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Author Topic: Empty block generation.  (Read 722 times)
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March 25, 2013, 01:41:20 AM

From what I gather some miners exclude all transaction data from the blocks they are mining – creating empty blocks – which means they can mine faster and improve their odds of receiving a reward for completing a block.

Has there been any discussion on creating an enforced minimum fixed block size so that if a block is empty the empty space still has to be filled with equivalently (or more) expensive 'noise' data to make it easier for miners to insert a minimum number of enforced transactions per block or be required to generate an equivalent or more expensive amount of provable work?

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March 25, 2013, 01:46:59 AM

[...]which means they can mine faster and improve their odds of receiving a reward for completing a block.[...]

Wrong. Read the docs.
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March 25, 2013, 01:58:22 AM

The extra mining time required to include transactions vs not including them is insignificant; the only real concern is that larger blocks (i.e., blocks with more transactions) take longer to relay through the network which slightly increases the chance of a block being orphaned.  This is because if two people mine a block at the same time, the one which propagates faster (smaller block) will become accepted and the other (larger block) will become orphaned.  Transaction fees (which will be zero on a zero-transaction block) are supposed to make up for this risk.

^ I think that's correct... please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
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March 25, 2013, 03:42:58 AM

There was a mystery miner a while back that a bunch of us were almost certain was actually a botnet doing mass CPU mining.  It included no transactions in blocks, except the coinbase.  We figured the real reason to not include transactions was to minimize network traffic and simplify the software.

The real solution is to make CPU mining the least profitable use of stolen CPU time, and GPUs and ASICs seem to be doing pretty well at that.

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