Questions tagged [difficulty]

This tag should be used for questions regarding difficulty which encodes the likelihood of one hash to succeed at mining a block. Indirectly, it is a measure of the total hashing power of all miners for a given cryptocurrency.

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What is the "implementation accident" for encoding difficulty targets?

After reading the Bitcoin wiki on difficulty I was wondering why there is a sign bit in the difficulty encoding in blocks ("Note that this packed format contains a sign bit in the 24th bit")....
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Would AsicBoost have made "all the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable mine" "for the bitcoin mines of the future"?

Back when AsicBoost was a thing - the paper by Timo Hanke, "AsicBoost - A Speedup for Bitcoin Mining", made the following claims in the introduction: Through gate count reduction on the ...
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1answer
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How do difficulty, hashrate, and network hashrate fit together?

I understand that there are multiple terms for the idea of how hard it is to successfully mine BTC. The terms I have seen are "difficulty", "network hashrate" and "hashrate&...
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Bitcoin difficulty - why leading 0s?

I do a sort of bitcoin 101 presentation for folks where I work. In one of the recent sessions, someone asked why the proof of work difficulty requires a minimum number of leading 0s. Why not 1s or ...
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Would Bitcoin still work without a target difficulty?

Suppose that Bitcoin nodes had no target difficulty at all, and instead just accepted the block with the largest PoW every 10 minutes. Ignoring the increased bandwidth (since nodes would be ...
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1answer
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How a real mining code treats difficulty?

I have come up recently with "how to mine bitcoin using python" or "how to mine bitcoin using golang" and as I have been observing all these source code, not only I'm confused but ...
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1answer
37 views

Choosing main chain based on difficulty

If a node observes a fork in the bitcoin chain, then the node will choose the chain that has the highest difficulty (sum of difficulty in each block of the chain). But the difficulty changes only once ...
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Why does the Genesis block appear to have a lower hash than necessary?

The hash of the genesis block of bitcoin has two extra 0 as compared to other block hashes. According to the logic, it should have been the same as they all have the same difficulty. Why is it so? Was ...
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Making the block reward dependent on the difficulty?

I am looking for papers which discuss, if making the block rewards dependent on the difficulty could be used to curb excessive PoW growth. Idea is that BTC price roughly drives difficulty and energy ...
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What does it mean to make mining more difficult? [duplicate]

Really I don't know nothing about bitcoin but now I got curious read something and immediately come to something on mind. I mean, there's a social economic comunity somewhere generating value based on ...
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Cant understand how share difficulty affects my chances in solo mining with a pool

So obviously I am not solo mining bitcoin but I think the underlying principles are the same so you guys could help me out here. I am solo mining ergo on a solo pool (herominers solo pool) What I do ...
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4answers
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What is the meaning of difficulty in Bitcoin mining?

I'm a beginner in Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, so I have a question after reading about the difficulty in Bitcoin mining: What does the difficulty actually mean? I read that A high difficulty ...
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Bitcoin difficulty: One block with very high difficulty vs. long chain with accumulated difficulty

First assume the hypothetical scenario, that someone has infinite hashing power, starts with the genesis block and mines one block, that has higher difficulty than the whole "normal" ...
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Isn't Bitcoin's hash target supposed to be a power of 2?

From Bitcoin's whitepaper I've gathered that the hash of a block must start with a certain number of zeroes. And that this number of zeroes is adjusted every 2 weeks. Consequently the hash target is a ...
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About mining difficulty [duplicate]

I hope you’re all doing well during this COVID-19 period. I was wondering how you can calculate the difficulty rate of a coin (Mining purposes)?
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How is the Max Target of a Genesis Block Decided?

I've been diving into the world of Blockchain and crypto lately, trying to build my understanding of mining specifically. I understand that in POW systems, the difficulty of the first block is 1, and ...
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How is "cumulative PoW" calculated to decide between competing chains?

