Block Confirmation Times?


#1

I just wanted to get some educated responses to this. I have cloud mining contracts on a certain site and I sometimes wonder if blocks really take 5 hours to complete. Am I being a bit of a conspiracy theorists when I have thoughts that maybe they are saying that the block takes 5 hours to complete just so they can cut my earnings and keep it for themselves? I mean I don’t get a read out of actual mining stats.

Where can I check if that block actually took 5 hours to complete? What would be a good, true source to determine if the data that they spit out at me on their site is actually factual?

I know this may seem like a silly question, but it’s one that concerns me and I know there are some really well-versed crypto folks here. Thanks for any enlightenment. :slight_smile:


#2

I’ve seen blocks take upto 12 hours


#3

It can be done, but it’s going to take you some work. The time period you are referring to was between Antpool’s block number 345459 and 345485. So you’d need to use blockchain.info or some similar explorer and look at who solved all the intervening blocks. Here is an example of a block they solved, and a block prior to that they didn’t.

This at least proves they didn’t solve block 345483 that was solved 20 minutes prior to their solving block 345485

If you click on one of those “relayed by” blocks they solved, you can get a list of known blocks that antpool solved - and here is your five hour interval:

All of this said, block 345484 came from an unknown solver in China using a different IP address than antpool usually uses and with a wallet address and identifier embedded that doesn’t match Antpool’s usual payout address and info. (This kind of ID information is embedded in each solved block as the coinbase information.)

If you are particularly paranoid you might consider that block (#345484) as being a possible cheat - any and all “unknown solver” blocks could be. But at the very least you can rule out many blocks by known solvers between the two blocks in question. And you can probably figure that an unknown solver whose block was submitted via, say, an Isle of Man IP address probably wasn’t solved by Antpool…


#4

Im guessing you talking about Hashnest. If so, you can check all mined blocks by Antpool here -> https://blockchain.info/blocks/AntPool

Edit: I figured because you mentioned a 5 hours block, which indeed happened on block #345485 few hours ago.


#5

It’s sad to say but I have been paranoid as of late. I am just redoubling my efforts to keep my financial sphincter tight and unmolested. Info on how to accurately pinpoint what happens when and where is greatly appreciated. And I figure me asking and the answers given would help others as well.

Yes I was speaking of HashNest. But I’ve wondered this about other places I have put BTC in as well. Thanks for the link. I just needed to know how to go about a factual, non-biased way of checking the info.

The burn from past fires has made me step up my game and I want all the proper weapons in my arsenal to defend myself because crypto is very rough waters for the uninformed.


#6

You would expect the variance of a pool with decent hashrate to be kind of a bell shaped curve with their average block solution time appearing at the top of the curve.

Because of the “tails” on the curve, you should probably expect to see roughly as many 3+ hour blocks as you do sub 1 minute blocks, and as many 5 hours blocks as sub 10 second blocks. (These are off the top of my head approximations, not based on actually sitting down and doing the math).

The tails of that probability curve are long - both 12 hour blocks and 1 second blocks are out there and can be expected to occur occasionally for Antpool.


#7

And you got this visualized curve by tallying block solve times over a specified period I am guessing? Great stuff btw. Knowledge is good to have :wink:


#8

That’s pretty much it - block solution times (perhaps in seconds) across the bottom axis, number of blocks solved on the vertical axis. For a given hashrate the entire curve will shift towards “longer” and get 'flatter and wider" to the right (increased time) as difficulty increases. A low hashrate pool wouldn’t have a bell shaped curve, it would be skewed to the right.

If someone had all of the hashrate mining BTC, then the curve would be rather high around 10 minutes per block, and be fairly narrow with tails that drop off very quickly as you move away from 10 minutes per block in either direction - because of the way difficulty is managed. But, there are always going to be those BTC blocks that get solved in seconds, or take an hour+ even though the overall average is controlled to be a block every 10 minutes…

Trying to solo mine with 100 Gh/s at the current difficulty, the curve would be skewed so far to the right that the first point on the graph might be at however many seconds 498 years is… :slight_smile:


#9

This was a simplification to make it easy to visualize.

The actual graphs for pools are going to be based on the probability of solving a block in x seconds given the current difficulty setting and average hashrate in the current mining environment. Any difference from that is called variance and why pools usually give you graphs of 'actual versus expected" block solution times.

The ideal graph for BTC is one with a single bar at 10 minutes with 100% of the blocks mined in that amount of time. The actual graphs are going to be a bit different.based on hashrate, difficulty, and how the blockchain and your ISP are feeling that day. And maybe the phase of the moon and whether or not Mars is retrograde, and your Zodiac sign… :slight_smile:


#10

Man @Redacted! Thanks for the knowledge. I might sit down and try and figure a graph just to exercise the ol’ melon. Maybe take a twenty four hour period and chart out the averages.


#11

And, doesn’t statistical analysis or whatever the correct wording is, tell us to expect a 24 hour block once every 365 days or something?

@lothendriel

In short, yes, it can take that long between blocks. It depends on how much of the network they control. If they have 25% of the hashrate, we can expect them to get 25% of the blocks on average over a long time period. Also remember that the 10minute block time is an average the code tries to maintain by adjusting the difficulty, if you look at blockchain or blockr.io you will see we have times where the blocks are about 10minutes and then we have the other ends of the bell curve, where we have 60 minutes blocks and then we have multiple several seconds apart.


#12

This topic has been moved to the new mining FAQ category.

http://forum.gethashing.com/c/mining/faq


#13

It all depends. The blockchain itself (all blocks generated) can sometimes take a very long time to get to the next block. Now if we are talking pools it can even take longer for a pool to find a block because all the pools are competing for the next block. So say antpool finds 3 blocks in a row that means that other pools are still waiting to find a block which for that pool seems that the block time is much longer than it actually is. It could take one pool all day to find a block but that does not mean other pools did not find a block.