I am stuck in this thought for a while regarding the block generation rate. My concern is, when a payer waits for 10 minutes to confirm that her transaction is included in a block, it suggests that a new block is generated in 10 minutes, because her transaction is brand new and the block includes it. So, how does a miner do that in just 10 minutes? Isn't it supposed to be hard? The miner can then become a millionaire in months.

Does the block generation rate imply that, once a miner starts computing the proof-of-work(POW) she succeeds in getting the nonce after 10 minutes? Or is it the case that miners are computing POW at their own pace(probably for a long enough time) and 1 new block pops up every 10 minutes. If the 2nd scenario is true, how does it justify the waiting time?

Thank you.

  • 1
    The block generation time means that every 10 minutes (on average), some miner in the world should find a block. Any individual miner takes much longer than that. (It is like saying that every 30 seconds, someone on earth catches a cold - that doesn't mean everyone gets a cold every 30 seconds.) Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


The block difficulty is adjusted every 2016 blocks so that, on average, it takes 10 minutes for miners to generate a new block. It would take any individual miner much longer than 10 minutes to compute the proof-of-work, but all miners together should be able to compute the proof-of-work in roughly 10 minutes.

  • Okay, I think I found a valid explanation. Assume that mining is only done in pools and total #pools = N. If after broadcasting my Txn(i) all pools include it in their blocks and start computing the POW, one of them finds it in 10 min. Now if the combined work done by that pool is W then total amount of work in the system is = N.W and (N-1).W amount of work is wasted, so they start over. So, even if a block is generated in 10 min, it doesn't imply the computaion was easy.
    – Bitswazsky
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 11:36
  • @Sayan, the mining difficulty is independent of pools, as it in works as intended whether the miners are all individual or all in pools.
    – JohnDvorak
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 13:37
  • yes, I understand that. I just used it for the sake of making the upper bound somewhat crude and simple, as now solo mining takes LOTS of time. Thank you.
    – Bitswazsky
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:38
  • @Sayan, Ah, I get it now. In that light, yes, good analogy. If my answer helped or you think it answers the question, you can mark it as the accepted answer.
    – JohnDvorak
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 18:41

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