After reading an article about the imminent retirement of David Mills, and the possibility that there could be some handover issues (imho just rumors), I wondered if the Bitcoin protocol depends by the Network Time Protocol (NTP) or not.

I guess that if NTP quitted working, blocks would be validated anyway, without any issue, thanks to the POW architecture. But are we sure that the Bitcoin Core software does not need NTP at all? Is a requirement for some minor features, dependency, library, tool or some third part software?

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As far as I know David Mills was the original developer of NTP having authored RFC958 in 1985. He developed the reference implementation,

However there are other independent implementations of the protocol, notably Chrony. There is no reason to suspect that Mills retirement would affect Chrony. It also seems that the reference NTPD implementation will survive.

The Bitcoin network protocols have no interaction with NTP and Bitcoin node software has no direct interaction with NTP. Bitcoin doesn't require precise time and works with a time variation between nodes of up to a couple of hours. NTP provides for two computers clocks to be synchronised within milliseconds over thousands of miles. Bitcoin just doesn't need that kind of precision.

Even if NTP, GPS and other sources of accurate time disappeared, I suspect Bitcoin could continue working so long as people can set their computer's clocks occasionally by estimating noon within ten minutes or so.

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