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

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

In Bitcoin mining terms, that metaphorical undisclosed number in the envelope is known as the objective hash.

What miners are doing with these huge computers and dozens of cooling fans is guessing in the hash. Miners create these guesses by randomly generating as many"nonces" as you can, as fast 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 given credit for completing that block, and is awarded the spoils of 12.5 BTC. .

In theory you can achieve the same aim by rolling a 16-sided die 64 times to arrive at random numbers, but why on earth would you want to do this

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The screenshot below, taken by the site Blockchain.info, might help you put all of this information together at a glance. You're looking at a summary 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 into the Bitcoin community is that they confirmed 1768 transactions for this cube. If you truly want to find all 1768 of these transactions for this block, then go to this webpage and scroll down to the heading"Transactions." .

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

Here are some examples of randomized hashes and the standards for if they will lead to achievement for the miner:

You would have to get a fast mining rig or, more realistically, join a mining pool--a bunch of miners who combine their computing ability and split the mined bitcoin. Mining pools are comparable to people Powerball clubs whose members purchase lottery tickets en masse and agree to discuss any winnings. A disproportionately high number of blocks are mined by pools rather than by individual miners. .

In other words, it's literally only a numbers game.  You cannot guess the pattern or make a prediction based on preceding 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--less than 1 in 2 trillion. .

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The aforementioned site Cryptocompare delivers a very helpful calculator which allows you to plug in numbers like your hash speed, power prices etc. to gauge the costs and benefits.

Mining rewards are paid into the miner who discovers a solution to the puzzle , and also the probability that a participant is going to be the one to find the solution is equal to the portion of the total mining power on the network.  Participants which have a small percentage of the mining capability stand a tiny chance of discovering the next block on their own.  For instance, a mining card that one could purchase to get a few thousand dollars would represent less than 0.001percent 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 a block, and also the difficulty going up makes things even worse.  The miner may never recoup their investment.  The answer to this predicament is mining pools.  Mining pools are operated by third parties and coordinate groups of miners.  By working together in a swimming pool and sharing the payouts amongst participants, miners can get a steady flow of bitcoin starting the afternoon they activate their miner.  Statistics on a few of the mining pools can be seen on Blockchain.info. .

Sure. As mentioned, the easiest way to get Bitcoin is to purchase it on an exchange such as Coinbase.com. Alternately, you can always leverage the"pickaxe strategy". This relies on the old saw that during the 1848 California gold rush, the wise investment was not to pan for goldbut instead to make the pickaxes taken for mining. important link

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

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