# All About Coins for Dummies

For example, the SHA-256 of this word BUTTERFLY (origin ) is 8c62ace4f9ef8ccd08ca6fb992a8524bb7dbdc0530654bd254c9da07a660949a (HASH). This seemingly random string of letters and numbers has three important properties:

Bitcoin mining involves three variables: the cube, the mining difficulty and a random number. Heres how it all comes together:

Imagine our cube consists of the word BUTTERFLY discussed previously. In reality, the cube would contain a listing of recent, unverified transactions, but lets keep it simple. In order for the block to be solved, bitcoin uses a simple test: If the HASH consequence of the block begins with a certain number of zeros, then the block is considered confirmed.

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For our example, lets say that we have a mining difficulty of simply two, ie, our HASH must start with two zeros. .

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The problem: BUTTERFLY will return the same HASH, and it doesnt start with two zeros. Thus what we need is the third variable, a random number (called a NONCE). We carry this number, combine it with BUTTERFLY, and HASH again. If it doesnt begin with two zeros, we change the number and try again, and because changing one small number changes the entire HASH result, there is no way to forecast the number well need to address this! .

We repeat this procedure over and over until we find a number that, when combined with BUTTERFLY, gives us a HASH that begins with two zeros. That number is the solution to the block. Here are some attempts:

This arduous procedure of randomly trying to find a number that gives the solution is what creates bitcoin mining such a computationally expensive procedure, and as more miners join the network, the harder it gets. At November 2017, a regular home computer working alone, ie, not an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and not a part of a cloud mining network, would require 2.7 million years to mine one block. .

This has led to the rise of ASIC computers built specifically for mining and also to an increase in cloud mining.

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CPU mining. In the first days of bitcoin, mining issue was reduced and not a great deal of miners were competing for cubes and rewards. This made it rewarding to utilize your computers own central processing unit (CPU) to mine bitcoin. However, that strategy was soon replaced by GPU mining.

GPU mining. An graphics processing unit (GPU) is a powerful processor whose sole objective is to assist your computers graphics card in rendering 3D graphics. GPUs are not constructed for executive decisions (such as CPUs) but to be somewhat good labourers, hence GPUs are able to execute over 800 times more instructions in precisely the same amount of time as a CPU.

FPGA mining. Next came mining using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These significantly outperformed GPUs and CPUs in the mining process as FPGAs are processors which can be programmed to execute specific instructions and only those instructions (instead of being repurposed for mining, such as GPUs were).

ASIC mining. Comparable to FPGAs, application-specific integrated moved here circuits are chips designed for a particular purpose, in our case mining bitcoin, and nothing else. ASICs for bitcoin were introduced in 2013 and, as of November 2017, they are the best processors out there for mining bitcoin and they outperform FPGAs in power consumption. .

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Mining pools. To offset the problem of mining a block, miners started organising in cloud or pools mining networks. Whenever a miner in one of these pools simplifies a cube, the reward is shared with everyone in the pool in a ratio article representative of just how much work you put into the swimming pool (even though you personally never solved the puzzle). .

Cloud mining. Clouds offer potential miners try this out the capability to buy mining rigs in a remote data centre location. There are many obvious advantages, the most obvious being: no electricity expenses, no extra heat and nothing to market when you decide to hang up your virtual pickaxe.

Once miners get bitcoin, they are given a virtual key to the bitcoin addresses. You can use this electronic key to access and validate or approve transactions.

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Desktop pockets. Software such as Bitcoin Core lets you send and store bitcoin addresses and also connects to the network to track transactions.

Online wallets. Bitcoin keys are saved online by exchange programs like Coinbase or Circle and can be accessed from anywhere.

Mobile wallets. Programs like Blockchain shop and encrypt your own bitcoin keys so that you can make payments using your mobile device.

Paper wallets. Some websites provide paper wallet solutions, generating a bit of paper using two QR codes on it. One code is the public address at which you receive bitcoin and the other one is the private address you can use for spending.