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Author Topic: Difficulty, What is it?  (Read 1223 times)
MoonShadow
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October 08, 2010, 07:20:57 PM
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Can someone explain the difficulty to me?  Is it a linear or log unit?  I know that there is a minimum difficulty of 1, but what does a difficulty of "1" even mean?  Is there a maximum difficulty?

"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."

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jgarzik
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October 08, 2010, 07:36:19 PM
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Can someone explain the difficulty to me?  Is it a linear or log unit?  I know that there is a minimum difficulty of 1, but what does a difficulty of "1" even mean?  Is there a maximum difficulty?

According to the code,

    difficulty = minimum_best_target / current_best_target

bitcoin miners' proof of work is searching for a hash whose numeric value is below the current target.

These links have some more info:

http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=difficulty
http://www.bitcoin.org/wiki/doku.php?id=target

Jeff Garzik, bitcoin core dev team and BitPay engineer; opinions are my own, not my employer.
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FreeMoney
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October 08, 2010, 08:13:31 PM
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Can someone explain the difficulty to me?  Is it a linear or log unit?  I know that there is a minimum difficulty of 1, but what does a difficulty of "1" even mean?  Is there a maximum difficulty?

Linear. It takes the same power DIFFICULTY times longer to generate a block on average than when difficulty was at 1.

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October 09, 2010, 09:48:46 AM
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The easiest explanation: if you multiply the current difficulty by 2^32, you'll get the average number of hashes the network should solve to generate a valid block. If you divide this number by your hash speed you'll get the time required to generate a block by yourself.
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