For a valid block successfully mined on the Ethereum network, a miner is rewarded with a block reward of 3 Ether. Contrarily, a miner of an uncle block earns a reward of 2.625 Ether. Due to advances in blockchain research, it was shown that significantly lower block times were possible and perhaps beneficial given the current connectivity of the Internet.
Although orphan block can be quite a headache for miners, they actually occur more often than most Bitcoin enthusiasts would like to admit. Blockchain.info keeps track of all the orphaned blocks that appear on the network, and there is usually 1-3 of these mishaps every single day of the week. There is a new block mined roughly every ten minutes, which means there are 144 block rewards available to miners every day. This also means a little over 1% of the blocks that are mined every day are orphaned.
What is an orphaned bitcoin block?
Although transactions in an orphan block are not recognized on the blockchain, they are returned to the transaction pool and can be used in the future. Thus, orphan blocks help maintain the robustness and resilience of the blockchain network while ensuring no transaction is ever completely lost. All these three blocks such as Uncle, Orphan and Stale are basically abandoned or not accepted blocks in main chain and each blockchain network describes them in a different way. For example in Ethereum it’s called uncle blocks, in Monero it’s orphaned blocks and then there is stale blocks. But they are not all the same; there is quite a difference and here we’ll cover them all. In this post we’ll explain what uncle block, stale block and orphan blocks are and what happens to these blocks.
Block Chain is the most important component of any cryptocurrency network. Cryptocurrency is based on distributed, transparent public ledger where all the transactions ever made on a cryptocurrency are noted in the blocks and added to the block chain. Miners get attractive rewards https://www.tokenexus.com/ to verify and create a new block and add it successfully to the Block Chain. An average of 1 to 3 of all the blocks generated in the Bitcoin network in a day are orphans. Miners who have successfully generated blocks that become orphan blocks will not receive the mining reward.
What are orphaned blocks?
But it isn’t accepted by a large number of miners into the rest of the blockchain. Hence, all the information it contains becomes meaningless to the blockchain and the entire network. The discarded block is called an orphan block (in technical documents, it’s called a stale block). Any blocks generated from the orphaned block go back to the memory pool to be validated and added to the new chain. However, there will come a point where a miner finds the solution to the next block based on one of those generated simultaneously. That is, the block from which the next block was generated will show a greater Proof of Work (PoW) and therefore, it will be accepted within the blockchain.
The third special kind of blocks presented in this article are stale blocks. Seeing how they are most often mistaken for orphan blocks, some clarification is in order. Neither orphan nor stale blocks make up part of the longest valid chain.
What Is an Orphan Block?
Detached or Orphaned blocks are valid blocks which are not part of the
main chain. They can occur naturally when two miners produce blocks at
similar times or they can be caused by what is an orphan block an attacker (with enough
hashing power) attempting to reverse transactions. For the reasons specified above, orphan, uncle and stale blocks are important for miners and developers.
Two different blocks that are totally valid to be the next block in the blockchain. However only one block will be accepted and the other has to be discarded. So which will be the successful block and which will become a stale, uncle, or orphaned block. It all depends on who mines the next block and it is not deterministic. Just keep in mind that the longest chain always wins in this kind of situation. So what causes the chain to split or duplicate blocks to be created?
As a result the miner that is responsible for the orphan block loses their reward. In the Bitcoin blockchain network every once in a while there will be blocks that will get orphaned. Also note that a blockchain network with more orphaned blocks could potentially lead to dangers like 51% attack or double-spend attack.
- Due to the physical constraints of computers and the internet, a block that is solved by a miner and contributed to the network is not instantly propagated to the rest of the network.
- It represents a temporary split in the blockchain caused by the addition of two blocks at similar times.
- This was common in the first versions of the Bitcoin software, however as of 2015 with the release of version v.0.10, orphan blocks are no longer possible.
- Now there will be some confusion in the Block Chain Network, as to which of these two identical blocks should be added to the block chain.
- Parent block information would be included in this hash, so an orphan block would be a strange occurrence in a network that relies on validation and verification of all preceding blocks.
- Then, the nodes determine what block they want to accept by reaching a validation consensus.
Thus, sometimes one group of nodes might decide to validate one block while another group might decide to validate another. This would essentially create two different versions of the same blockchain (this process is called a fork). When this happens, even though both blocks are verified and legitimate, only one of them can stay on to the main chain, which results in the creation of an orphaned block. This is so because this type of block is not entered in the history of the blockchain.