The difficulty encodes the likelihood of one hash to succeed at mining a block. Indirectly, it is a measure of the total hashing power of all miners for a given crypto-currency.

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Is it possible to build mining reward pooling directly into Bitcoin?

Mining pools were formed quite early in Bitcoin's history. Since then, they have not been considered ideal because of more and more centralization creeping in. But it seemed the community has learned ...
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101 views

How do I calculate expected earnings when mining a cryptocurrency? [duplicate]

If I have access to currency-specific variables/datasets for any cryptocurrency of choice (see below), how would I calculate which cryptocurrency (out of a fixed set of say 3-5 altcoins -- SHA-256 and ...
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39 views

How is a block header hash compared to the target (bits)?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the mining process by doing a small example of block hashing. According to the Wiki entry about difficulty, the target for a block hash can be read from the "bits" ...
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2answers
53 views

How many zeroes does the current target have? [duplicate]

I'm trying to get my head around the difficulty setting of Bitcoin. How can I calculate how many zeros the target string needs to start with?
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1answer
51 views

How do I find a pubkey and the nbits value to generate a genesis block?

I am hoping to create a new cryptocurrency from a Bitcoin fork, mostly for learning, and a little bit of fun. I roughly followed this answer to get as far as I am, but the genesis generator requires a ...
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3answers
93 views

Who decides that the new block is ready to hash?

I know that new blocks are relayed one block per 10 minutes but that time is not exact but average so: Who decides that the new block is ready to hash?
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47 views

Why is target stored in the block at all?

Currently, target is stored in each block. Why is that? Why it is not simply computed by each client based on the previous timestamps from previous blocks? Why it has to be stored within the block? ...
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37 views

Do Miners have to get below the Target or the Bits value?

You get a specific Target value when you divide the maximum Target by the Difficulty. But when you convert the Target in to the Bits format, you're only taking the first 3 bytes of the Target and ...
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13 views

Units of mining difficulty and hashing rate [duplicate]

I am trying to look for what are the units in which mining difficulty is measured, but haven't found much. Could anyone tell me this? Also, what exactly is the difference between mining difficulty and ...
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48 views

Difficulty set by pools

Can we argue that, since the difficulty set by pools is lower than the actual one, "old" hardware remain profitable for longer and thus are used for more time. And this, indirectly, increases the ...
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55 views

How was 59 days determined with 1 TH/sec from “Mastering Bitcoin”

In Mastering Bitcoin in the section on Difficulty Bits Andreas notes: This means that a valid block for height 277,316 is one that has a block header hash that is less than the target. In binary ...
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53 views

How many nonce can resolve block

I'm wonder how many nonce can resolve block in current difficulty? How can be than number counted?
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305 views

Is there actual consensus on the blockchain's tip or only until the next block?

Using this scenario http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/a/40435 Let's say we have two competing blockchain tips: They both start from Block A as a parent, but then there are two different blocks ...
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75 views

Do the leading zeros in the desired hash pattern for mining change?

If I understood it well, miners collect transactions in temporary files on which they apply a cryptographic function. The result will be reviewed against a desired pattern. Does this "desired pattern"...
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1answer
92 views

I'm not able to mine as much Bitcoin as I was able to a couple of months ago

I’ve been using two AntMiner S5 ~1155Gh/s and was able to mine about 0.02 Bitcoin. However, recently I’m just able to about 0.01 Bitcoin. I use F2Pool for mining. I thought first the other one isn’t ...
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2answers
74 views

Where, or how, can I get a complete history of difficulty?

I would like to have a complete list of the historical mining difficulty of bitcoin. Preferably it would be a text list or csv, but a webpage that displays the data in any text format will do. I've ...
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2answers
182 views

What will happen to Bitcoin when it takes years to complete a calculation?

Ok, we already experienced over the last 6yr's how bitcoin mining calculations went from mineable with a cpu, to where you need very expensive computer equipment to mine profitably. So what's going to ...
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1answer
56 views

BitCoin Price Index -Studies on Relation to Network Hashrate and Block Difficulty?

