Questions tagged [mining-theory]

This tag should be used for questions about the function, the reason for, and the underlying concepts of mining.

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4
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3answers
319 views

Could miners create a cartel to raise transaction fees?

Could miners with enough mining powers (say >95% of all blocks) form a cartel where they demand absurdly high transaction fees? Of course, I still could could hope for a miner not in that cartel to ...
3
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2answers
731 views

What factors determine how long confirmation takes?

Simple question... What are all the factors (all of them!) that determine how much time X number of confirmations of a transaction takes?
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3answers
12k views

What is proof-of-work?

Please explain the proof-of-work concept. And how does it relate to Bitcoin mining in general, and to the proofs of work (aka shares) of mining pools?
3
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3answers
450 views

Would it be possible to make a functional Bitcoin fork that confirmed a block of transactions every millisecond?

How fast could you possibly run a blockchain like bitcoins'? Could blocks be added as fast as a microsecond while still having a functional currency?
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1answer
610 views

Do miners have to start over whenever a block is found?

If I understand correctly, each miner selects a set of pending transactions, puts them in a block, and then tries to sign that block. Pooled miners do the same, but the specific set of transactions is ...
26
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6answers
34k views

What happens to the bitcoin network when the miners all stop in the future?

What happens to the bitcoin network when the miners all stop, years in the future after all the bitcoins have been mined? How will the network continue to function? Won't bitcoins then be useless? ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What has a lower long term cost per hash: LTC, BTC or other alt coin?

I'm trying to understand the cost per hash operation with Litecoin vs Bitcoin over time. The theory is that the network that has the best prospects for long-term security (via hashing) will set a ...
49
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2answers
22k views

What happens if two miners mine the next block at the same time?

The process of mining as described in the answer to this question is simultaneously repeated by multiple miners. Is it possible for two miners to find the next block at the same instant? If it is, ...
161
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5answers
277k views

What are bitcoin miners really solving?

As with mining, what are the bitcoin miners really solving? I read they are solving hashes, but what does that really mean. Can we see what they are solving? Can someone give an example of what a ...
3
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1answer
336 views

Publicly destroying bitcoins by setting high transaction fees

I’ve been thinking about a system that allows you to publicly destroy bitcoins to let people build networks with some protection against Sybil attacks other than the difficulty of getting IPv4 ...
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2answers
725 views

Could miners steal money?

I've been reading around: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/How_bitcoin_works What prevents a miner's block from being accepted across the network if the hash checks out when miner forges transactions in ...
26
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2answers
15k views

What does the term "Longest chain" mean?

What does the term "Longest chain" mean, as there is only one 'right' blockchain exists? How another longer chain would make the 'right' chain invalid?
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4answers
7k views

What is more effective than ASIC mining?

Considering that mining progressed from CPU, to GPU, to FPGA, and now ASIC mining... have we finally hit the end of the road for technological advancement? What future optimizations can occur after ...
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1answer
2k views

Is it useful to have miners work on the same block instead of parallel solo mining?

While mining with multiple devices GPU, FPGA, etc. at home/work/school, does each device work on its own block or can you combine the resources of each mining device into 1? Say if each device can ...
0
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2answers
487 views

Losing bitcoins [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What could be the consequences of many bitcoins being lost out of circulation if people lose their wallets? So I am trying to comprehend this Bitcoins system so please bare ...
5
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1answer
473 views

What would happen to the Bitcoin network if all miners simultaneously stopped their mining efforts?

If every single Bitcoin miner were to stop mining altogether, how would this effect the Bitcoin network?
5
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2answers
952 views

How will a massive increase in hashpower affect orphan rates?

Difficulty always lags behind a little. It is also limited in how large adjustments it makes each time. What if the (global) hashrate doubles overnight? What if it quadruples? How much can we expect ...
4
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1answer
3k views

Can Artificial Intelligence be used to mine BitCoins faster?

Can Artificial Intelligence be used to find more efficient mining algorithms? Is there only one algorithm that can be used to mine? EDIT: Asking about running the SHA(SHA(block header)) more ...
0
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1answer
3k views

When did Litecoin become "GPU-friendly"?

I've heard recently here that Litecoin became more GPU-friendly. When did this happen, and what were the changes to the protocol to accommodate that change. Also, is there any reason for the change ...
5
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3answers
917 views

Must mining be profitable for Bitcoin to succeed? If no, what are the mitigations?

It is clear that mining is responsible for securing the network, and it is incentivised by block payouts and transaction fees. I've also seen discussions regarding different incentives for miners ...
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1answer
157 views

What are the specific interactions between a Wallet client/node and a Miner?

I'm researching the interactions between a Wallet and a Miner. Although I'm also interested in the high level sequence of operations, I'm also interested in discovering the protocol and verbs used in ...
3
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1answer
162 views

Does a low profit margin on mining reduce the integrity of the blocks stored in the transaction history?

As the mining Bitcoin payout decreases from 50 to zero, what incentive is there for miners to continue operating? Is there a need for miners to continue to operate when the payout decreases to zero? ...
2
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2answers
308 views

Alternative incentives for miners

Currently the incentives for miners are the block-awards and transaction fees. Suppose I want to create a Bitcoin-like hash-chain for other purposes than storing coins (for example: storing messages), ...
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3answers
1k views

Does mining a block force others to restart their work?

Does mining a block mean that anyone else who was working on mining a block loses their progress and must restart?
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1answer
2k views

Why does the BFL Single produce ~50% stales with P2Pool?

I've heard from users on bitcointalk forums that the BFL single doesn't work with P2Pool as it produces about 50% rejected shares, which is insanely high. Why is this? Is it possible that the ...
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6answers
6k views

What is the rationale behind Bitcoin mining?

