020 it will halve to 6.25. .

At this speed of halving, the entire number of bitcoin in circulation will approach a limit of 21 million, making the currency more scarce and valuable over time but also more costly for miners to make.

Here is the catch. In order to get bitcoin miners to actually earn bitcoin from verifying transactions, two things must occur. To begin with, they need to confirm 1 megabyte (MB) worth of transactions, which can theoretically be as small as 1 transaction but are more often several thousand, depending on how much data each transaction stores.

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Second, in order to add a block of transactions to the blockchain, miners must fix a complex computational math problem, also referred to as a"proof of labour " What they're actually doing is trying to think of a 64-digit hexadecimal number, called a"hash," that's less than or equal to the hash.

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In other words, it is a gamble. .

The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is about 7,184,404,942,701. That is, the chance of a computer producing a hash beneath the goal is just 1 in 7,184,404,942,701 less than 1 in 7 trillion. That level is adjusted every 2016 blocks, or roughly every 2 weeks, with the goal of keeping rates of mining constant.

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The reverse is also correct. If computational power has been taken from the network, the difficulty adjusts downward to earn mining easier. .

"Say I tell three friends I'm thinking of 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 exact number, they simply have to be the very first person to guess any number that's less than or equal to the number I'm thinking of.

"Let us say I'm thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both technically came at workable answers, since 16<19 and 12<19. There is no'extra credit' for Friend B, even though B's answer was nearer to the goal answer of 19. .

"Now imagine that I present the'guess what number I am thinking of' question, but I am not asking just three friends, and I am 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 is going to be quite hard to guess the right answer." .

If 1 in 7 trillion doesn't sound hard enough as is, here's the grab to the catch. Not only do bitcoin miners have to think of the right hash, but they also have to be the first to perform it.

Because bitcoin mining is essentially guesswork, arriving at the ideal answer before another miner has almost everything to do with how fast your computer recommended you read can create hashes. Just a decade ago, bitcoin miners can informative post be carried out competitively on normal desktops. As time passes, however, miners realized that graphics cards commonly used for video games tend to be more effective at mining than desktops and graphics processing units (GPU) came to dominate the game.

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These can run from \$500 into the tens of thousands. .

Today, bitcoin mining is so aggressive that it can only be done profitably with the latest up-to-date ASICs. When using desktop computers, GPUs, or elderly models of ASICs, the expense of energy consumption actually surpasses the revenue generated. Even with the newest unit available, one computer is seldom enough to compete with what what miners call"mining pools." .

A mining pool is a group of miners who combine their computing ability and split 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 approximately 80% to 90% of bitcoin computing power. .