Are there any available studies, articles or blog posts on this topic? I am currently working on a market analysis including major bitcoin exchanges and the bitcoin price index. I'm specifically ...
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1answer
34 views

Why pose limit on update ratio of network difficulty [duplicate]

The Developer Guide on Bitcoin.org says: If it took fewer than two weeks to generate the 2,016 blocks, the expected difficulty value is increased proportionally (by as much as 300%) so that the ...
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123 views

Abrupt increase in difficulty of proof-of-work

I am simulating a private bitcoin network that I started with the initial difficulty set to (1/2)^16, however after about 20 blocks of mining on the network it increased to 1 and has been constant ...
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2answers
198 views

Can a smart mind explain block difficulty calculation in lay terms?

I tried to read it here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Difficulty But it is closer to a rigorous math proof than to an explanation. I am interested to understand that so I can understand what makes a ...
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1answer
82 views

Who recomputes and announces the difficulty in Bitcoin?

I know that the Bitcoin difficulty is recomputed every 2016 blocks (about two weeks). But who is responsible for this job and how is the new value announced to all miners. Does every miners do the ...
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1answer
109 views

Rise difficulty in code, still no changes after rebuild

I'm playing around with the code and tried to adjust difficulty by changing code from bnProofOfWorkLimit = ~uint256(0) >> 1 to bnProofOfWorkLimit = ~uint256(0) >> 20 inside code block ...
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2answers
396 views

Generating blocks in regtest: “hash doesn't match nBits”

I'm getting this error in regtest mode after setgenerate RPC: ERROR: CheckProofOfWork() : hash doesn't match nBits After looking for error text in src I found a match in pow.cpp (obviously ...
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106 views

Are there multiple representations of the same target value? Are they interchangable?

The block target in Bitcoin is encoded in block headers as a 24 bit integer raised to an 8 bit exponent: int(nBits[1:4]) * 2 ** (8 * (int(nBits[0]) - 3)) Are there multiple nBits representations of ...
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66 views

Why is the difficulty adjustment restricted to a factor of 4?

What does this protect against? And why 4 in particular? I know an adjustment of this magnitude is not likely to take place at this stage, but I'm wondering why this was implemented in the first ...
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1answer
55 views

Why is the target stored in compact form in the block header?

Why is the target converted to "Bits" and not stored in full in the block header? For example, why: { "hash" : "000000000003ba27aa200b1cecaad478d2b00432346c3f1f3986da1afd33e506", "height" : 100000, "...
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373 views

Is mining difficulty leveling out (Spring 2015)? How does this affect the economics of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin mining difficulty has been through some interesting ups and downs lately. (I've supplied snapshots below to give context for future readers) Considering its long history of pretty much only ...
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49 views

Energy to confirm one block?

What is the minimum energy (or CPU operations) required for someone to confirm one block on their own, to launch a double-spend attack? How can I calculate this from the current difficulty or ...
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66 views

Difficulty for hash (reversed function of “does hash met difficulty/target”)

What is an algorithm to determine what maximum difficulty already found hash meets?
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99 views

Why was there an non-steady mining rate in 2009?

For the first four years of bitcoin, 50 bitcoin were being mined per block. There was a feedback loop to adjust difficulty so that blocks would be mined every ten minutes, on average. So why is the ...
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1answer
110 views

Any supervisory power on earth to ensure that Bitcoin system will remain resilient if hashing conditions change rapidly?

Assume that Bitcoin value versus the “fiat money” is of great significance and imagine suddenly discounted by 50% or more, the current pools are not in money any more, stop hashing. The current ...
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1answer
92 views

How Does Network Difficulty Relate to the Odds of Finding a Block?

