Is there a certain website or a study that gives an estimation for the ratio f = Propagation Delay/Block Interval for the Bitcoin network ? I know the Block Interval is roughly 10 minutes however, I don't know the propagation delay. I define it as the time it takes for all nodes to hear about a mined block after it's been broadcast.


1 Answer 1


As mentioned by Ethan Heilman here:

According the paper 'Information propagation in the bitcoin network.' by Decker and Wattenhofer. The mean time for a node to see a block is 12.6 seconds, after 40 seconds 95% of the nodes have seen that block.

From my personal experience as a developer, this delay is real and noticeable. Some block explorers catch transactions ~20-30 seconds before others. It may be scary at first but its normal.

  • This is unrelated. Transaction relay is deliberately slowed down in order to improve privacy (to hide the source of a transaction, random delays are added). This is not the case for block propagation which is very optimized to be as fast as possible. Apr 2, 2018 at 18:26
  • He asked about propagation times.
    – Monstrum
    Apr 4, 2018 at 2:06
  • I assume he means propagation time of blocks. Transaction relay time is not relevant for network convergance. But you're right, it is a guess. Apr 4, 2018 at 2:22

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