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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 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 love to call Who Wants to Be a Banker

In a nutshell, anyone who wants to participate in updating the ledger of Bitcoin transactions, known as the blockchain, can do so. 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 supposes you can create in a second, increasing your chances of winning this match. If you manage to figure right, 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 right guess, your mining program determines which of these current pending transactions will be grouped together into the next block of transactions. Compiling this cube represents the 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 created, along with your solution, is sent to the whole network so other computers can validate it. Its a bit similar to a Rubiks cube: The solution is very hard to achieve but very easy to validate.

3. Each computer that validates your solution updates its copy of the Bitcoin transaction ledger together with the transactions that you chose to include in the block.

4. The machine generates a fixed amount of bitcoins (currently 12.5) and benefits them to you as compensation for time and energy you spent solving the math issue.

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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. All the transactions in the cube youve just entered are now confirmed from the Bitcoin network and are virtually irreversible.

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Therefore thats Bitcoin mining in a nutshell. Its called mining due to the simple fact that this process helps mine new Bitcoins from the system. But if you think about it, the mining component is just a by-product of the transaction confirmation procedure. So that 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 type of guessing, for every block, a different miner will suppose the number and also be granted the right to upgrade the blockchain. Of course, the miners with more computing power will succeed more wikipedia reference often, but due to the law of statistical probability, its highly unlikely that the same miner will succeed every 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 way that the further mining power the network gets, the harder it is to guess the answer to the mining mathematics problem. Therefore the difficulty of this mining method is really self-adjusting to the accumulated mining power the network owns. .

If more miners join, it will get more difficult to solve the problem; when many of them drop off, it will get easier. This is known as mining difficulty.

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Well, he wanted to create a steady flow of new bitcoins into the system. In a sense, this was done to keep inflation in check. Mining issue is set so that, on average, a new block will be inserted every ten minutes (i.e., the number will probably be guessed every ten minutes on average). .

Now, rememberthis is on average. We can have two cubes being added minute after minute and then wait an hour to the next block. In the long run, this will even out to ten minutes on average.

As you can imagine, this kind of self-adjusting mechanism has made 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 great deal of miners on the market. In reality, Satoshi, the inventor of Bitcoin, and also his friend Hal Finney were a couple of the only individuals mining Bitcoin back at the time with their view 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 difficulty was low. As Bitcoin started to catch on, folks looked for more potent mining solutions.

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