Let us say you had one legit \$20 and one quite good photocopy of the same \$20. If someone were to attempt to spend both the real bill and the fake one, someone that took the trouble of looking at both of the invoices' consecutive numbers would see that they had been exactly the same number, and thus one of them needed to be false.

This isn't a perfect analogy--we'll explain in more detail below. .

Once a miner has confirmed 1 MB (megabyte) worthiness of Bitcoin transactions, they are eligible to win the 12.5 BTC. The 1 MB limit was established by Satoshi Nakamoto, and can be a matter of controversy, as some miners think the block size should be increased to accommodate more information.

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

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

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

2) You have to be the first miner to arrive at the right answer to some numeric problem. This process is also known as an evidence of work.

The good news: No advanced math or computation is involved. You might have discovered that miners are solving challenging mathematical problems--that's not true at all. What they're actually doing is trying to be the first miner to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number (a"hash")  that is less than or equivalent to the target hash.

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The bad news: Since it's guesswork, you need a good deal of computing power in order to get there first. To mine successfully, you need to have a higher"hash speed," which is measured in terms of megahashes per second (MH/s), read review gigahashes per second (GH/s), and terahashes per second (TH/s).

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

Either way a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. These can run from \$500 into the tens of thousands.  Some miners--especially Ethereum miners--buy individual graphics cards (GPUs) as a low-cost method to cobble together mining operations.  The photograph below is a makeshift, high-tech mining machine.  The cards are those rectangular cubes with whirring circles.  Note the sandwich twist-ties holding the graphics cards to the metal rod.

Example: I tell three friends I'm thinking about a number between 1 and 100, and I write that number on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. My friends don't need to guess the exact number, they simply have to be the first person to figure any number that is less than or equal to the number I am thinking of.

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Let's say I am thinking of the number 19. If Friend A guesses 21, they lose because 21>19. If Friend B supposes 16 and Friend C supposes 12, then they have both theoretically arrived at workable answers, because 16<19 and 12<19. There's no"extra credit" for Friend B, even though B's answer was closer to the target answer of 19. .

In Bitcoin terms, simultaneous answers occur frequently, but at the end of the day there can only be one winning answer. When index multiple simultaneous answers are presented that are equivalent to or less than the target number, the Bitcoin network will decide by a simple majority--51%--that miner to honour. Typically, 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"guess what number I'm thinking of" question, however I am not asking just three friends, and I'm not thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Instead, I am asking millions of prospective miners and I am thinking of a 64-digit hexadecimal number. Now you see that it's going to be quite difficult to guess the ideal 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 only of numbers, but also letters of the alphabet. Why is that

In order to understand these letters are doing in the middle of numbers, let's unpack the term"hexadecimal."

As you know, we utilize the"decimal" system, which means it is base 10. This in turn means that every digit has 10 chances, 0-9.