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bitcoin core – The impact of block arrival time and common block interval on blockchain forking and determination

Block time is 10m, and it is largely this a lot in order that two blocks can’t be solved on the identical time.

I do not imagine that is true.

I imagine the first objective of the fastened common block time along with the higher restrict on block measurement is to maintain the processing and storage burden on atypical nodes to a suitable degree (see quotations and references at finish).

It is usually inconceivable for a node to obtain two blocks on the identical time. An ethernet interface receives packets serially not concurrently. Even on a Gigabit interface, there can be variations of the order of nanoseconds in packet completion occasions. Even when a node makes use of a number of impartial community connections, it’s trivial to arbitrarily serialise concurrently acquired packets from eth0 earlier than eth1.

When somebody resembling Solana say “on the identical time” I think about they actually imply “someday throughout the identical block interval”. What they in all probability ought to have stated is one thing extra like “with the identical father or mother block”.

Keep in mind:

  • Actual block intervals can differ from seconds to hours.

  • Receiving nodes aren’t timing the intervals so as allocate blocks to intervals.

  • Block arrival time has no affect on block choice in a timescale of a number of precise block intervals.

  • When miners see one other’s block, they instantly cease work on their block with the identical father or mother and begin work on the following. Even when that block arrived inside microseconds of the prior block leaving virtually 10 minutes remaining of the notional present block interval.

It appears to me the final of those factors has probably the most impact in lowering publication of competing blocks with identical father or mother.


Some name this an enormous downside that when node receives 2 blocks on the identical time

Reordering the final one or two blocks just isn’t unusual and is properly catered for. So I think block ordering just isn’t a main consider selecting block intervals. The Bitcoin design permits for every node’s preliminary ordering to be considerably arbitrary. Contemplate the impact of bodily (or efficient) distance and many others on message propagation occasions from two distant miners to 2 different nodes of various distance.


What did Nakamoto say in 2008?

The Bitcoin white paper has just one point out of “10 minutes”:

If we suppose blocks are
generated each 10 minutes, 80 bytes * 6 * 24 * 365 = 4.2MB per yr. With laptop programs
usually promoting with 2GB of RAM as of 2008, and Moore’s Regulation predicting present development of
1.2GB per yr, storage shouldn’t be an issue even when the block headers have to be saved in
reminiscence.

So the block interval is related to the storage burden on atypical nodes.

Earlier within the whitepaper, Nakamoto writes

Nodes all the time take into account the longest chain to be the right one and can preserve engaged on
extending it. If two nodes broadcast completely different variations of the following block concurrently, some
nodes could obtain one or the opposite first. In that case, they work on the primary one they acquired,
however save the opposite department in case it turns into longer. The tie can be damaged when the following proof-
of-work is discovered and one department turns into longer; the nodes that had been engaged on the opposite
department will then change to the longer one.

So this type of exercise is allowed for within the design and isn’t the alleged “big downside”.

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