Chain 1 has blocks with targets diff1, diff2, diff3, diff4 Chain 2 has blocks with targets DIFF1 DIFF2 DIFF3 What's the formula to derive the (relative) cumulative proof of works from these chains to ...
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Was Bitcoin originally designed to be easy to mine?

I’ve read that back around early 2009, Bitcoin was so easy to mine that an old laptop could mine hundreds of coins in a day by simply using a CPU. Was this Satoshi’s original idea for how people ...
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224 views

What would happen if mining difficulty would be decreased to almost nothing?

What would happen if Bitcoin mining difficulty would be reduced to nothing/very easy? I can only think of the benefits such as exceptionally lower enery waste and much faster transaction processing. ...
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1answer
81 views

Is there an easy way to estimate the number of mining nodes?

I was curious about the number of mining nodes on the network, yet I haven't seen it discussed. I tried two different approaches to approximate the count of mining nodes. I looked up the hashrate of ...
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11 views

Bitcoin leading zeros as difficulty [duplicate]

Does it necessarily have to be leading zeros that determine the bitcoin difficulty, is it possible to use lets say 9 zeros at the end of the hash to determine difficulty as well.
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What would the expected block mining time be if 30% of the total network hashrate disappeared suddenly?

Ignoring the economic reasons as to why this may or may not happen. If for some reason the network hashrate suddenly dropped by 30% immediately after a difficulty adjustment and remained at that ...
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1answer
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How are the nBits of a block calculated?

So I've been trying to figure out how the nBits of a block is calculated, but I can't seem to come up with an answer. I know (think) that it's based off the difficulty of the block, but I'm still not ...
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How does the difficulty target affect the time to complete the block? [duplicate]

So, I'm currently doing a personal project where I'm creating my own crypto blockchain (just for fun). I'm currently coding the Difficulty Target part of the Blockchain, but I'm not entirely sure how ...
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ELI5: does the number of 0's required in mining for SHA256 over the years strictly increase, or does it depend on how many miners there are?

It is said that to discover a block, the person has to get a SHA256 number that has all 0's for the first 72 bits. Does this number 72 change and become bigger and bigger over the years (say, every 4 ...
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2answers
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How is difficulty enforced in the bitcoin blockchain? [duplicate]

Is it through some sort of voluntary acceptance by miners or is it hardcoded into the bitcoin blockchain to not accept a block which doesn't achieve a given difficulty level?
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1answer
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With the right technology, could the entire blockchain be rewritten?

Imagine that someone had access to an alien super computer such that they could mine any block in nanoseconds. At that point, could that person create a chain with the same BTC genesis block, generate ...
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1answer
40 views

How many numbers to try to solve the proof-of-work problem

I'm preparing for a lecture on blockchain, where I'm going to briefly explain the proof-of-work mechanism and the hashcash challenge. To illustrate the difficulty, I want to give the maximum amount of ...
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Probability of hash yielding a valid block

I read today in a paper that for BTC every hash has a probability of yielding a valid block and that this is approximated by most of the time. Can someone explain to me how to come up with this ...
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1answer
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I need help on how to change the disk to run my bitcoin core wallet

Long time ago I transferred my wallet on My Passport an external hard disk. I have not opened bitcoin core for over 8 months. I opened it 2 days ago, the dialog box opened, which normally doesn’t and ...
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2answers
311 views

Bitcoin: Why can the difficulty parameter not be ignored?

by the longest-chain-rule, the chain with the most blocks is considered to be the main chain in Bitcoin. I understand that an adversary needs to have more than 50% of the network's computing power in ...
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Why number of zeroes in bitcoin hash is increasing? [duplicate]

I know currently to mine a block there needs to be 19 leading zeroes in the hash, but why is this number increasing?
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3answers
101 views

How do we know that a certain hash below the target is even possible when mining?

If the target hash were artificially low, i.e. 3, how do miners know if there will ever be a nonce that produces such a hash?
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1answer
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What stops miners from manipulating "target" difficulty in the block header?

