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The current difficulty for mining Litecoins is about 6. If I mine them at 25kh/s, how often should I expect to solve a block with a difficulty of 6?

I'd also appreciate an explanation (or formula) of how the calculation is done.

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Litecoin topics might be appropriate on the Alternate Cryptocurrencies board on the BitcoinTalk forum: bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=67.0 –  Stephen Gornick Jul 20 '12 at 0:10
    
@StephenGornick, my understanding is that all similar cryptocurrencies are within the scope of this site. meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/15/… –  Highly Irregular Jul 20 '12 at 1:13
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't know much about Litecoin, but if its difficulty works the same as in Bitcoin, then on average it takes approximately difficulty * 2^32 hashes to solve each block.

Since you're calculating 25000 hashes per second, it should take you around 6 * 2^32 / 25000 seconds to solve a block. Or about 286 hours.

Does that sound about right?

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Yes, that seems about right. What's the significance of 2^32? Does the numeric value of the hash need to fall under 1/((2^32)*D) where D is the difficulty, as part of the block solving algorithm? That would explain it. –  Highly Irregular Jul 20 '12 at 4:35
    
The answer to this question bitcoin.stackexchange.com/q/1453/516 has a formula for Bitcoin, but I couldn't make any sense of it. Seeing the similarity to your answer, I was able to fix it by adding some brackets that were necessary to get the correct result. I'm pleased to get that cleared up! –  Highly Irregular Jul 20 '12 at 5:13
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See the link 'approximately' for too many details about this whole 'difficulty' thing. But yes - a difficulty 1 block needs to have a hash starting with 32 zero bits. That's where the 2^32 comes from. It actually has to be less than 0x00000000FFFF, which is why I said "approximately", since 2^32 is off by a factor of 65535/65536. Starting with 32 zero bits isn't quite enough - at least one of the next 16 bits has to be zero too. –  Chris Moore Jul 20 '12 at 5:42
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