I am new to the bitcoin world and I'm fascinated by its principles. I have found a great description of how the mining works in this answer. Now, I see that a great deal of it is based on network-self input caps.

But what prevents a user from not following those and generating more blocks than established? Wouldn't, in such a case, the attacker only need a great amount of wallets and transactions so that his mined bitcoins become "factual"?

Feel free to correct me if any of my assumptions is wrong.

  • @StephenGornick Hi Stephen, thanks for the info. I did read that question and its posts and it doesn't really answer my question. Mine is specifically about what in the protocol prevents users from mining more than agreed.
    – Alpha
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 12:21

2 Answers 2


There are probably many misconceptions you have that aren't articulated here.

The thing that enforces the limitation of 21 million is that everyone uses the same software that enforces the same rules.

If that software were to be modified to accommodate new rules, everyone would have to upgrade to alter those rules.

Since a majority of people on the network own bitcoins will see this action as lessening the value of their coins, they will not upgrade to the version you imagine.

If you go ahead and implement your idea in some software, then only those clients that use that software will see those coins and will allow them to be spent.

The rest of the network will just reject your money as forgery .

  • But I don't need everyone using my software, just me to use it to generate more coins, and publish my proof-of-work -- I know I'm wrong right there, but don't know why.
    – Alpha
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 14:14
  • 1
    Think of it this way: No new coins are ever "generated", they are only unlocked to the person who wins a puzzle that gets reset every 10 minutes. The term "mining" isn't a really good analogy as to what is going on, since there is a fixed schedule as to what "puzzle" and reward is being played when. The only way to unlock a coin is to play by the rules. Changing the rules requires you to get everyone to agree, since everything is 100% transparent it will be possible to see if someone is cheating and ignore their hacks. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 4:11

everybody else checks your proof of work to make sure you did it right, and that you're following their rules too - or they ignore you.

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