3

Nate gave a good answer on the modern meaning of "longest chain"-- as a historical curiosity, the originally released Bitcoin software behaved like you were expecting and that attack would actually work! It was later changed to determine "longest" in terms of work. This seems like a pretty big mistake, but for Bitcoin's first year the difficulty was ...


2

What you are referring to are stale blocks. Orphaned blocks are one for which the previous (parent) hash field points to an unknown block or to a block not yet processed by the local node. Since Bitcoin Core follows headers first approach, block headers are downloaded and validated first before downloading the block data. As a result, full nodes will never ...


2

If ‘block finalization’ is needed, then your chain is broken. I say this because PoW is the method by which the Bitcoin network maintains consensus, and so the only reason we may introduce a ‘block finalization’ is if we worry that PoW will not be able to accomplish it’s job. If PoW cannot accomplish its job, then the system is already broken. It really is ...


1

This shows the inherent flaw with the idea of increasing block sizes if the network cannot handle them propagating in a timely manner. If the block sizes are huge and the mempools of the connected nodes are way out of sync, the full node will basically have to download almost entire block before adding to its chain and then transmitting this block to the ...


1

As soon as miners find a solution to the block header, they relay the block to the full nodes in their network. These full nodes will validate the block and will add the block that reaches to them first on top of the existing blockchain. Later, when they receive the other block at the same height, they will not discard it but maintain a copy of it. However, ...


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