[Bitcoin-development] Addressing rapid changes in mining power

Jorge Timón timon.elviejo at gmail.com
Wed Nov 23 15:10:40 UTC 2011

2011/11/23, Andy Parkins <andyparkins at gmail.com>:
> On 2011 November 23 Wednesday, Jorge Timón wrote:
>> With the current system, the timestamp can also be cheated, but miners
>> have no direct incentive to do it. With your system, they increase
>> their probability of mining a block by putting a false timestamp.
>> Also, where's the network clock you're talking about? Isn't it the
>> timestamps in the blockchain?
> (1) The "probability of mining a block" is old-think.  The probability of
> mining a block is 100% in my system.  Instead, it becomes "the probability
> of
> your block being the hardest" and that requires actual hashing power
> regardless of the timestamp you write on the block.  I could write that my
> block was generated next year; but I can't fake the hashing power it needs
> to
> generate one year's worth of hashes.

Well, I meant "the probability of  your block being the hardest".
What a miner can do is hash the block (cheating the timestamp) for 2
more minutes than the rest of the people and then send it to the other
nodes. Nodes cannot possibly know when did you hashed the block only
by looking at their clock when they receive it, because there's also
network latency.

> (2) For the network clock; see util.cpp:GetAdjustedTime().

1) This is part of the satoshi client but not the protocol. A miner
can rewrite this part of the code and there won't be anything in the
chain that contradicts the protocol.

2) I haven't read the code but I'm pretty sure that's not a perfect
decentralized clock.

I will be more specific. Where's the network clock in the chain (in
the protocol)?

Jorge Timón

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