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1. What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
2. Bitcoin’s core featuresFor a more beginner’s introduction to Bitcoin, please visit Binance Academy’s guide to Bitcoin.
Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) modelA UTXO transaction works like cash payment between two parties: Alice gives money to Bob and receives change (i.e., unspent amount). In comparison, blockchains like Ethereum rely on the account model.
Nakamoto consensusIn the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW).
The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer.
Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs.
As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”).
Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so.
With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic.
Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.
Block productionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979.
With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”).
An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below.
Block time and mining difficultyBlock time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty.
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly.
Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.
What are orphan blocks?In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency.
It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency.
Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted.
The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network.
However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.
3. Bitcoin’s additional features
Segregated Witness (SegWit)Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017.
SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become.
The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit.
Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade.
Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values.
For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890.
Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid.
This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.
Lightning NetworkLightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability.
Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins.
Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ.
A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here.
In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions.
Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel.
One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel.
However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.
Schnorr Signature upgrade proposalElliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block.
The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually.
Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.
4. Economics and supply distributionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years.
As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
Prior to the latest fork there was not a single line of code that forced any algo rotation. They all run in parallel but of course in the end only one block can be accepted at given height which is obvious. After the fork algo rotation is forced so only 6 blocks with the same algo out of any 10 blocks can be accepted. - srgn_
Difficulty is calculated by a version of DGW which is based on timestamps of last 12 blocks mined by the same algo. - srgn_This kind of bug is very serious and at the foundation of Verge’s codebase. In fact, in order to fix it a fork is needed, either hard fork or soft fork!
Pairs of blocks are used to lower the difficulty but they need to be mined in certain order so they can pass the check of median timestamp of last 11 blocks which is performed in CBlock::AcceptBlock(). There is no tricking anything into thinking that the next algo should be x because there is no algo picking. They all just run and mine blocks constantly. There is only lowering the difficulty, passing the checks so the chain is valid and accepting this chain over chains mined by other algos. - segn_Here is a snippet of code for what the time stamps on the blocks would look like:
SetBestChain: new best=00000000049c2d3329a3 height=2009406 trust=2009407 date=04/04/18 13:50:09 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=000000000a307b54dfcf height=2009407 trust=2009408 date=04/04/18 12:16:51 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=00000000196f03f5727e height=2009408 trust=2009409 date=04/04/18 13:50:10 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=0000000010b42973b6ec height=2009409 trust=2009410 date=04/04/18 12:16:52 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=000000000e0655294c73 height=2009410 trust=2009411 date=04/04/18 12:16:53 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt)
Let’s take a lucky guess that you’re here today because you’ve heard a lot about cryptocurrencies and you want to get involved, right? If you’re a community person, Dogecoin mining might be the perfect start for you!submitted by alifkhalil469 to BtcNewz [link] [comments]
Bitcoin was the first in 2009, and now there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies. These new coins (that operate on their own native blockchain) are called altcoins or alternative coins. One popular altcoin is Dogecoin. It can be bought, sold and traded, just like Bitcoin. It can also be mined!
So, what is Dogecoin mining?
You’ll know what hardware and what software you need to get started. You’ll also know whether or not Dogecoin mining is for you!
So, where would you like to start? The beginning? Great choice. Let’s have a quick look at how Dogecoin got started.
A (Very) Short History of Dogecoin
In 2013, an Australian named Jackson Palmer and an American named Billy Markus became friends. They became friends because they both liked cryptocurrencies. However, they also thought the whole thing was getting too serious so they decided to create their own.
Palmer and Markus wanted their coin to be more fun and more friendly than other crypto coins. They wanted people who wouldn’t normally care about crypto to get involved.
They decided to use a popular meme as their mascot — a Shiba Inu dog.
Dogecoin was launched on December 6th, 2013. Since then it has become popular because it’s playful and good-natured. Just like its mascot!
Dogecoin has become well-known for its use in charitable acts and online tipping. In 2014, $50,000 worth of Dogecoin was donated to the Jamaican Bobsled Team so they could go to the Olympics. Dogecoin has also been used to build wells in Kenya. Isn’t that awesome!
Users of social platforms – like Reddit – can use Dogecoin to tip or reward each other for posting good content.
Dogecoin has the 27th largest market cap of any cryptocurrency.
Note: A market cap (or market capitalization) is the total value of all coins on the market.
So, Dogecoin is a popular altcoin, known for being fun, friendly and kind. It’s a coin with a dog on it! You love it already, don’t you?
Next, I want to talk about how mining works…
What is Mining?
To understand mining, you first need to understand how cryptocurrencies work. Cryptocurrencies are peer-to-peer digital currencies. This means that they allow money to be transferred from one person to another without using a bank.
Every cryptocurrency transaction is recorded on a huge digital database called a blockchain. The database is stored across thousands of computers called nodes. Nodes put together groups of new transactions and add them to the blockchain. These groups are called blocks.
Each block of transactions has to be checked by all the nodes on the network before being added to the blockchain. If nodes didn’t check transactions, people could pretend that they have more money than they really do (I know I would!).
Confirming transactions (mining) requires a lot of computer power and electricity so it’s quite expensive.
Blockchains don’t have paid employees like banks, so they offer a reward to users who confirm transactions. The reward for confirming new transactions is new cryptocurrency. The process of being rewarded with new currency for confirming transactions is what we call “mining”!
It is called mining because it’s a bit like digging for gold or diamonds. Instead of digging with a shovel for gold, you’re digging with your computer for crypto coins!
Each cryptocurrency has its own blockchain. Different ways of mining new currency are used by different coins where different rewards are offered.
So, how do you mine Dogecoin? What’s special about Dogecoin mining? Let’s see…
What is Dogecoin Mining?
