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I saw some videos where a single home laptop can run a mining software and collect fractions of Bitcoins every now and then. However, a mining reward is a full 25 BTC. My questions:

  • Does that mean that the mining software joins my laptop to a pool?
  • If yes, then if I get fractions of a BTC over time, does that mean that my pool succeeded in resolving a block and collected 25 BTC?
  • If yes, how is the reward distributed?
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    How the reward is divided depends on the pool. But there is absolutely no point in mining bitcoins on a laptop. You will never pay a thousandth of your costs. – David Schwartz Jul 18 '17 at 20:35
  • This is a hypothetical question, just to understand the mechanisms. No intention to mine. – gil_mo Jul 19 '17 at 6:43
  • you may want to read Andreas' book on mastering bitcoin, at the end of chapter 8. It is online available (here: safaribooksonline.com/library/view/mastering-bitcoin/…) and there are many translations. – pebwindkraft Jul 19 '17 at 7:07
  • pebwindkraft first comment above directed me to the answer: the section about pool mining says it all. – gil_mo Jul 19 '17 at 10:41
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In a nutshell:
You point your mining software at a pool
Your laptop hashes the candidate block sending results that are close to a solution to the pool every now an then.
If the pool is of proportional type, you will get your proportion of the reward based on your portion of contributed hash rate /work.
There are other types of pools and their payout algorithms will vary.

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