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For bitcoin-cli getblock, what's the difference between "time" and "mediantime"?

If i'm looking for a strictly increasing series of timestamps, is one better to choose than the other?

1 Answer 1

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mediantime is better for your purpose. The timestamp is chosen by the miners, and has some restrictions on it such as it can't be too far in the future/past (no more than 2 hours into the future), but it is not strictly increasing. Mediantime, on the other hand, is. Mediantime is the median time of the past 11 block timestamps, and a block must have a timestamp greater than that median time, so the mediantime always increases.

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  • So it's possible to have a higher block with a lower time than a lower block?!
    – M.K. Safi
    Feb 21, 2020 at 4:57
  • Correct, as long as it obeys the other rules
    – meshcollider
    Feb 22, 2020 at 21:58
  • To add to this answer, it would be good to reference BIP113 which explains a bit more on how GetMedianTimePast is used: github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0113.mediawiki
    – SondreB
    Apr 30, 2020 at 18:24

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