Terahashes per second (Th/s) is equivalent to 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) hashes per second, a unit that indicates the power of a computer or mining machine.
Cryptocurrency mining uses computers to solve complex math problems to verify transactions on a public ledger called the blockchain. This process, known as mining, secures, stores, and tracks cryptocurrency. The more computing power a miner has, the more likely they are to win the race of verifying transactions and earning digital currency.
The hash rate of a cryptocurrency is the measure of a miner's processing power. This number indicates how long it takes for a single miner to process all the transactions in a block.
If the number is lower, transactions will be processed faster because there will be fewer miners competing for the same block reward. However, if you have a low hash rate, then it will take longer to receive your first payment.
Back in 2009, when Bitcoin was just emerging as a currency, ordinary desktop computers were able to mine blocks with ease. As more people started mining, the difficulty of finding new blocks increased significantly to the point where the average time for solving a single block began exceeding 10 minutes.
The Bitcoin network adjusts difficulty so that one block is found every 10 minutes on average. That means there are lots of blocks that need fewer than one solution, so lots of your work is wasted (because finding those solutions only earns you transaction fees). The higher your hash rate, the more often you'll be able to successfully mine Bitcoins.
The effect of this is clear: a miner with a 3 GH/s hashing speed will find approximately three times as many Bitcoins per month as a miner with a 1 GH/s mining speed.
Hash rate is the single most important factor when determining profitability. Mining hardware efficiency increases every day while Bitcoin exchange rates continue to rise. This is an important factor in determining how much energy it costs to mine Bitcoin. More hashes mean more electricity is needed to solve the mathematical problem so it's all relative.
As a general rule of thumb, the lower your electricity costs (or the better your mining rig) the more profitable mining will be for you.
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