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This is kind of an obscure question, but I'm curious.

In playing with Testnet (version 3), I noticed an odd jump in the block times. Blocks 0 through 513 have block times from 2-3 February 2011. Block 514 is dated 25 May 2012 - over 15 months later.

Did the bitcoin developers mine blocks 0-513 in 2011 and then sit on them for over a year, or were they mined in 2012 and backdated for some reason?

For reference, as I learned from this answer, testnet3 was adopted by this commit. I'm a little confused as to the exact date; git log appears to show it as 12 April 2012, while github gives 25 May 2012. (Maybe the discrepancy has to do with when the change was made in whose repo?) The first release with testnet3 was 0.7.0, released 17 September 2012.

  • As speculation, maybe the blocks were intentionally backdated in order to see how the difficult adjustment algorithm would respond to a long gap in block times? I know many of the early testnet blocks intentionally include unusual features as a sort of regression test for client implementations, so maybe this is somehow another example of that. – Nate Eldredge Oct 24 '14 at 0:53

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