12 votes
Accepted

Shortest and Longest block interval time ever recorded in Bitcoin

(This data is current through block 535276.) Based on block timestamps (which do not have to be accurate), the longest difference between successive blocks is 463160 seconds (5 days, 8 hours, 39 ...
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12 votes

How would faster blocks cause mining centralization?

Why faster blocks? This conversation often starts with someone pointing out that shortening the block interval would allow for a quicker first confirmation, reduce variance in mining revenue, and ...
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  • 64.6k
11 votes
Accepted

What is the largest number of blocks that have ever occurred in 1 hour?

Most likely, you'll have to download all the block headers. The easiest way is to get them here. Note each block is 80 bytes so it's roughly a 30 MB download. Next, what you're going to need to parse ...
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  • 7,639
7 votes

Why can the block production rate be as low as two per hour?

The time to produce the next block is completely unaffected by the number of unconfirmed transactions. The time is generally expected to follow a Poisson distribution as explained in answers to a ...
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6 votes

Why not implement GHOST in bitcoin?

GHOST is outdated, the more relevant protocol based on recent research by Aviv Zohar et al is called "SPECTRE" - https://medium.com/@avivzohar/the-spectre-protocol-7dbbebb707b5, https://eprint.iacr....
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6 votes
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Why not decrease the difficulty to increase capacity?

One problem is that lower block times mean an increased chance of forking, which makes head of the chain, and the system, less reliable. Another problem is that it normally takes a block a few ...
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  • 1,034
5 votes
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How do you answer the question "Why 10 mins?" for beginners?

Block time is a tradeoff between: Network propagation time Amount of work wasted due to chain splits (miners continuing to work on the last block before becoming aware a new one was found)
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  • 286
5 votes
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Why is a short blocktime considered to be unsafe?

The shorter the blocktime the more time is lost by the relaying of blocks in relation to the average blocktime. A very short block interval therefore makes SPV mining (i.e. mining empty blocks without ...
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  • 64.6k
5 votes

Can we look at how long it took to solve for the most recent block in the blockchain? (and how?)

Blocks have timestamps, but they are not very accurate. The protocol rules only (roughly) require them to not be more than 1 hour in the past and not more than 2 hours in the future. At least ...
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5 votes
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Bitcoin alpha version with 15 minutes block time interval

Cryddit on Bitcointalk posted some source code that Satoshi supposedly emailed to him. This code contains a target interval of 15 minutes rather than 10. It is in https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?...
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  • 62.5k
4 votes
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Will a new block be found immediately, when there are enough transactions to fill a block?

We don't have to wait until a block is full, instead blocks are created in a random process. Whenever one is found, the miners directly try finding the next one. This takes roughly ten minutes, ...
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  • 64.6k
4 votes
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The probability that the entire network generates at least two blocks within 10 minutes?

Since current hashrate and current difficulty level should be matched up usually, we can disregard them. (Although, we could easily accommodate them if they are diverging as well.) Finding blocks is ...
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  • 64.6k
4 votes

Can a blockchain from the future be synchronized today?

Extremely creative question. Most of UTF-8's answer is correct. I'd like to observe a few consequences: If someone brought a future blockchain to current reality and even 11 blocks were immediately ...
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  • 7,639
4 votes
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How does mining process takes Approximately 10 minutes?

To make it simple: Mining consist on finding a specific block that once hashed gives a value bellow a certain threshold (the target). The target is recalculated every fixed amount of blocks (2016), ...
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  • 2,712
4 votes
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How are block interval, block size and effective throughput related?

First off, it is worth noting: this paper is not only talking about throughput in the 'transactions/second' sense, it is also addressing the effects of block size and interval on the network's latency ...
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  • 17.4k
3 votes

How are block interval, block size and effective throughput related?

Let's think of blocks as a basket. Each transaction is an apple weighing 0.1 kg. You are the network. Currently, let's say we have a basket large enough to carry 1000 apples (10kg). As the network, it ...
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  • 16.5k
3 votes

What happens if the block's generated are exactly 10 minutes?

Exactly nothing. The difficulty would remain the same.
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3 votes

Probability that a block will be confirmed in x minutes

The time T until a block is mined follows an exponential distribution. Assuming the difficulty has properly calibrated to the network hash rate, the rate parameter for T will be λ = 1/10 per minute. ...
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3 votes

Why not multiply "six confirmations" and divide Time-Between-Blocks and Reward by the same factor?

In consideration of replacing the 1 block with N blocks in the same time frame, N > 1, I see the following points: Advantages Expected time until first confirmation is reduced Mining revenue is ...
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  • 64.6k
3 votes
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Why is Poisson instead of Negative Binomial used for computing attacker's potential progress?

I have found the answer in this article by Meni Rosenfeld, page 7. The problem should indeed be modeled with a Negative Binomial distribution, and the computations done on Satoshi's paper are ...
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3 votes

Could Bitcoins (or any other blockchain based cryptocurrency) feasibly ever be used for purchases that need to go through fast?

Blockchain technology, at least without accepting central party that controls access to the chain, inherently has slow blocks, or strong centralization incentives. The reason is that blocks need to ...
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3 votes

Which cryptocurrency has the smallest block time?

EOS has blocks that are published every ~500ms, so around two blocks per second. That's a contender for the top spot for sure
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  • 31
3 votes
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Which cryptocurrency has the smallest block time?

There was a coin called Flashcoin that tried to do 6-second block times. I don't think that's being actively mined anymore as another Flashcoin appeared a year later (60-second block times). Ethereum ...
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  • 7,639
3 votes

Shortest and Longest block interval time ever recorded in Bitcoin

I'm not the author, but found this code: http://blockchainsql.io/wkeno3 Top 10 longest (using timestamp in block header, which can vary up to 2 hours from actual time) Block 1: 2009-01-03 463160 ...
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3 votes

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

For a good portion of its history the bitcoin network has seen continuous increases in difficulty, which warps the average block time to be below 10 minutes until the next difficulty adjustment. If ...
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  • 15.1k
2 votes

What if the execution time for an alt coin script exceeds the block time?

This is a potential issue in bitcoin but much more so in altcoins. Bitcoin is very conservative in the richness of its transaction script. Altcoins with a faster block time and/or less restrictive ...
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2 votes

Who decides that the new block is ready to hash?

Each miner starts working on a new block, as soon as they hear about the latest one being found. To that end, miners create block candidates and apply the hashing function. As the outputs are ...
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  • 64.6k
2 votes
Accepted

Who decides that the new block is ready to hash?

A new block is ready to hash as soon as the last block has been solved. Miners immediately start to try solving the next block. As soon as one of them succeeds, that block is published and all the ...
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  • 3,421
2 votes

Why is Poisson instead of Negative Binomial used for computing attacker's potential progress?

Each try in Bitcoin mining is stochastically independent of every other try. Both the Bernoulli process and the Poisson process model independent events, however, the Bernoulli process is focused on ...
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  • 64.6k
2 votes

Why is Poisson instead of Negative Binomial used for computing attacker's potential progress?

I think you are correct, since the success/failure of each nonce to satisfy the difficulty target is binary, rather than continuous, this is a discrete probability distribution and the correct ...
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