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But just how can you create a system that has a decentralized ledger How do you give someone the ability to upgrade the ledger without giving them too much powerin case they become corrupt or negligent in their job
Well, Bitcoins rulesalso known as the Bitcoin protocolsolves that in a Really creative manner I like to call Who Wants to Be a Banker
In a nutshell, anyone who wants to take part in updating the ledger of Bitcoin transactions, known as the blockchain, can do so. Whatever you need is to guess a random number that solves an equation generated by the system. Sounds simple, right
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Obviously, this guessing is done by your PC. The more powerful your computer is, the more supposes you can create in a second, increasing your chances of winning this match. 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 pc comes up with the ideal suspect, your mining system determines which of the current pending transactions will be grouped together into the next block of transactions. Compiling this block represents your moment of glory, as youve now become a temporary banker of Bitcoin who gets to update the Bitcoin transaction ledger known as the blockchain. .
2. The block youve generated, along with the solution, is sent to the whole network so other computers can affirm it. Its a bit much like a Rubiks cube: The solution is quite hard to achieve but quite easy to validate.
3. Each computer which validates your solution upgrades its copy of the Bitcoin transaction ledger together with the transactions you chose to include in the cube.
4. The system generates a fixed amount of bitcoins (currently 12.5) and benefits them as compensation for 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. Each of the transactions in the cube youve just entered are now confirmed from the Bitcoin network and therefore are virtually irreversible.
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So thats Bitcoin mining in a nutshell. Its called mining because of the fact that this process helps mine new Bitcoins from the computer system. But if you think about it, the mining component is just a by-product of this transaction confirmation procedure. So the name is somewhat misleading, since the main goal of mining would be 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 suppose the number and be granted the right to upgrade the blockchain. Of course, that the miners with more computing power will succeed more often, but on account of the regulation of statistical probability, its highly unlikely that the same miner will succeed each time. .
Now that 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 mathematics problem. Therefore the difficulty of the mining method is actually self-adjusting to the gathered mining power the network owns. .
If more miners join, it will get harder to address the problem; when many of them drop off, it will get easier. This is known as mining difficulty.
Now, remember, this 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 created a type of arms race to get 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 out there. In fact, check Satoshi, the inventor of Bitcoin, and his friend Hal Finney were a few the only individuals mining Bitcoin back in 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 reduced. Since Bitcoin began to catch on, people looked for more powerful mining solutions.