What Does Bitcoin Mining Power Mean?

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If you're mining Bitcoin, you do not need to calculate the total value of the 64-digit number (the hash). I repeat: You do not need to figure the total value of a hash.

Remember that ELI5 analogy, where I wrote the number 19 on a piece of paper and put it in a sealed envelope

In Bitcoin mining terms, that metaphorical undisclosed number in the envelope is called the target hash.

What miners are doing with these tremendous computers and dozens of cooling fans is guessing in the hash. Miners make these guesses by randomly generating as many"nonces" as possible, as quickly as possible. A nonce is short for"number only used once," and also the nonce is the secret to generating these 64-bit hexadecimal numbers I keep talking about.

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The first miner whose nonce generates a hash which is less than or equal to the target hash is awarded credit for completing that block, and is awarded the spoils of 12.5 BTC. .

In theory you could Attain the Exact Same goal by rolling a 16-sided die 64 days to arrive at random numbers, but why on earth do you want to do this

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The screenshot below, taken by the website Blockchain.info, might enable you to put all this information together at a glance. You're looking at a list of everything that happened when block 490163 was mined. The nonce that generated the "winning" hash was 731511405. The goal hash is shown on top.

As you see here, their contribution to the Bitcoin community is that they confirmed 1768 transactions for this block. If you really want to see all 1768 of these transactions for this block, then go to this page and scroll down to the heading"Transactions." .

There is no minimum target, but there's a maximum goal set by the Bitcoin Protocol. No goal can be greater than this number:

Here are some examples click to find out more of randomized hashes and the criteria for whether they will lead to success for your miner:

You'd have to get a fast mining rig , more realistically, join a mining pool--a bunch of miners that combine their computing ability and divide the mined bitcoin. Mining pools are somewhat similar to people Powerball clubs whose members purchase lottery tickets en masse and consent to discuss any winnings. A disproportionately high number of cubes are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. .

In other words, it is literally just a numbers game.  You cannot guess the pattern or make a prediction based on previous target hashes. The difficulty level of the most recent block at the time of writing is 2,874,674,234,416, i.e. the chance of any given nonce producing a hash below the target is 1 in 2,874,674,234,416--significantly less than 1 in 2 trillion. .

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The aforementioned site Cryptocompare offers a helpful calculator which permits you to plug in numbers like your hash rate, electricity costs etc., to gauge the costs and benefits.

Mining rewards are paid to the miner who finds a solution to the puzzle , and also the likelihood that a participant will be the one to discover the solution is equivalent to the portion of the entire mining power on the network.  Participants which have a small percentage of their mining power stand a tiny chance of discovering the next block on their own.  For instance, a mining card that one could purchase to get a couple thousand dollars would represent less than 0.001% of the network's mining energy.  With such a tiny chance at finding the next block, it could be a long time before that miner finds out a block, and the difficulty going up makes my explanation things even worse.  The miner may never recover their investment.  The answer to this problem is mining pools.  Mining pools are operated by third parties and coordinate groups of miners.  By working together in a pool and sharing the payouts amongst participants, miners can get a steady flow of bitcoin starting the day that they trigger their miner.  Statistics on some of the mining pools can be seen on Blockchain.info. .

Sure. As discussed, the easiest way to get Bitcoin is to purchase it on an exchange such as Coinbase.com. Alternately, you can consistently leverage the"pickaxe strategy". This is based on the old saw that during the 1848 California gold rush, the wise investment was not to pan for goldbut rather to make the pickaxes used for mining.

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In a crypto context, the pickaxe equivalent are a company that manufactures equpiment utilized for Bitcoin mining. You can start looking into companies which make ASICs miners or GPU miners. .

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