I am relatively new to understanding the fundamentals of the Bitcoin network, and I couldn't find the answer to my question. I understand how mining difficulty/target is decided and calculated in the ...
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Why this ugly looking formula to calculate 'target' from 'nBits' in block header: target = coefficient * 256**(exponent-3)

Why this ugly looking formula to calculate 'target' from 'nBits' in block header: target = coefficient * 256**(exponent-3). Why not? : target = coefficient * 256**(exponent). What is the need of ...
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2answers
217 views

Does Cryptocurrency really need timestamps?

Bitcoin is supposed to be a clock on it's own right so it always felt sketchy to me that outside time is referenced. Could bitcoin be aware of it's own block interval through something like uncle ...
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1answer
185 views

Could Bitcoin have a fixed difficulty?

Could Bitcoin have a fixed difficulty, how to implement that for a test and what would that mean in terms of mining? Would there be a difference if mining with a big rig or just a wallet?
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597 views

Bitcoin Difficulty granularity

Difficulty adjusts by very granular percentages to target for 10 minutes blocks. But adding another zero at the end of the chain of zeroes from the header hash requirement for a valid block would ...
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1answer
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What is the algorithm that adjusts the difficulty of the proof of works in a proof of work based cryptocurrency? [duplicate]

For instance, Bitcoin has a proof of work based consensus algorithm, it's how Bitcoin chooses a node to create the next block in Bitcoin's blockchain. In this way the network is in consensus about the ...
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2answers
235 views

How do more leading zeroes make it more difficult to find a block?

A couple of articles describing the process of mining do say that the more miners are in the network, the more 0 numbers are included in the encoded hash of the particular block. I cannot find an ...
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1answer
354 views

What is the formula for inferring hash rate from difficulty and block frequency?

Two parts to this question 1/ There have recently been concerns over drops in hash rate observed on sites such as blockchain.com. However, my understanding is that hash rate is inferred from the ...
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How the difficulty of the network affect the average block mining time if we have static hash power?

Let's suppose that I have 500 KH/s of hash power overall from my mining rig. I'm about to start mining coin X and its network difficulty is Y. Current hashrate of the whole network is 100 KH/s and ...
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1answer
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getblocktemplate request that omits transactions?

Is there a way to make a getblocktemplate request that returns only the bits/target, or at least omits all of the pending transactions? I am interested in tracking the coin difficulty in real time. ...
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2k views

Why can't miners meet the difficulty by picking a low number for the block hash?

In terms of 'proof of work' my novice understanding is that miners are tying to come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number, "hash," that is less than or equal to the target hash. Can't miners always ...
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What is the purpose of difficult in PoW [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand Proof of Work and something doesn't seem to fit, First, it seems to me that the faster the network can confirm a transaction, better is. I'm coming from a computing ...
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1answer
61 views

Which is the better estimator for future mining intervals, the 10 minute protocol target or the observed, historical average?

The Bitcoin protocol is designed so that the network difficulty is periodically adjusted so that new blocks are mined on average every 10th minute. However, looking back the last 10 years, it appears ...
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1answer
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Is the bits field a unique representation of the target?

The bits field is the compact representation of the target. Example: bits: 1d00ffff target: 00ffff0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 bits: 1cfff00 target: ...
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7k views

Mining Difficulty and Leading Zeros

I understand that the Bitcoin mining problem is to find a string s (hash of previous block + Merkle Tree Hash + nonce) such that sha256(s) has n leading zeros, where n determines the mining difficulty....
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How difficult is it to confirm a Bitcoin Block?

If I have done the math right to come up with this hash, to confirm a true block and this is a confirmed hash. You can look it up here Bitcoin Block #570240 ...
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76 views

bitcoin difficulty determination

Given the bitcoin difficulty information in https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty, determine the bitcoin difficulty on April 1, 2019 and April 1, 2020. State any assumptions made in this ...

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