I don't understand the logic of "mining", if bitcoins are a digital currency, why do we need a GPU to "make 'em"?
4
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1answer
238 views

Who obeys discouraged blocks?

I just found this gem - Discouraged Block. It proposes a method where miners "will" (are requested to?) ignore chains with certain blocks at the tip. It's not like anyone can dictate the behavior of ...
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1answer
251 views

Is there any point attempting to vote when my hash power is so marginal?

With regards to /P2SH/, is there even much point in voting with 500MHash or so of hashing power given that the chances of finding a block within the voting timeframe is incredibly slim? Not to mention ...
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3answers
4k views

Merge Bitcoin Mining with Fold at Home! [duplicate]

I am new, but have a big idea about bitcoin. There is a distributed computing project known as Fold at Home. What if its software were used for the generation of something instead of for a menial, ...
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1answer
1k views

Mining software and pool tricks

Just changing the nonce of a block to be mined is not enough to cover enough hashes to solve it. What are the most common tricks used by the mining software and pools in order to create enough getwork ...
21
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4answers
2k views

How often forks occur?

How often do forks occur in the block chain? I'm interested in the small, one block forks that happen when two miners create a block at the similar time.
3
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2answers
830 views

What is required to generate a block? [duplicate]

I've read a little about BitCoins and think the idea is very interesting. I was wondering what is required to generate a block? I assume there is some software you need. Do I also need an account ...
24
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3answers
5k views

What happens if there are no transactions in a block?

What happens if there are no transactions in a block? Suppose there is a 10 minute time frame in the middle of the night, maybe on a holiday, and there are no transactions made. Do the miners get ...
11
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3answers
824 views

Flaw in Bitcoin protocol regarding incentives to share transactions

Once the 50BTC per block rewards have halved many times and the transaction fees start to become the primary reward for miners, it sound like there is incentive for miners to not pass on transactions ...
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5answers
28k views

Why was the target block time chosen to be 10 minutes?

According to the wiki, 10 minutes was chosen as a 'tradeoff'. Why ten minutes specifically? It is a tradeoff chosen by Satoshi between propagation time of new blocks in large networks and the amount ...
8
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1answer
319 views

When and who coined the term "mining"?

When was the term "mining" (the process of hashing, processing the transactions, adding blocks to the blockchain etc.) first used? Was it there right from the beginning of bitcoin? Who was the ...
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5answers
7k views

What features of scrypt() make Tenebrix GPU-resistant?

There's a fork of Bitcoin called Tenebrix that is claiming to be CPU-friendly and GPU-resistant (with regard to mining). They say that this is because they're using scrypt instead of SHA256. From what ...
25
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1answer
15k views

When a block is "discovered" how is the nonce determined?

I know that a block is based on a random number called a nonce, but if that number is random and unknown to the miner, how is that number actually verified as the correct nonce and not some arbitrary ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Do miners have both the incentive and ability to keep the reward at 50BTC?

There has been some concern about the fact that transaction fees (in their current form) are not an adequate replacement for the current 50BTC block reward. Gavin has said as much, as have others. ...
9
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4answers
363 views

How cooperative or competitive is the mining process?

As each miner works out which nonces it has tried, does it notify the network so that energy isn't wasted on re-processing the same thing by each node? Or is it totally competitive with everyone for ...
115
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5answers
21k views

Why is 6 the number of confirms that is considered secure?

Why is 6 is the number of confirmations that is considered secure? I haven't found any mathematical explanation or otherwise that explains why it is 6 and not 5 or 7. Is there a historical reason for ...
15
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8answers
3k views

Are there algorithms that could be used for mining that resist acceleration with ASICs?

In my related question about mining algorithms that balance CPU and GPU it came up that such an algorithm would tremendously increase the incentive for people to create mining botnets. The prospect of ...
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3answers
3k views

Are there algorithms that could have been chosen for mining that balance CPU/GPU?

The mining algorithm for Bitcoins (and most alternative but similar currencies as well) is purely computation hard, but not decision hard or memory hard. This caused the unexpected effect that GPUs ...
8
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3answers
3k views

How does the mining process support the currency?

Why is mining Bitcoins necessary? Is it essentially a distribution mechanism to ensure Bitcoins are not held by a few (wealthy) individuals from the get-go who might just hoard Bitcoins rather than be ...
15
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3answers
1k views

What happens once mining speed gets close to zero?

According to Wikipedia The number of Bitcoins created per block is never more than 50 BTC, and the awards are programmed to decrease over time towards zero, such that no more than 21 million will ...
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10answers
45k views

How much will transaction fees eventually be?

Some people keep evangelizing that Bitcoin transaction fees are much lower than in PayPal or with credit cards. However, once nearly all 21 million bitcoins have been mined, the network will still ...
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4answers
32k views

What keeps the average block time at 10 minutes?

I've been told "the network" sets the difficulty level such that there will be one new block mined every ten minutes. I imagine the rich would instead prefer to keep difficulty as high as possible to ...
16
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2answers
4k views

What happens if hash rate decreases rapidly?

Since difficulty is only adjusted every 2016 blocks, what would happen if hash rate was to decrease rapidly? Wouldn't this cause blocks to be created less frequently and also making the time until ...
67
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9answers
92k views

Where do bitcoins come from and what gives them their value?

Where do bitcoins come from? From the WeUseCoins.com video it appears they are just being produced by "miners" and sold to people. So who backs Bitcoin or gives it its value?
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8answers
114k views

What exactly is Mining?

I have heard that mining is for people with ready hardware and blah blah blah... But what exactly is it? Does it operate like real mining? I mean, people talk about it like you are physically mining.