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How Often does Bitcoin Take an Hour to Mine a New Block

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Bitcoin’s proof of work consensus is built to keep block intervals, or the time between mining two consecutive blocks, at the average of 10 minutes over time. It achieves that by adjusting mining difficulty every 2016 blocks, depending on the changes to the total hash rate of the network participants. However, the actual distribution of these block intervals is very interesting and worth taking a deeper look into.

Recently I was presented with the next problem: How often does mining a new block take more than an hour? To answer that, we will take a look into the distribution of block intervals and try to make sense of it mathematically.

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A perfect place to play with Bitcoin block data is a public BigQuery DB dataset provided by Google. They hold and update block and transaction datasets for most major blockchains. You can log into the BigQuery console and find the dataset called: bigquery-public-data:crypto_bitcoin

I will just dive right into the raw data and plot the distribution of the block intervals for the Bitcoin blockchain.

In this SQL query we first add a column block_interval_seconds to the table called with_block_interval. Column block_interval_seconds is calculated as a difference in seconds between the consecutive blocks. To achieve that we use BigQuery’s built in function TIMESTAMP_DIFF() which calculates the difference between two timestamps. And a window function called LAG() gives us a previous value in the ordered partition. So basically a timestamp value of the block before the current block.

What we want to do next is plot all these values to the chart and see the distribution. As of now, Bitcoin blockchain has around 660.000 blocks, so plotting all of these values on the single chart would be a bit too intense for my computer. This is why at the end of the SQL script we arrange block_interval_seconds values into buckets with the size of 1 minute. If we want more granular chart, we can adjust buckets size accordingly.

Histogram of block interval distribution

From the distribution plot we can see how a big portion of blocks was actually mined in just a minute or two. And how the block interval distribution follows an exponential curve. Actually, even though the average block interval is 10 minutes long, the median value is lower than that. If I calculate the median value from the given dataset, it is about 6,5 minutes. That means that the majority of blocks are mined significantly faster than the average of 10 minutes. But then the long tail of exponential distribution pushes the average block interval to 10 minutes.

Another interesting property of exponential distribution is that it is memoryless. What does that mean? It means that previous events do not impact the next block interval. And it also means, that in any moment we look into the blockchain, the average time to the next block will always be the same: 10 minutes.

Imagine this, you are trying to pay for some groceries with your Bitcoins and you are waiting for the confirmation. Now, confirmation block hasn’t been mined for 5 minutes already. And you think to yourself, it should be mined any minute now, since the average block interval is 10 minutes. Actually because exponential distribution has a characteristic of being memoryless, it doesn’t really matter for how long you have been waiting already. That doesn’t change the probability, and the fact that the next block will be mined in average 10 minutes from now.

Now that we know what is the distribution of block intervals, let’s try to solve this question mathematically.

When we have independent events happening, we can use Poisson distribution to determine the probability of N events happening in a given time period. All we need to know is an average of events that should happen in the given time period.

Poisson probability for K events
  • λ is an average amount of events
  • K is a number of events we are calculating probability for

Now that we know how to calculate probability, we can go back to the question. We are interested in the probability of 0 events happening within an hour. In average we expect 6 events to happen in an hour, since average block interval is 10 minutes. So we get:

Probability of 0 events happening in an hour

There we have it, mathematically calculated probability of 0 events happening in an hour. Now we can answer the original question: How often does mining a new block take more than an hour? We expect this to happen once every e⁶ events, or e⁶ * 10 minutes.

So every 2 days and 20 hours we can expect a block interval of more than 1 hour.

We can go back to the BigQuery dataset and see how often does Bitcoin blockchain really see this happening, and if our prediction is accurate.

At the moment of writing, if you run this query, you will get 1572 rows, which is the number of times a block interval exceeded 1 hour in the history of Bitcoin blockchain.

All together there were 666.279 blocks mined until now, with the average block interval of 10 minutes. This means that in average, this event occurred every 2 days and 22 hours.

Scatter plot of all blocks which’s block interval exceeded one hour

Seemingly a very simple blockchain property block interval, can be quite interesting to dive more deep into. We can see that with Poisson distribution we were able to very accurately predict how often block interval takes more than an hour. And that is also a testament to the Bitcoin blockchain, on how reliable and predictable it has been throughout the years.

It can be quite tricky to gather all Bitcoin blockchain data in a well organised data structure, so I’m really glad that BigQuery provides us with up to date public datasets that we can use in our own projects.

Source: https://medium.com/@jozhe/how-often-does-bitcoin-take-an-hour-to-mine-a-new-block-c1c89e6e45eb?source=rss——-8—————–cryptocurrency

Blockchain

Economist: Ethereum and Bitcoin Look “Bullish” After Withstanding “Macro Beating”

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Bitcoin and Ethereum are down from their recent 2021 highs, but compared to their traditional market counterparts, have shown more resilience during the recent “royal macro beating.”

Here’s why one top economist and investor says this is incredibly bullish for the two titan cryptocurrency assets.

Royal Macro Beating Can’t Take Down Bullish Bitcoin And Ethereum

This week, the stock market plunged, and precious metals saw a sharp selloff as the macro environment remains uneasy globally. Yet somehow, amidst a “royal macro beating”, Ethereum and Bitcoin have held up comparably well.

Economist and trader Alex Kruger says the resiliency is “bullish” for Bitcoin and Ethereum. The two top crypto assets have been in an uptrend for a full year now, and the recent macro jitters have been the first major bump in the road since.

