TE8: Blockchains, Part 2 of 7 Digital Currencies

On September 14, Bob Van Valzah dropped in for a long session on Digital Currencies which turned into a three-part series on Blockchains. One or more series will follow covering all the issues surrounding digital currencies. To the left is a shot of Bob’s power bill for his Bitcoin Mining Rig that we discussed tonight, and also a video of that Mining Rig in production.

In the second part of our six-part series on Digital Currencies we’ll address the following questions around Blockchains:

  • So what are miners actually doing?
  • The enormous numbers, for example, the 10^18 power behind solving these mining problems.
  • Are we looking for primes in a huge field of numbers (hint, no)? Solutions have 130 zeros at the end or 2^130
  • Mining rigs as space heaters, the power issue.
  • Who decides which miner is a winner in extending the blockchain?
  • What happens when two miners each find a valid solution during the time of the flood?
  • Is it still one bitcoin block every 10 minutes?
  • What happens if it takes longer than 10 minutes to arrive at a solution?
  • What keeps the bad guys from circumventing the whole mining system?
  • How often would you win a bitcoin, and what is a mining pool?

In part three we’ll finish describing what is a Blockchain. While this has already been recorded and it should be released a few days following part 2.

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