Assuming two blocks are published at exactly the same time, a race for the next block to be added to one of them begins, which eventually one chain will eventually win.

My question: will the shorter chain still be published? Does the network still syncronize the shorter chain, i.e. does every client contain a copy of not only the longest chain, but all (for lack of a better word) "sidechains"? If so, are there any conditions as to what will be syncronized beyond block validity?

Thanks in advance!

  • FYI, "sidechain" has a specific meaning, and that's not it. You are referring to what is called a "fork". It means the network is split on which block is considered the valid one. A sidechain is a separate blockchain altogether, that uses smart contracts to create a token on its own chain by locking one on another.
    – Jestin
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 18:27
  • @Jestin: Please feel free to answer the actual question. Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 19:32
  • 1
    I don't actually know the specifics of how a node stores alternate forks. I'm learning just like you are, and am also waiting for an answer.
    – Jestin
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


will the shorter chain still be published?

Published -- no. However, if the stale tip was previously the best tip, it will be stored in a Bitcoin Core node implementation according to the source and other nodes can retrieve it up to a certain point in time. The time limit is imposed to avoid fingerprinting.

Does the network still synchronize the shorter chain.

No, the node only ever extends the active chain.

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