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Author Topic: How would the network handle a sudden drop in hash rate?  (Read 1189 times)
interfect
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June 09, 2011, 07:53:04 AM
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How much of the current hashing power of the network could be lost overnight without compromising the usability of Bitcoin for transactions? If everyone but me left, for example, it would probably take me months to find each block, and many years to find enough blocks for the difficulty to update to a more reasonable level. In the interim, transactions would go unconfirmed for months on end.

The network would probably get by OK with half the current hash rate, with blocks coming about every 20 minutes. But would a block an hour be acceptable? It would take almost a business day for transactions to confirm.
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SomeoneWeird
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June 09, 2011, 07:56:27 AM
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How much of the current hashing power of the network could be lost overnight without compromising the usability of Bitcoin for transactions? If everyone but me left, for example, it would probably take me months to find each block, and many years to find enough blocks for the difficulty to update to a more reasonable level. In the interim, transactions would go unconfirmed for months on end.

The network would probably get by OK with half the current hash rate, with blocks coming about every 20 minutes. But would a block an hour be acceptable? It would take almost a business day for transactions to confirm.

No, you would find block quicker as the difficulty adjusts itself accordingly.
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June 09, 2011, 07:57:13 AM
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Hashing power dropping in half is not a sign of a healthy network.

If Bitcoin is still around in a year, I plan on investing in hardware that will only be used to mine in response to a drop in the network hash rate (most the time, it would be used for other things, or even sit idle).

If I write a nice script, other people may do the same thing Smiley

Edit: SomeoneWeird, difficulty takes 2 weeks to adjust.

James' OpenPGP public key fingerprint: EB14 9E5B F80C 1F2D 3EBE  0A2F B3DE 81FF 7B9D 5160
interfect
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June 09, 2011, 07:58:52 AM
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No, you would find block quicker as the difficulty adjusts itself accordingly.

The difficulty adjusts itself after a certain number of blocks. If it takes me a year to find each block, the difficulty won't adjust for quite a while.
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June 09, 2011, 07:59:37 AM
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Electronic transfers in the existing interbanking system takes longer than a day to confirm, whether or not your bank lets you see the new balance already or not.  If 90% of the miners dropped out, the system would be fine.  It would take a while for the difficulty to update, and there would be a finite amount of transactions that could get processed, but this would mostly be an annoyance than anything.  The average block is less than a tenth of the current max block size anyway.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 09, 2011, 08:02:58 AM
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If Bitcoin is still around in a year, I plan on investing in hardware that will only be used to mine in response to a drop in the network hash rate (most the time, it would be used for other things, or even sit idle).


I plan on building a mining rack to put into my garage, and set it up with my thermostat to turn on and off the GPU miners based upon the heat demand in the fall and winter.  So I can have a warm car and still a change at catching a block every now and again.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 09, 2011, 08:04:33 AM
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Hashing power dropping in half is not a sign of a healthy network.

If Bitcoin is still around in a year, I plan on investing in hardware that will only be used to mine in response to a drop in the network hash rate (most the time, it would be used for other things, or even sit idle).

If I write a nice script, other people may do the same thing Smiley

Edit: SomeoneWeird, difficulty takes 2 weeks to adjust.

Where did I say it would be immediate?
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