I understand that my chances are better at winning the lottery are better than guessing a block, but humor me please. If I have a pool with 2 miners will my miners offer more "guesses" at the block hash with a difficulty of 512 than they would with a difficulty of 1024?

2 Answers 2


The "difficulty" being given to miners by a pool is used for tracking if the miner is doing useful work that could possibly result in a block, paying out the miner accordingly. The number of attempts a second, the overall income, and the resulting probability of solving a block are unchanged.



The difficulty roughly means your miners finding a single nonce that results in a block hash that starts with a certain number of zeros.

The Bitcoin network requires a very high difficulty. Of course, it is unlikely any of your miners will actually generate the hash that the Bitcoin network wants. So, instead, you sign up to a mining pool. However, the mining pool needs to gauge how much work your miner is doing. So it asks your miner to try and generate hashes but with a low difficulty threshold. Your miners report these hashes instead, which are easy enough that it will successfully generate them. The pool counts the number of these easier hashes that your miner submits to calculate how much work your miner did, and calculate your fair share of the block.

Lowering the difficulty doesn't change your hash rate. It just changes how often your miner reports proof of it doing work to the pool.

Just by random chance, one of these easy blocks of work will have enough zeros to fulfill the Bitcoin network's difficulty requirement. The pool will submit that one to the network to claim the block reward to distribute to the members of the pool.

  • I've got a single 9th/s miner in a private pool and playing with varDiff just for grins. I'm lost on what/how I should set my min/maxDiff values as. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. @ieatpizza Feb 3, 2021 at 18:16
  • I've seen D=H*2.3 (D-Diff, H-hash) as a way of determining max difficulty based on ASIC speed, can anyone confirm or deny this as useful? Feb 3, 2021 at 21:03
  • It doesn't matter, it won't change your payout.
    – Claris
    Feb 4, 2021 at 7:51
  • Great answer. I would just nit that mining is "progress-free", so perhaps "how often your miner reports its progress" should be rephrased, e.g. "how often your miner provides proof of doing work".
    – Murch
    Feb 4, 2021 at 17:43

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