Is the Bitcoin Block Generation Time Reasonable?

Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that does not require any central authority. Instead, the distribution of Bitcoins is based on a peer-to-peer networking system. Here, the bitcoin generation time is of the essence as it gives an idea about how the Bitcoins will be produced and when. It is also crucial for tracking any malicious user that fails to follow the protocol, and as a result, the Bitcoins generated by the malicious user will be deemed null and void.

Bitcoins are created every time a miner comes across a new block in the network. It takes the use of pretty expensive equipment.

The Logic Behind Bitcoin Block Generation Interval

A peculiar calculation works behind the block generation interval of Bitcoin. For 2016 blocks on the network, the number of blocks created is constant for about fourteen days. It roughly means that one block is generated every six hours.

Now, there is a gradual nonrandom decrease in the number of bitcoins produced in each block. There is a 50% reduction in this value every four years, referred to as the Bitcoin halving event. As a result, the number of bitcoins mined is unlikely to exceed 21 million any time soon. It is proper mathematics behind then timing as this schedule is at par with the bitcoin reward halving that occurs every four years. The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi, has not explained it clear as to why he has chosen the decreasing supply-chain algorithm. There are speculations that he has possibly chosen this because it has a close approximation with the mining of other things such as gold. It is the reason why people who discover a block are called miners.

The time required for the discovery of a new block depends on the user’s mining ability and the difficulty of the network. There are also variations for the time taken for different block rewards to halve.

What if the Bitcoin Mining Power were Constant?

If the mining power of Bitcoin were kept a constant since its inception in 2009, then the last Bitcoin would get mined on 8th October 2140. What is difficult is to predict how the mining power of Bitcoin is likely to change in the future and how exactly it will affect the block generation time.

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