I found out that the average time per block (based on the last 10 000 blocks) is 464 seconds - something under 8 minutes.

http://blockexplorer.com/q/interval/10000

However, I thought that the target recomputing is done so it is kept at averagely 10 minutes per block. Where does this difference come from?

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The network difficulty is recalculated every 2016 blocks. The difficulty is adjusted based on the duration of the most recent 2016 block interval. The difficulty can adjust up or down at most by a factor of 4.

Currently, the network is growing rapidly. The network finds blocks at a faster rate than one per 10 minutes because the current difficulty is based on the hashrate of the previous difficulty interval.

  • So 8 minutes is roughly 1.25x faster than 10 minutes. Do you mean that in just a mere 2 weeks time, the amount of hashing power (mining hardware) increased by 25%? That doesn't seem possible does it.... – Pacerier Jun 9 '14 at 8:50

It probably comes from the fact that the mining power always increases; the recomputing of the target is done on the last 2016 blocks, but the mining power of the network is always higher the next 2016 blocks than the last 2016 blocks.

Therefore, the average time is actually shorter than 10 minutes, because the hashpower is always rising.

  • This doesn't explain why it's 8 minutes (25%) faster. – Pacerier Jun 9 '14 at 8:51

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