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I've just learned that Fibre protocol is used for really fast block propagation. My understanding is that if blocks are propagated faster, miners can more quickly continue to work on (what seems to them) the head of the chain, there is a lower chance for temporary forks to happen and even if they occur, they are likely to be short (small length). Please correct me if I got that wrong. That leads me to two questions:

  • Is the Fibre protocol the reason for rare temporary forking?
  • Is the Fibre protocol also the reason why mining difficulty is pretty much the same across the network (I assume it's the same, otherwise it would be problematic, right)? If difficulty changes after 2016 blocks on average and block propagation is fast, everyone can adjust their mining difficulty pretty easy and there wont be much difference inside the network (most of the nodes will up to date)?
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    As usual, it would be much better if you asked about something instead of asking for comments on a statement. Please improve the title by including what it is that you are asking about FIBRE, e.g. "Is FIBRE the main reason why blockchain forks occur less frequently?". Also, I'm not sure what you mean with "deserved" in the first sentence of each block. Do you mean to say "it's the reason for something"? – Murch Sep 21 '20 at 22:00
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    More concretely, you could for example ask: "The goal of FIBRE appears to be to relay blocks as fast as possible. What benefits does faster block relay have for the mining process and the Bitcoin network in general? Does FIBRE have any other benefits?" Then answers will focus less on what you already thought you knew, but tell you something new. – Murch Sep 21 '20 at 22:17
  • Hello, i understand your suggestion, but I wanted to focus only on these two assumptions. If I would ask the benefits, maybe someone would answer me with some of the benefits that are much important than these two. Yes - deserved - the reason for something. Thank you for your constant support Murch, I appreciate it very much! – ddavi031 Sep 22 '20 at 10:25
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    Hi ddavi03, I made a very opinionated edit to your post. Sorry. ;) — I've moved the underlying statements into the introduction of your question to first provide the framing of the question. I've put the main question in the title to make it more informative. I hope I got right what your main question is. MHO, the question about difficulty is rather unrelated to block propagation and should be separate. If you did want to ask about the benefits of effect of faster block propagation that should also be a separate question. Please feel free to edit further, or roll back my edit. – Murch Sep 22 '20 at 14:11
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Is Fibre protocol deserved for rare temporary forking? If blocks are propagate that fast, there are less chances for temporary fork to happen and even if it do, they are short (small length)? Miner can fast continue to work on (what it seems to him) block head of the chain?

Well the point is that a miner can more quickly switch to a new block that has been found on the network. The time a miner spends on building on top of block A, while a block B has already been found by someone else, is very likely a waste of money and energy.

Note that this is not just in the interest of the miner, but of the entire network: a hypothetical 51% attacker is not subject to these losses, as they only build on top of their own blocks. Thus, faster propagation of blocks on the network means that this advantage 51% attackers have over honest miners is reduced.

Is Fibre protocol deserved why mining difficulty is pretty much the same across the network (I assume it's the same, otherwise it would be problematic, right)? If difficulty changes after 2016 blocks on average and block propagation is fast, everyone can adjust their mining difficulty pretty easy and there wont be much difference inside the network (most of the nodes will up to date)?

No, difficulty is not a function of time, but of the previous blocks. So regardless of which block a miner is working on, they always know exactly what the difficulty of that block needs to be (as they have the block's ancestors).

Better block propagation means they can switch to the next block faster, along with the difficulty change that that entails, however.

PS: Note that as of September 2020 the public FIBRE network is no longer operational, and I don't know if any private deployments exist.

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  • Thank you for your answer Pieter, but could you please explain your sentence in PS section. What do you mean by that? FIBRE wont be in use anymore or they just gonna stop working on its improvements? – ddavi031 Sep 22 '20 at 10:27
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    FIBRE is a protocol for fast block relay that can be used between nodes that explicitly set up FIBRE software and configure it to use between each other. There also used to be one public FIBRE network operated by the protocol's author between public nodes all over the world, accelerating block relay for anyone who connected to it, and others indirectly too. The latter has been shut down. You can still use FIBRE on nodes you control yourself, and a variant of FIBRE is in use on the Blockstream Satellite project. More information on bitcoinfibre.org. – Pieter Wuille Sep 22 '20 at 12:49

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