Right now the network difficulty for mining is 40640955016.576. And, according to blockexplorer.com, the current odds of finding a block for any given hash is 0....
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49 views

How much currency, on average, to expect from Bitcoin mining? [duplicate]

As mining difficulty continues to rise, I don't know if it is even worth trying. My question to the users actively mining is, how many Bitcoins, on average, are most miners making? And any recent ...
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71 views

Is it necessary for blocks to record the nBits difficulty parameter?

The next difficulty to solve a block is determined from how fast blocks were solved before it. In addition, the difficulty only changes once every two weeks or so. So, couldn't every node keep track ...
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63 views

Bitcoin GetBlockWork() function

The implementation of GetBlockWork() in the bitcoin v0.9.3 source (https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/blob/v0.9.3/src/main.h#L815-L822) seems strange to me. The code is given below for convenience. ...
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1answer
104 views

When ASICs generate a share, is it always at difficulty 1?

Are they preset to only return difficulty 1 shares when the find a nonce? Then mining software verifies if it meets current target difficulty? Or, if given a different target difficulty, will the ...
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1answer
111 views

What's the minimum setup to mine a block alone? [closed]

What's the minimum setup that you guys know, that can, today, mine at least 1 block alone, without the use of mining pools? I know I wouldn't be able to afford it, but just by curiosity...
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1answer
92 views

Laymans guess to determine how many hashes must be computed to you find a specific value

I have a question about bitcoin, lets say that the output is uniformly random and that it is 256 bits in length. The output of the hash function y=H(t) begins with 25 zeros - how many times would one ...
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5k views

When will next halving events occur?

I've read in some places that the next halving event will be on 2016. How can this be estimated?
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119 views

Peercoin: What is the difference and similarity between the PoW difficulty and PoS difficulty?

As of now the difficult for PoW block (Block #127803) is 183694752.0, and for PoS block (Block #127804) is 10.4918556213. Why are the two values so different? Is there any relation between PoW ...
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1answer
64 views

What is the algorithm of block selection using Target Difficulty?

Suppose below is target difficulty: 0x0000CDEF0A000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 So result value must lower than target to select block. So, If Miner 'A' found: ...
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2answers
36 views

Is it possible to calculate the difficulty purely by the number of blocks generated in e.g. 3 month and the staring difficulty?

The background of this question is wether the distribution of the block generation does matter? Lets say we have a period of 12 weeks. If the number of blocks created in this time is 6*2016 then the ...
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6answers
4k views

Why can't they use super computers to mine all the bitcoins?

I have very limited knowledge of bitcoin, but, I hope you don't mind my asking this question: As I understand it, "mining bitcoin" requires "significant" computational prowess. A lot of dedicated ...
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33 views

What's the advantage of using non-truncated mining targets?

Bitcoin Wiki (Difficulty): The highest possible target (difficulty 1) is defined as 0x1d00ffff, which gives us a hex target of ...
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185 views

Bitcoin value vs. Supercomputing

What protects the stability of Bitcoin's value if supercomputers or some other technological breakthrough allows them to be mined at rates we have not anticipated?
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1answer
342 views

How does a proof of work limit of `~uint256(0) >> 20` translate into a difficulty of `1 / 2^12`?

In the Litecoin source it is written: static CBigNum bnProofOfWorkLimit(~uint256(0) >> 20); // Litecoin: starting difficulty is 1 / 2^12 How does that compute? ~uint256(0) >> 20 is ...
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106 views

Managing Diff variable on eloipool software

I'm trying to set up a pool of Bitcoin Mining. I use a software program eloipool. https://gitorious.org/bitcoin/eloipool I can not find the configuration file options to force a change of Diff. So ...
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2answers
148 views

What is the average number of hashes it takes to mine bitcoins?

I'm just curious about this. I'm not sure if the length of zeros in the hash result is directly proportional to the probability, or how to calculate this.
3
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244 views

In pooled mining, what is pdiff, bdiff and ldiff?

In pooled mining, there seem to be three different terms for difficulty in use. Apparently, the Stratum protocol uses bdiff, BTCGuild uses pdiff, and Ldiff is common for various Scrypt pools as ...