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As I understand, when miners add transactions to their candidate block from their mempool, they append the txn to the merkle tree, which requires more hashing, as well as the hashing/maths involved with validating transactions. Wouldn't all this waste some hash power for the PoW?

While writing, I am realising that obviously, there is an incentive to add more txns for fees, and also that blocks will probably fill up quickly, and all the computation required for the block and validation is insignificant in comparison to PoW. Is this true?

What portion of all the computational power (hashes) is for PoW, in comparison to other things?

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The current network hashrate is around 150 EH/s, which means you need to compute around 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 hashes for every block. This is an incredible amount of computation with energy costs comparable to smaller countries.

Creating a merkle tree from mempool transactions and validating them, on the other hand, can be done easily even on a low-end consumer laptop. Now, there are multiple miners and mining pools doing that, but it doesn't change the overall picture. Proof of work easily dominates all other computation done in the bitcoin network.

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