Related Reading | “Wonderful” Shark Tank Investor Shifts Portion of Portfolio To Bitcoin and Ethereum 

Bitcoin exploded from lows around $4,000 to $58,000 per » Read more

” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/coin/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>coin at the high, while Ethereum fell to under $100 and has risen to $2,000 since. The more than 10x rise, however, might be nowhere near the finish line, and holding up so well here could be the catalyst that sends the cryptocurrencies higher through the resistance level.

bitcoin and Ethereum macro beating

Ethereum and Bitcoin have held up extremely well compared to the S&P 500 and gold. | ETHUSD on TradingView.com

The Changing Of The Guard To Crypto Is Underway

The stock market is on thin ice, and precious metals cannot be upgraded or updated, and have limited use in the future as a store of value compared to cryptocurrencies.

The digital gold narrative has been working, and the steepness of the gold selloff above shows how effective the narrative has been. Crypto prices holding up so well while gold plummets, could send even more capital flowing out of metals and into the scarce digital asset.

Related Reading | Mark Cuban Slams Peter Schiff: Gold is Dead, Bitcoin and Ethereum Are Today

Profit-taking in the currency overheated stock market will want to follow the money, wherever the grass is greener and profits are consistent. If that place is the crypto market, the flood gates of capital could finally be coming that helps to push Bitcoin to prices of hundreds of thousands of dollars per » Read more

” href=”https://www.newsbtc.com/dictionary/coin/” data-wpel-link=”internal”>coin, and tens of thousands of dollars per Ether.

The nascent technologies are only now coming into their own as financial assets, and institutional investors have begun to recognize the shift from traditional assets, to digital ones, and the ones who have been early thus far have been the most profitable.

Will Bitcoin and Ethereum continue to hold up this well, or will they ultimately succumb to the continuing macro beating going on across markets right now?

Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from TradingView.com

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/ethereum-bitcoin-macro-beating-gold/

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Blockchain

3 million active users help lift Audius (AUDIO) to a new all-time high

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As blockchain technology increasingly becomes part of the mainstream conversation, its integration with today’s most used technologies is bound to increase. This means that it’s only a matter of time before video streaming, digital music and social media see gradual blockchain integrations take place. 

Audius (AUDIO) is one project that is chasing the first-mover advantage in the music streaming sector. The music-sharing and streaming protocol facilitates transactions between creators and listeners, making it relatively effortless for users to distribute and monetize audio content. 

The project has received increasing attention for its approach to decentralizing the music industry and on March 2 the team celebrated reaching 3 million monthly active users. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that the price of AUDIO surged 108% since the start of March from a low of $0.38 to a new all-time high of $0.79 on March 4 as the altcoin’s trading volume spiked from $3 million to a record $55 million.

AUDIO/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Staking incentives drive user adoption

The first major increase in users followed the project’s October 2020 launch and the activation of staking on the Audius platform in December. This enabled AUDIO holders to earn a 7% yield for tokens that were staked on the network while they listening to music and interacted with the protocol.

By the end of January, the platform had 1.8 million active users and a total of 122 million AUDIO tokens staked on the network. These figures have since increased to 3 million users and a total of 182.5 million staked AUDIO as the platform continues to integrate new features that incentivize community involvement.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for AUDIO on Feb. 28, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. AUDIO price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ score for AUDIO hit a peak of 69 on Feb. 28, just before the start of a prolonged uptrend in price which was further identified by a VORTECS™ score of 80 on March 1. After pulling back over the next 3 days the score again spiked to 70, just hours before a significant rise in the price of AUDIO.

On March 5, the project revealed its plans to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFT) into the protocol as part of its effort to offer a full-service decentralized platform and expand its user base.

NFTs have become a hot topic in the cryptocurrency sector in recent months, and their integration into the AUDIO platform is likely to bring a renewed wave of interaction from users.

As blockchain technology continues to become more prominent in mainstream society, Audius appears well-positioned to become a leader in the streaming music space thanks to a rapidly expanding user base and a growing list of incentives that entice users to stay active on the platform.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/3-million-active-users-help-lift-audius-audio-to-a-new-all-time-high

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Bybit to Cease Services for UK Citizens Following the FCA Ban on Crypto Derivatives Trading

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The first consequences from the FCA ban on crypto derivatives trading in the UK are evident for the popular digital asset exchange Bybit. The company announced earlier that it will suspend its services to all customers based in the United Kingdom. 

  • Established in 2018, Bybit is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Singapore with a reported user base of over one million registered clients. However, the firm will seize offering its services to UK-based customers, according to a recent press release
  • The statement informed that all UK users have to close all of their opened positions and withdraw all account balances by 8 AM UTC, March 31st, 2021. Following that date, UK citizens will be “restricted from accessing or performing any trading activities on Bybit.” 
  • Furthermore, the exchange will immediately restrict all new registrations using UK mobile numbers and/or IP addresses. 
  • Bybit’s decision is a direct consequence of a ban on crypto derivatives trading in the UK instituted by the country’s regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 
  • CryptoPotato reported last year that the watchdog planned to prohibit the sale, marketing, and distribution to all retail customers of crypto derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs).  
  • At the time, the FCA described such products as “ill-suited for retail customers due to the harm they pose.” It also outlined that traders are unable to determine a reliable value because of the extreme volatility in the market and inadequate understanding. 
  • Interestingly, though, even the UK population couldn’t stop the FCA from implementing the ban as a survey compiled by the watchdog suggested that over 97% disagreed with the decision. 
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bybit-to-cease-services-for-uk-citizens-following-the-fca-ban-on-crypto-derivatives-trading/

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