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Suppose we have three mining pools, one with 40% of computing power, and the other two having 30% of computing power each. Will the node with 40% power, be able to solve the puzzle for each node always quicker than the others?

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No. Everything else being equal, the node with 40% of the computational power will 'solve the puzzle' 40% of the time, and each of the nodes with 30% of the computational power will 'solve the puzzle' 30% of the time.

By 'solving puzzle', we mean mining a block by finding a nonce that (when combined with the rest of the information in the block header) produces a SHA256 hash that meets the difficulty requirements of the network at that time.

  • Thanks for your answer. My assumption is that all the mining pools begin the process of finding the nonce exactly the same time. If they begin solving the puzzle the same time, then the one with more computational power wins. Isn't that right? I cannot see why one with smaller computational power will find the nonce quicker than one with bigger computational power. I will be grateful if you explain to me how one with small computational power find the nonce quicker than the one with small computational power. – George Tsichritzis Dec 1 '15 at 16:00
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    Imagine you and I play a game with a deck of cards. All of the cards are turned face down on a table. We each take turns flipping over a card until one of us uncovers the King of Spades. If we both turn over one card on each of our turns, then you and I each have a 50% chance of winning, right? Now, let's say you get to turn over 2 cards when it's your turn, but I only get to turn over 1 card on my turns. You would win 2/3 of these games, and I would win 1/3, right? Mining is similar to this game of chance. Miners that can hash faster will win more often, but will not win 100% of the time. – mti2935 Dec 1 '15 at 16:34
  • And now imagine how to do that card game 1) without any dealer 2) without trusting any of the other players (to shuffle the deck fairly and not peeking) 3) while being on the other side of the world of each other 4) without even any communication until the moment the right card has been picked. Only Proof of Work can do that and it has never been done before Bitcoin. – Jannes Dec 1 '15 at 17:16
  • @GeorgeTsichritzis: Each miner is trying to solve the puzzle with a different set of tiles. Therefore they require different amounts of work at random to solve it. – Murch Dec 2 '15 at 15:51
  • @murch Do you mean that every mining pool scans different possible inputs to the hash function? – George Tsichritzis Dec 3 '15 at 23:27

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