[bitcoin-dev] Adjusted difficulty depending on relative blocksize

Adam Back adam at cypherspace.org
Fri Aug 14 15:03:49 UTC 2015

There is a proposal that relates to this, see the flexcap proposal by
Greg Maxwell & Mark Friedenbach, it was discussed on the list back in


and http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-May/008038.html


On 14 August 2015 at 15:48, Jakob Rönnbäck
<bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> 14 aug 2015 kl. 16:20 skrev Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au>:
> On 14 August 2015 at 11:59, Jakob Rönnbäck
> <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>> What if one were to adjust the difficulty (for individual blocks)
>> depending on the relative size to the average block size of the previous
>> difficulty period? (I apologize if i’m not using the correct terms, I’m not
>> a real programmer, and I’ve only recently started to subscribe to the
>> mailing list)
> That would mean that as usage grew, blocksize could increase, but
> confirmation times would also increase (though presumably less than
> linearly). That seems like a loss?
> Would that really be the case though? If it takes 5% to find a block, but it
> contains 5% more transactions would that not mean it’s the same? That would
> argue against the change if not for the fact that the blocks will be bigger
> for the next difficulty period.
> If you also let the increase in confirmation time (due to miners finding
> harder blocks rather than a reduction in hashpower) then get reflected back
> as decreased difficulty, it'd probably be simpler to just dynamically adjust
> the max blocksize wouldn't it?
> I guess that could make the difficulty fluctuate a bit depending on the
> amount of transactions and the fees being paid. Would it really matter in
> the long run though? Since it’s the same amount of miners, doesn’t that just
> mean it’s just the number that is lower, not the actual investment needed to
> mine the blocks? Not sure if this would open up some forms of attacks on the
> system for someone willing to lose money though…
> Very good feedback though, thanks a lot :)
> /jakob
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