Bitcoin Cash adjusts difficulty for a 3rd time

Brand new cryptocurrency adjusts mining difficulty for a third time
09 August

Bitcoin Cash, the hard-forked version of Bitcoin, adjusted its mining difficulty after a week of its creation.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash price is about $323 and the new cryptocurrency remains the forth-one in the list of market capitalization:

 Bitcoin Cash price chart on coinmarketcap.com  Bitcoin Cash price chart on coinmarketcap.com

Bitcoin Cash has a very particular rule about when difficulty can adjust downward. Rules for this are as follows:

  • Median Time Past of the current block and the Median Time Past of 6 blocks before has to be greater than 12 hours.
  • If so, it gets 20% easier to create proof of work. In other words, miners can find blocks 20% easier.

*Median Time Past (MTP) is just the median of the last 11 blocks. That is, put the last 11 blocks in time order and pick the middle one. This is used because sometimes blocks mined later have earlier time stamps (some technical reasons related to different clocks).

Thus, according to Coindesk, as a result of both blocks (478,647 and 478,648) having a Median Time Past (MTP) that was 12 hours greater than the six blocks prior, each block adjusted difficulty down by 20%. 

Now, the Bitcoin Cash chain has triggered a third difficulty adjustment, which resulted in lowering it to 13% of the hash-power required to find a block on August 1st.

The current mining profitability of Bitcoin Cash on cash.coin.dance The current mining profitability of Bitcoin Cash on cash.coin.dance

The chain is now operating at normal levels, with blocks being found within the usual 10 minutes, but occasional 20-30 minutes gaps still remain. The reason for this may be that the Bitcoin core chain is still more profitable to mine, standing at around 30% higher, although it has significantly fallen since yesterday.

Intel to Apply Blockchain Mining to Genetic Sequencing

Intel intends to utilize the energy expended during cryptocurrency mining for the sequencing of genetic data
15 December

Yesterday the U.S. Patent released a patent application called "Blockchain System with Nucleobase Sequencing as Proof of Work". In the application Intel’s inventors describe a type of computer called a sequence mining platform (SMP) which would identify the order or nucleobases in a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA).

Nucleobases are the molecules that make up DNA and RNA, which contain the genetic information within every living organism on the planet. The order of these bases determines what physical traits a person, plant or animal features.

The patent application states that the SMP would use a nucleobase sequencing unit to actually establish the order of nucleobases in a given sample, which would then be verified by the blockchain before being permanently recorded on it.

The POW algorithm will be used to both identify the sequence and subsequently verify it, according to the application, and the sequence recorded on one block would be used as a base for the POW problems in the next block.