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Let's say you had one legit $20 and one really good photocopy of that same $20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the real bill and the imitation one, someone who took the problem of looking at both of those invoices' serial numbers would observe that they were exactly the exact same number, and thus one of them needed to be fictitious.

This isn't a great analogy--we'll 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 set by Satoshi Nakamoto, and is a matter of controversy, as some miners believe the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.

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

1MB of transactions can theoretically be as little as 1 transaction (though this is not in any way common) or several thousand. It depends on how much data the transactions consume.

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

2) You must be the first miner to arrive at the perfect answer to a numeric problem. This practice is also known as a proof of work.

The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You may have heard that miners are solving difficult mathematical problems--that is not true in any way. 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 equal to the hash.

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The bad news: Since it is guesswork, you need a lot of computing power in order to get More Help there . To mine , you need to have a high"hash speed," that is measured in terms of megahashes per second (MH/s), gigahashes per second (GH/s), and terahashes per second (TH/s).

If you want to estimate how much Bitcoin you can mine with your mining rig's hash pace, the website Cryptocompare offers a helpful calculator.

Either 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--purchase individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a low-cost way to cobble together mining operations. The photo below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine. The graphics cards are such rectangular blocks with whirring circles. Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the pictures cards into the metal pole.

Case in point : 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 find more information an envelope. My friends don't need 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.

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Let us say I am thinking about the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21they shed because 21>19. If Friend B guesses 16 and Friend C guesses 12, then they've both theoretically arrived at workable answers, since 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. .

In Bitcoin terms, simultaneous answers happen frequently, but at the end of the day there can only be one winning answer. When multiple simultaneous answers are presented which can be equal to or less than the target number, the Bitcoin network will determine by a simple majority--51%--which miner to honour. Normally, it's the miner who has done the most work, i.e.

The losing block then becomes an"orphan block." .

Now imagine that I pose the"figure what number I'm thinking of" question, however I'm not asking just 3 friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Rather, I am asking millions of would-be miners and I'm thinking about 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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The number preceding has 64 digits. Easy enough to understand so far. As you probably noticed, that number consists not just of numbers, but also letters of this alphabet. Why is that

In order to understand what these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let us unpack the word"hexadecimal."

As you know, we use the"decimal" system, which means it's base 10. This in turn means that each and every digit has 10 chances, 0-9.