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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Why does Bitcoin not have faster downward difficulty adjustments?

The BCash fork seems to have correctly anticipated the need to adjust difficulty downwards in the case of very slow blocks. This means it's much less likely for the chain to be orphaned when it was ...
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Supermajority to prevent 51% attack?

I would think that amending the bitcoin protocol to require a supermajority, say 60% or 75%, to verify proof of work help reduce the risk of a 51% attack. If this is so, what are the major obstacles ...
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How is a block header hash compared to the target (bits)?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the mining process by doing a small example of block hashing. According to the Wiki entry about difficulty, the target for a block hash can be read from the "bits" ...
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1answer
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Why doesn't the same miner always win?

If the miner with the strongest ability to solve the block wins, why doesn't the same miner win every time? Wouldn't that miner still have the strongest ability to perform the proof of work on the ...
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1answer
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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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What is preventing me from simply constructing a hash that's lower than the current target?

I just started learning about Bitcoin, and something I can figure out is why miners have to use a random process (hashing a nonce) to get lower than the target. For example, if the target is ...
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4answers
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What is the precise nonce finding protocol?

There are many descriptions of what mining is, but none of them describe it exactly. From what I gather: Mining means finding a nonce c such that for some information s the hash value h(s||c) ...
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Can you mine without transactions?

As far as I know, mining means verifying transactions and thus keeping the Bitcoin network alive. Today, at a local meetup, some people have informed me that mining doesn't need transactions. They ...
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617 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 ...
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What are the units of “difficulty”?

In various places, e.g. here and here, there are plots of the "difficulty" of bitcoin mining over time. What exactly is the interpretation of these numbers - in what units are they measured? My first ...
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1answer
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Why was the maximum target set to 0xffff0000000…?

Is there any specific reason why the initial target was set to this: 00000000ffff0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Why not the maximum value for a 256 bit number: ...
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2answers
822 views

Does a new block necessarily include all transactions that occurred before its generation? What about network latency?

I read What exactly is Mining? and What are bitcoin miners really solving?, but was left wondering: What happens if a new transaction comes in, whilst mining? To answer that, I found Do transactions ...
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Bitcoin (and other coin) mining seems very inefficient

No, this is not a post about the Proof of Work algorithm being a huge waste of electricity, although of course it is. My point here is that it seems like it's just inefficient in terms of how coins ...
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4answers
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Can you mine your own transactions yourself?

If no, why not? And is it you physically/theoretically or practically cannot? If yes, is this ever practical and does anyone do it? As I see it now, no matter what you are taking a fraction/subset ...
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1answer
694 views

Can a miner steal another one's block?

Say we have two miners, Alice (an honest miner), and Eve (an evil miner). My understanding is that when Alice mines a block she advertises it to the network, and once it's part of the longest block ...
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Where does the money I get from mining bitcoin come from? [duplicate]

Bitcoin noob here. Where does the money I get from mining bitcoin come from? Does bitcoin mining means I "steal" from other people? If yes, should I fear this probability of being robbed while I ...
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Difference between staking and mining?

It seems that one can mine bitcoin to obtain more bitcoins, whereas coins like reddcoin allow staking to have more reddcoins. What is the difference between these two processes ?
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Do miners validate each other's blocks?

I understand that to mine a block, miners solve a cryptographic problem and the solution can be easily verified by other nodes on the network, appending the new block to their blockchain. But why do ...
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2answers
3k views

Probablity Distribution of mining

What is the probability distribution of solving a block, given the same difficulty. So if I try to mine multiple times using the same difficulty, is it normal distribution with mean of 10 minutes? ...
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4answers
63k views

How does solving math problems create bitcoins? [duplicate]

If I understand correctly, Bitcoin mining software "creates" bitcoins by solving complex mathematical equations. Is there a need for these problems to be solved, is there a value to solving these ...
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3answers
119k views

How many hashes create one Bitcoin?

Irrespective of the length of time required to calculate one hash, how many hash operations are required to produce one Bitcoin?
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Why aren't block hashes used directly as scores for difficulty purposes?

Why does Bitcoin apply a difficulty function to block hashes and then use the output of this function to add up and determine the "longest" chain? Why not just e.g. add together all block hashes (as ...
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887 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 ...
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Does a Block contain the list of transactions? Or only the Merkle Tree?

I was wondering how a block encodes its set of transactions. I know a Merkle Tree is generated, and that it encodes a Hashed version of the transactions. But is the Merkle Tree included in the Block ...
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After all possible Bitcoins are created, won't transaction fees eventually consume all Bitcoins?

After all possible Bitcoins are created, won't transaction fees from miners validating transactions eat away from the total and eventually consume all Bitcoins? Right now, because new Bitcoins are ...
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What is the difference between mining with multiple workers vs single?

