What Happens When the Bitcoin Blockchain Produces an Empty Block

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency that is renowned for its durability, security, and dependability. A new block is added to the network on average every ten minutes, and the miner who successfully creates the block is rewarded with 6.25 Bitcoin, which is equivalent to almost $130,000.

On the other hand, the Bitcoin blockchain is known to sometimes spring a surprise on both watchers and players.

Nodes around the network confirmed the existence of a totally empty block at the height of 776,339 blocks. The fact that the block was uploaded to the Bitcoin network with no transactions included caused considerable consternation among those involved in the cryptocurrency industry. What precisely is meant by the term “empty block,” and how does this phenomenon occur?

To begin, while the presence of an empty block on the network may at first seem peculiar, this kind of thing is really rather common. Block 774486 was the location where it happened a little more than two weeks ago to the day.

Miners are encouraged to mine blocks as rapidly as possible, and as a result, they may mine a block even if they have not yet received any transactions that they may include in the block. When this occurs, the block will continue to be empty.

The following justification may be found in the Bitcoin mempool, which is the primary location for doing research on the Bitcoin blockchain: “When a new block is located, mining pools will give miners a block template that does not include any transactions. This will allow them to begin the search for the next block as quickly as possible. They immediately transmit a block template that is complete with transactions; but, a complete block template is a larger data transfer and reaches miners after a little longer period of time.

“During this interim period, which is often no more than one to two seconds, miners sometimes get fortunate and discover a new block utilizing the empty block template,”

In essence, mining a template was a case of “getting fortunate” for the miners. The Bitcoin block with the height of 776,389 was added to the chain just a few seconds after the block that came before it, which had the height of 776,488. However, Block 776,388 received an additional 0.086 BTC in fees, which is equivalent to around $1,854. This amount was added to the block reward of 6.25 BTC, which is approximately $135,247.

Even when there are no transactions in an empty block, the miner is still rewarded with freshly created bitcoins as part of the block reward. As a result, the reward for Block 776,389 was 6.25 Bitcoin and there were no transaction fees. The winning miner was Binance Pool, which contributed as much as 12% to the overall hash rate of the network.

It is essential to emphasize the fact that empty blocks do not provide a challenge for the network. Mining empty blocks still results in the production of the coin creation transaction, sometimes referred to as the coinbase transaction. This transaction ensures that Bitcoin is on track to meet its goal of having 21 million Bitcoins in circulation.

The proportion of vacant blocks on the network is often between between 1% and 2%, as seen by the statistics provided by BitInfoCharts. Given the proliferation of “ordinals” on Bitcoin, also known as the capacity to permanently carve photos, data, and marks into the blockchain, this statistic is even more shocking in light of its current state.

The increase in ordinals has led to various queries and even some anxiety among the Bitcoin community, and only lately the very first cases of pornography were documented.

As more and more image aficionados compete to have their work included in the Bitcoin blockchain, the mempool has become a more congested place, and block space has become a disputed resource.


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Russia Gives Tax Incentives to Crypto Miners

In the most recent months, the cryptocurrency mining business has been met with moratoriums in several regions of the United States and Canada. Those who wish to invest in cryptocurrency mining may now take advantage of tax benefits offered by Russia. The new crypto mining facility in east Siberia, which will cost $12 million and get direct backing from the government, will open soon.

Buryatia is a republic located in east Siberia and is a part of the Russian Federation. According to the local media, the Corporation for the Development of the Far East, which is controlled by the state, has announced the start of the cryptocurrency mining facility in Buryatia.

The plant will have 30,000 mining equipment, will employ one hundred people, and will use one hundred megawatts of electricity from the local power system. It is going to open in the first half of 2023 and will be owned and operated by BitRiver, which is the leading provider of cryptocurrency mining colocation services in Russia.

The mining center will be eligible for a wide range of benefits, including exemption from land and property taxes as well as a reduction in the income tax rate. For the mine operator, there will be a fifty percent decrease in the cost of the power.

The legal position of Buryatia, which is that of a “territory of advanced development” — a special economic zone that is encouraged to attract national and international investments — might provide an explanation for the help that the government is providing. It is the mission of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and Arctics, to provide financial backing for various investment endeavors.

Since the beginning of war in Ukraine and the financial sanctions that followed it, the Russian government has altered its anti-cryptocurrency posture, especially with regard to mining. This change came about as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Gazprom Neft, a state-owned gas company, and BitRiver entered into a cooperation in July 2022 so that Gazprom Neft could provide BitRiver with power produced from petroleum gas. As part of the collaborative effort, BitRiver has begun creating a digital infrastructure in the oil fields where Gazprom supplies flare gas for cryptocurrency mining operations. These fields are located in Russia.


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Yet another solo Bitcoin miner solved a valid block, earning a reward worth over $220,000

Another Bitcoin (BTC) miner from the Solo CK mining pool has solo mined a new block on the Bitcoin blockchain, earning a block reward of 6.25 BTC (over $220,000 at current prices) as a result. The event took place on Monday at a block height of 720,175.

Solo mining consists of attempting to validate blocks by a single miner, without teaming efforts with other miners on a mining pool, and running a full blockchain node. Without significant hashing capabilities, the odds of validating a block tend to be extremely unlikely.

To increase these odds and avoid the costs associated with solo mining, miners generally come together in pools to combine their hash power, increasing the chances of validating a block and ultimately sharing the spoils if they succeed.

According to a recent tweet from CKPool admin Con Kolivas, this solo miner had a hash power of approximately 86 terahashes per second. Hash power determines the computational speed at which a computer can perform the cryptographic functions needed to mine cryptocurrency and validate a block for proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin.

The miner in question had less hash power than a single S9 mining machine; a relatively small amount of computational power, making this a very unlikely event.

Even more remarkable is the fact that only two weeks ago, another solo miner from the Solo CK mining pool also completed a similar task by successfully solving a valid block. “To say this is very rare is an understatement,” Bitcoin council member Hass McCook told Cointelegraph at the time.

Despite its name, CKPool isn’t a regular mining pool, it’s a service that allows solo mining without dealing with the costs and troubles of running a full Bitcoin node.