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Author Topic: Bitcoin Difficulty Explanation and ETA?  (Read 2983 times)
Clavulanic
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April 30, 2011, 10:11:40 PM
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I understand the difficulty of mining is supposed to increase over time, but now how or what affects this.

Is it the number of people mining/power of miners?

Could someone give me an explanation of this? Also, I thought there was a site that explained this and had a chart with ETAs or something, but can't find it.
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There are several different types of Bitcoin clients. Hybrid server-assisted clients like Electrum get a lot of their network information from centralized servers, but they also check the server's results using blockchain header data. This is perhaps somewhat more secure than either server-assisted clients or header-only clients.
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April 30, 2011, 10:40:20 PM
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https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Difficulty has a good explanation, but in a nutshell, it's a "magic variable" that determines how easy or hard it is to successfully mine a block.  The goal is for the network to average one block every 10 minutes, so every 2016 blocks (which in theory should be every 2 weeks), the system adjusts the difficulty based on how quickly those 2016 blocks were mined.  If it took fewer than 2 weeks, the difficulty rises; if it took longer, then the difficulty goes down.

So yes, it is a delayed response to the pure amount of computing power in the network.
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