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Author Topic: Wallet Mining Progress Marker  (Read 1250 times)
mcqueenorama
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May 25, 2011, 05:17:10 PM
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Is there a way to determine how many of the 50 coins the wallet has generated?  They must be recorded someplace.  I want to see that, and its obviously a good new feature for the wallet too.  In addition to the word "Generating", it should show how far along it is - how many out of 50 has it generated.  Get me started on where to find that info and I'll code it myself.

How is the wallet handling those generated coins?  Generating a coin is a crap shoot, I'm sure its winning sometimes.

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compro01
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May 25, 2011, 05:24:49 PM
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you are fundamentally misunderstanding coin mining.

there is no progress.  you've either generated a block (and thereby earned the 50 BTC subsidy) or not.  non-pooled mining does not generate individual coins.

furthermore, the "generate coins" option in the client will effectively never result in a block being generated by you, as it utilizes far too little processing power relative to current difficulty.
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May 25, 2011, 05:31:42 PM
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Is there a way to determine how many of the 50 coins the wallet has generated?  They must be recorded someplace.  I want to see that, and its obviously a good new feature for the wallet too.  In addition to the word "Generating", it should show how far along it is - how many out of 50 has it generated.  Get me started on where to find that info and I'll code it myself.

How is the wallet handling those generated coins?  Generating a coin is a crap shoot, I'm sure its winning sometimes.



I suggest reading the FAQ section on mining, it should help you better understand how mining works. It's basically a lottery, your computer is constantly playing tickets and will either win or not. The changes of winning are very small, but when you do you get 50 BTC.
mcqueenorama
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May 25, 2011, 11:46:14 PM
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I thought the 50 was 50 accumulated wins.  I am surprised to hear that one winning block is 50.  I will go read that again.

So I can see there is no progress, but its still a crapshoot.  Mine could win on the first hash, but it takes longer because the odds are slim and it takes mine so much longer to generate a hash to see if it wins.  Isn't that right? 
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May 26, 2011, 12:26:03 AM
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Exactly.  Your machine is probably displaying, say, 2000 khash/s.  You're effectively "buying" 2,000,000 lottery tickets every second, and there is one winner approximately every 10 minutes (every 2016 wins, the difficulty changes to maintain this average of 10 minutes between winners).  But you're competing against people with dedicated mining rigs that can "buy" and test billions and trillions of lottery tickets every second, so your chances of being the lucky winner are ridiculously slim.  But you're right - there is a chance, however small, that you could mine a block and get your 50 coins the very instant you check the option to start generating.

The Bitcoin difficulty calculator at http://www.alloscomp.com/bitcoin/calculator.php to get an estimate of approximately how long you'd have to wait before getting lucky enough to be the winner.  Plug in your hashing rate (in mhash/s, not the khash/s displayed in the client) and see what you get.  
mcqueenorama
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May 26, 2011, 05:36:44 AM
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I read in the technical paper that new blocks have an empty transaction reserved for the block creator, and that empty transaction is the start of a new coin.  If we get 50 coins for creating the new block, where are they (a coin being a chain of transactions)?  Are there actually 50 new empty transactions in the new block?
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May 26, 2011, 05:57:04 AM
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Here's a recent block:
http://blockexplorer.com/block/00000000000003fe7e1dc5b03a79c694053f04f14ae09c743a6efb88d08aef33

The first transaction listed is the special +50BTC tx to the miner. Note that it is one transction worth 50 bitcoins. You can split and combine bitcoins, they aren't necessarily valued at "1 BTC."
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May 26, 2011, 04:20:20 PM
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I read in the technical paper that new blocks have an empty transaction reserved for the block creator, and that empty transaction is the start of a new coin.  If we get 50 coins for creating the new block, where are they (a coin being a chain of transactions)?  Are there actually 50 new empty transactions in the new block?

No, as shown by the block linked by PLATO, there's a single 50 BTC generation transaction (which is created ex nihilo as a subsidy for mining and also serves to gradually create and distribute the currency), then the rest of the transactions in the block.  Transactions can be of any arbitrary size (down to a current limit of 0.00000001 BTC).

bitcoins aren't exactly like coins in the usual use.  effectively, you can cut them into smaller pieces or melt them together into larger ones.  a "bitcoin" is basically just a unit of measurement, like an ounce.
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