[bitcoin-dev] Block solving slowdown question/poll

Eric Voskuil eric at voskuil.org
Sun Mar 22 16:54:19 UTC 2020

Mining is a lottery.


> On Mar 22, 2020, at 07:10, LORD HIS EXCELLENCY JAMES HRMH via bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> There seems to be the real possibility that miners are simply trying to optimise mining profit by limiting the average hash rate during the retargeting, saving some electricity but poorly considering the overall situation where they give opportunity to other miners probably raising the hashrate for the next period. It is far more profitable for the ecosystem considering the whole to hold a lottery for minig as has been discussed elsewhere some time ago.
> Regards,
> From: bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev-bounces at lists.linuxfoundation.org> on behalf of David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>
> Sent: Sunday, 22 March 2020 6:54 PM
> To: Dave Scotese <dscotese at litmocracy.com>; Bitcoin Protocol Discussion <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>
> Subject: Re: [bitcoin-dev] Block solving slowdown question/poll
> On Sat, Mar 21, 2020 at 11:40:24AM -0700, Dave Scotese via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> > [Imagine] we also see mining power dropping off at a rate that
> > suggests the few days [until retarget] might become a few weeks, and
> > then, possibly, a few months or even the unthinkable, a few eons.  I'm
> > curious to know if anyone has ideas on how this might be handled
> There are only two practical solutions I'm aware of:
> 1. Do nothing
> 2. Hard fork a difficulty reduction
> If bitcoins retain even a small fraction of their value compared to the
> previous retarget period and if most mining equipment is still available
> for operation, then doing nothing is probably the best choice---as block
> space becomes scarcer, transaction feerates will increase and miners
> will be incentivized to increase their block production rate.
> If the bitcoin price has plummeted more than, say, 99% in two weeks
> with no hope of short-term recovery or if a large fraction of mining
> equipment has become unusable (again, say, 99% in two weeks with no
> hope of short-term recovery), then it's probably worth Bitcoin users
> discussing a hard fork to reduce difficulty to a currently sustainable
> level.
> -Dave
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