Dogecoin mining is the process of being rewarded with new Dogecoin for checking transactions on the Dogecoin blockchain. Simple, right? Well no, it’s not quite that simple, nothing ever is!
Mining Dogecoin is like a lottery. To play the lottery you have to do some work. Well, actually your computer (or node) has to do some work! This work involves the confirming and checking of transactions which I talked about in the last section.
Lots of computers work on the same block of transactions at the same time but the only one can win the reward of new coins. The one that earns the new coins is the node that adds the new block of transactions to the old block of transactions. This is completed using complex mathematical equations.
The node that solves the mathematical problem first wins! It can then attach the newly confirmed block of transactions to the rest of the blockchain.
Most cryptocurrency mining happens this way. However, Dogecoin mining differs from other coins in several important areas. These areas are;
Bitcoin uses SHA-256 to guide the mining of new currency and the other two use Scrypt. This is an important difference because Scrypt mining needs a lot less power and is a lot quicker than SHA-256. This makes mining easier for miners with less powerful computers. Fans of Litecoin and Dogecoin think that they are fairer than Bitcoin because more people can mine them.
Note: In 2014, Litecoin and Dogecoin merged mining. This means they made it possible to mine both coins in the same process. Dogecoin mining is now linked with Litecoin mining. It’s like two different football teams playing home games in the same stadium!
Mining Dogecoin is a lot faster than mining Litecoin or Bitcoin. The block reward is much higher too!
Don’t get too excited though (sorry!). Dogecoin is still worth a lot less than Bitcoin and Litecoin. A reward of ten thousand Dogecoin is worth less than thirty US Dollars. A reward of 12.5 Bitcoin is currently worth 86,391.63 US Dollars!
However, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Dogecoin mining difficulty is more than one million times less than Bitcoin mining difficulty. This means you are much more likely to win the block reward when you mine Dogecoin.
Now I’ve told you about what Dogecoin mining is and how it works, would you like to give it a try?
Let’s see what you need to do to become a Dogecoin miner…
How to Mine Dogecoin
There are two ways to mine Dogecoin, solo (by yourself) or in a Dogecoin mining pool.
Note: A Dogecoin pool is a group of users who share their computing power to increase the odds of winning the race to confirm transactions. When one of the nodes in a pool confirms a transaction, it divides the reward between the users of the pool equally.
Dogecoin Mining: Solo vs Pool
When you mine as a part of a Dogecoin pool, you have to pay fees. Also, when the pool mines a block you will only receive a small portion of the total reward. However, pools mine blocks much more often than solo miners. So, your chance of earning a reward (even though it is shared) is increased. This can provide you with a steady new supply of Dogecoin.
If you choose to mine solo then you risk waiting a long time to confirm a transaction because there is a lot of competition. It could be weeks or even months before you mine your first block! However, when you do win, the whole reward will be yours. You won’t have to share it or pay any fees.
As a beginner, I would recommend joining a Dogecoin pool. This way you won’t have to wait as long to mine your first block of new currency. You’ll also feel like you’re part of the community and that’s what Dogecoin is all about!
What You Need To Start Mining Dogecoin
Before you start Dogecoin mining, you’ll need a few basics. They are;
Note: A wallet is like an email account. It has a public address for sending/receiving Dogecoin and a private key to access them. Your private keys are like your email’s password. Private keys are very important and need to be kept completely secure.
There are two different types; a light wallet and a full wallet. To mine Dogecoin, you’ll need the full wallet. It’s called Dogecoin Core.
Now that you’ve got a wallet, you need some software and hardware.
Dogecoin Mining Hardware
You can mine Dogecoin with;
Whether you’re mining with an ASIC, a GPU or a CPU, you’ll need some software to go with it. You should try to use the software that works best with the hardware you’re using. Here’s a short list of the best free software for each choice of mining hardware;
You’re a beginner, so keep it simple! When you first start mining Dogecoin I would recommend using a GPU like the Radeon RX 580 with EasyMiner software. Then I would recommend joining a Dogecoin mining pool. The best pools to join are multi-currency pools like Multipool or AikaPool.
If you want to mine Dogecoin but don’t want to invest in all the tech, there is one other option…
Dogecoin Cloud Mining
Cloud mining is mining without mining! Put simply, you rent computer power from a huge data center for a monthly or yearly fee. The Dogecoin is mined at the center and then your share is sent to you.
All you need to cloud mine Dogecoin is a Dogecoin wallet. Then choose a cloud mining pool to join. Eobot, Nice Hash and Genesis Mining all offer Scrypt-based cloud mining for a monthly fee.
There are pros and cons to Dogecoin cloud mining;
So, Is Dogecoin Mining Profitable?
The short answer is, not really. Dogecoin mining is not going to make you a crypto billionaire overnight. One Dogecoin is worth 0.002777 US Dollars. If you choose to mine Dogecoin solo, it will be difficult to make a profit. You will probably spend more money on electricity and hardware than you will make from Dogecoin mining. Even if you choose a Dogecoin pool or a cloud pool your profits will be small.
However, if you think I am telling you to not mine Dogecoin, then you’re WRONG! Of course, I think you should mine Dogecoin!
But why? Seriously…
Well, you should mine Dogecoin because it’s fun and you want to be a part of the Dogecoin family. Cryptocurrency is going to change the world and you want to be part of that change, right? Mining Dogecoin is a great way to get involved.
Dogecoin is the coin that puts a smile on people’s faces. By mining Dogecoin you’ll be supporting all the good work its community does. You’ll learn about mining from the friendliest gang in crypto. And who knows? In a few years, the Dogecoin you mine now could be worth thousands or even millions! In 2010, Bitcoin was worthless. Think about that!
Only you can choose whether to mine Dogecoin or not. You now know everything you need to know to make your choice. The future is here. So, what are you going to do?
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