[Bitcoin-development] Punishing empty blocks?

Jeff Garzik jgarzik at exmulti.com
Thu May 24 16:33:12 UTC 2012

There appears to be some non-trivial mining power devoted to mining
empty blocks.  Even with satoshi's key observation -- hash a fixed
80-byte header, not the entire block -- some miners still find it
easier to mine empty blocks, rather than watch the network for new

Therefore I was wondering what people thought about a client
implementation change:

     - Do not store or relay empty blocks, if time since last block < X
       (where X = 60 minutes, perhaps)

or even stronger,

     - Ensure latest block includes at least X percent of mempool
unconfirmed TXs

The former is easier to implement, though there is the danger that
no-TX miners simply include a statically generated transaction or two.

The latter might be considered problematic, as it might refuse to
relay quickly found blocks.

Comments?  It wouldn't be a problem if these no-TX blocks were not
already getting frequent (1 in 20).

Jeff Garzik
exMULTI, Inc.
jgarzik at exmulti.com

More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list