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Lord Jebe
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July 14, 2010, 12:18:26 AM
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Sup, Im new to Bitcoin, I just downloaded the program a minute ago. I am quite suspicious on stuff on the internets, so dont wonder if my attitude is very "suspicioulish".

I have read all the "How to start" and the usual, and I understand its a P2P software, but I havent gotten any information on why the heck is it using my CPU so much. "Computational problems" isn't the most informative answer (P2P program is supposed to use only your internets connection, not your processor), so, I am asking here: why in the name of Chuck Norris Bitcoin is using my CPU so much? What is it actually doing?
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lachesis
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July 14, 2010, 12:30:27 AM
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Please read the FAQ and the design paper again and come back when you have.

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SmokeTooMuch
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July 14, 2010, 12:39:20 AM
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What is it actually doing?
Simple answer because it's 2:38am here:
hashing

Date Registered: 2009-12-10 | I'm using GPG, pm me for my public key. | Bitcoin on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/btc
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Lord Jebe
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July 14, 2010, 12:52:11 AM
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Please read the FAQ and the design paper again and come back when you have.
Right. I agree, I didnt read all of the "How to & What now" stuff, but I did not find my answer in the readme or FAQ. I had to go to the really-nerdy-looking-and-sounding-paper and read myself through.

Anyways, thanks for the help.
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July 14, 2010, 12:59:27 AM
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"Computational problems" isn't the most informative answer (P2P program is supposed to use only your internets connection, not your processor), so, I am asking here: why in the name of Chuck Norris Bitcoin is using my CPU so much? What is it actually doing?

P2P programs don't have to be bandwidth limited. It just happens that the majority of widely deployed P2P networks do file transfers and are limited by your connection speed.

The computation work to data transferred is more like distributed computing projects like SETI@Home or Folding@Home rather than file transfer.

Suffice it to say that it is verifying transactions and cryptography strength hashes are computationally expensive, and this is good for the value of a bitcoin. For further detail, again, see the paper or the source code.
Lord Jebe
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July 14, 2010, 01:51:50 AM
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I am getting a hang here, but now I am wondering the next thing: When you launch Bitcoin, it heavily uses the CPU, but after a while, all I am hearing is my hard drive, and my CPU is at idle. I understand its gathering the hash for the blocks, but why is it raping my CPU at the startup, if its only supposed to gather data, process it and send it on?
Xunie
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July 14, 2010, 03:08:35 AM
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Since I like your picture so damn much, let me explain it to you. (+1 internet for you, sir!)

You probably have the "Generate Bitcoins" option enabled under "Settings".
This will cause Bitcoin to use your CPU to hash.
Once it hashed what it was looking for? You generated a block!
If the outcome of the hash is lower than or equal to "the target", the data that was hashed is a block. Not sure about what exactly is the block, but I'm sure about the other stuff!

So, your CPU is hashing data to generate blocks, and blocks are Bitcoins!


More information here:
http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=hash
http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=block
http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=target

Also: Sorry for letting you hang there, I had the tab open and everything typed out, I just never clicked "post!".

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Lord Jebe
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July 14, 2010, 04:15:17 AM
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Since I like your picture so damn much, let me explain it to you. (+1 internet for you, sir!)

You probably have the "Generate Bitcoins" option enabled under "Settings".
This will cause Bitcoin to use your CPU to hash.
Once it hashed what it was looking for? You generated a block!
If the outcome of the hash is lower than or equal to "the target", the data that was hashed is a block. Not sure about what exactly is the block, but I'm sure about the other stuff!

So, your CPU is hashing data to generate blocks, and blocks are Bitcoins!

OK, maybe one day I will really understand what it is doing, but for now, Ill just consider it as usage of electricity turned into money (roughly said).
Thank you for your help!
Anonymous
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July 14, 2010, 05:03:15 AM
 #9

Ebaums is thrashing you hard drive  Wink
Xunie
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July 14, 2010, 12:49:17 PM
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Since I like your picture so damn much, let me explain it to you. (+1 internet for you, sir!)

You probably have the "Generate Bitcoins" option enabled under "Settings".
This will cause Bitcoin to use your CPU to hash.
Once it hashed what it was looking for? You generated a block!
If the outcome of the hash is lower than or equal to "the target", the data that was hashed is a block. Not sure about what exactly is the block, but I'm sure about the other stuff!

So, your CPU is hashing data to generate blocks, and blocks are Bitcoins!

OK, maybe one day I will really understand what it is doing, but for now, Ill just consider it as usage of electricity turned into money (roughly said).
Thank you for your help!

A "hash" is basically a fingerprint of a piece of data. ("To hash" is the verb, obviously.)
Anyhow, what ever you hash is basically like generating a fingerprint, they're fixed size and if you change one character, remove it or even something else, you get a completely different hash!
If you hash "Hello, I'm Lord Jebe!" with SHA-256, you get "634ee5cd0971419655d8c61a93ecba406c8105b026afd6cf588a41503919fbd9".
If you hash "Helo, I'm Lord Jebe!" (notice the typo), you get "82d90c440807866e3c01400223c466f8520b9e36fb4538c2ebeeb18cdecc71ec".
Notice how the two hashes are totally different, this is natural and not predictive.

There are different hashing methods out there, MD (Message Digest) 1/2/5 which are getting quite outdated, and SHA-256/512.
SHA-256 is what Bitcoin uses right now.

Now there's there's a 'target' set on the network, that target determines how difficult it is to generate blocks.
If you hash some random data (which Bitcoin) does, and you generate a hash/fingerprint lower or equal than the target, you have generated a block!


tl;dr: So, it's really not that hard, it's just generating a fingerprint from random data, if the finger print matches what the network's looking for, you got yourself a block, and thus generated some coins!

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