What is Block Time in Cryptocurrency?

Block time refers to the time taken for mining a single block of the cryptocurrency or verifying all the transactions present on a single block.

Cryptocurrency network works on the principle of Distributed Ledger, with Blockchain Technology underneath. As the name suggests, Blockchain is a chain of blocks which are codependent on each other, and one can move to the next block only after the previous one has been mined or verified.

Block time is dependent on various factors, we will discuss these in detail below to understand how the blocks on a network function.

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How Block Time is Determined?

As we know, the mining concept is only applicable to those cryptocurrency which uses proof of work(PoW) protocol. As the number of blocks on the network increases, the level of difficulty increases too, but the block time is kept constant by varying the Difficulty level.

The Block Time is always kept a constant, to make sure the power input cannot be manipulated which might lead to a total disruption of the network.

The average block time of the network is evaluated after n number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, then the difficulty level of the proof of work algorithm will be reduced, and if it is less than the expected block time then the difficulty level will be increased.

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Difficulty Level

The difficulty level is a dynamic variable which plays a very important role in keeping the block time constant. We will take Bitcoin as an example to understand how block time is kept a constant.

Bitcoin Block Time is fixed at 10- minutes, with only the genesis block as an exception, which took almost 5 days to be mined.

Now, let us assume that the Block time required to mine the last 2016 blocks on the Bitcoin network is only 8 minutes, a 2-minute earlier than the fixed 10-minute slot. Now the difficulty constant would be increased more than one, to achieve the 10-minute mark.

If the mining difficulty increases and the blocks require more than 10 minutes to mine, in that case, the Bitcoin developers can bring the difficulty factor below 1 to achieve the 10-minute mark.

The Difficulty Factor calculator,

new_difficulty = old_difficulty X (2016 blocks X 10 minutes) / (the time took in minutes to mine the last 2016 blocks)

The Block time always remains a constant, as per the demand for maintaining a distributed network of cryptocurrency. However, this has led to an ever-increasing rate of difficulty since the Genesis B ...

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Tags: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Distributed ledger