Some bitcoin mining clients mine on a single worker, while other clients allow multiple workers. How will either of these options affect mining production?
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3answers
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At which point do blocks get validated in the mining process?

I'm trying to understand how mining works and I'm stuck on the part about validating blocks and adding them to the blockchain. When a miner finds a solution to a block, he shares it with the network,...
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287 views

Some doubts about mining mechanism

I have some questions about the mining mechanism. 1) After the block has been mined (and the miner found the nonce for the proof of work) the block is broadcast to the network. Are the transactions ...
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1answer
580 views

Why do two miners get different hashes for the same list of transactions?

According to the Bitcoin Wiki: it is extremely unlikely for two people to have the same Merkle root because the first transaction in your block is a generation "sent" to one of your unique ...
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1answer
487 views

Why does a bigger block size infer miner centralisation?

I've read that one of the detriments to increasing bitcoins block size is that it will create a more centralised mining community. How is this so?
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Possible error in the white paper Calculations section?

Section 11 presents calculations of the probability of double spending, P(z, q), given an attacker relative hash rate q and a block count z. P(z, q) can only be understood by knowing exactly what z ...
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Creating empty blocks vs creating full blocks

I've already read many different answers to this topic. Is it correct that the miner decides on his own if he includes any transactions in his block and how many (as long as the block size is <...
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3answers
287 views

Bitcoin value vs. Supercomputing

What protects the stability of Bitcoin's value if supercomputers or some other technological breakthrough allows them to be mined at rates we have not anticipated?
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900 views

Can the bitcoin network hashrate be used for a 51% attack on other coins?

Please correct me if I am wrong. The difficulty constantly changes according to the current hash rate. It changes to ensure that a block is mined every 10 minutes. If the hash rate was 1000 TH/s and ...
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Why the timestamp component of the block header?

What is the reason for the timestamp field in the block header? Surely the nonce should be the only property that changes? Should the nonce reset to 0 everytime the timestamp changes?
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1answer
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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?
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103 views

Is blockchain protected from history spaming?

As I understand, full nodes accept block even if it is not mined on top of most recent block and store it as alternative chain as long as it fullfills protocol rules. What would happen If one start ...
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1answer
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How does mining process takes Approximately 10 minutes?

I don't think that I fully understood the "difficulty" topic in blockchain, and therefore I don't understand how mining process takes close to 10 minutes. If I have "Target" value (some hash value, ...
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3answers
567 views

Is there a proof of work system which takes significantly more memory to generate than it does to verify?

Litecoin resists GPU speedup by using an scrypt-based hashing function that takes some amount of memory to generate and verify. The problem with this is that the r parameter needs to be set high ...
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3answers
907 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
303 views

How does Proof-of-Stake works programmatically

I've researched on the internet, but am still confused about how Proof-of-stack works programmatically. As mentioned here, in Proof-of-Stake system, A random Nextcoin is selected to be the next "...
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3answers
736 views

Is bitcoin-gold more ASIC-resistant than Litecoin?

Bitcoin Gold's main point for existence has claimed to be ASIC-resistant in order to have mining power more distributed. But wasn't this tried already with Litecoin via Scrypt mining algorithm? I've ...
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2answers
236 views

What's the default strategy miners employ when they select txs from their pool?

Each tx has an associated fee and size. Moreover, we have a size limit on blocks. Finding txs that maximize the profit under this restriction is basically the Knapsack problem. So, do default client ...
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181 views

How often does a typical miner refresh their candidate block?

I realize that this is a general question with no "correct" answer, as every miner can operate differently. Having said that, I'd like to be able to display a list of transactions that would be ...
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Why search for a nonce linearly (+1) vs searching only even or odd nonces?

As a solo miner, you have the disadvantage of a minuscule hash rate compared to mining pools. Is it not possible to searching for only even nonces? Of course you risk the chance of missing the nonce, ...
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Download single and specific block for study purposes

I just started studying bitcoin. I would like to be able to download a single block from the Bitcoin network. This should be an old block, already mined, and which I can know the nonce. Then I ...
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925 views

Which block header fields are miners able to change in an effort to avoid having to recalculate the Merkle Root?

In addition to the nonce and the Merkle Root, there are 4 other fields in the header - version, previous header hash, time and nbits. Assuming a miner does not want to change the merkle root because ...
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Why is the winner of Pow different everytime?

I just read about how miners have to change the nonce bit in order to find an hash below a certain result. Granted each miner process it the same way, incrementally, adding 1 and hashing, adding one ...
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What is the problem that mining solves?

Of course, the function of mining is to secure the blockchain, but I'm looking for a more abstract summary of what the exact problem is that mining tries to solve? I believe its called the Byzantine ...
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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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