I notice on blockexplorer that block 159531 was mined at 2011-12-28 10:53:53 and the next block was mined at 2011-12-28 11:24:58 - a gap of more than half an hour. I know the 10-minutes-per-block rule is just an average that the network tries to maintain, thus outliers are possible. So what's the longest we've had to wait for the next block to be mined, in the last year (2010 to 2011)?

Edit: clarifying that I'm interested in the longest gap between blocks in "recent history", which I arbitrarily define to be the last year.

  • Is the goal to find the greatest difference between block timestamps, or greatest live-wait time? The former is do-able, but seems less interesting/useful. I think a more interesting question would be to find the correlation between block timestamp differences and live-wait differences on the network. – morsecoder Jun 26 '15 at 15:05
  • If the question refers to the last year, then it's not well-defined, because any answer will change. Wouldn't it be better to ask a new question rather than bounty an old one? – ike Jun 29 '15 at 22:20

I wrote a program that extracts the blockchain into an SQL database and ran a query. The answer is that block 152218 followed block 152217 after a delay of 1 hour 39 minutes 7 seconds. This was the longest inter-block interval in 2011. There were many longer interval in the early history of the blockchain, often multiple hours or days.

Edit: I also find it interesting that there have been 78 blocks where the inter-arrival time was less than one second.

  • 1
    are these times reliable ? Is the time-stamp of every block not set by the miner themselves? I imagine, the clocks can be misconfigured and there is no "central time" that we can refer to. – Martin Vegter Oct 6 '15 at 11:15

In the very early days of Bitcoin the time between blocks could vary a lot since there were so few people using it (so the total hash rate was very unpredictable). I'm pretty sure the biggest gap would be between block 0 and block 1 (5½ days), probably because nobody was mining.

  • Good answer, but I'm actually interested in present day. Say ... in the last month, how many blocks took < 10 minutes, how many took < 20, how many took < 30 minutes, etc... – ripper234 Dec 28 '11 at 18:42
  • Agreed, this is surely the answer, but you have prompted me to restate the question to refer to just the last year. – jl6 Dec 29 '11 at 13:22

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