Bitcoin Cash mining difficulty

Brand new cryptocurrency mining difficulty: a close up of the latest information and predictions
03 August
Bitcoin

Is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen

Bitcoin Cash (BCH, BCC) is a hard-forked version of the original Bitcoin, which is different from the original cryptocurrency in terms of its blocksize limits (Bitcoin has a 1MB blocksize limit whereas BCC proposes 8MB blocks) and the difficulty adjustments (as reported, Bitcoin Cash will adjust the difficulty every 6 blocks as opposed to 2016 blocks as with Bitcoin).

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

Blockchain

Distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks

The community’s attitude to BCC remains a bit diverse as the new cryptocurrency has a lot of things to work on. 

One of the problems with Bitcoin Cash is that hash power on the Bitcoin Cash chain started out low and has remained such, resulting in the extremely slow confirmation times taking hours.

Bitcoin Cash

A new cryptocurrency representing a hard-forked version of Bitcoin, different from it in the blocksize limits

It is believed, that this should improve over time, especially as Bitcoin Cash implemented a new difficulty algorithm designed to faster adjust back to normal. However, even with this algorithm, it could take weeks before blocks are found at typical ten-minute block intervals.

Jimmy Song, Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur, explains how the difficulty on the Bitcoin Cash chain will change over the next 10+ blocks in his blog.

Thus, according to the blogpost, 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).

Jimmy Song also attaches a chart in order to help to project the difficulty adjustment:

Jimmy Song's Bitcoin Cash difficulty adjustment chart Jimmy Song's Bitcoin Cash difficulty adjustment chart

As Jimmy Song claims, there are a bunch of blocks that have not been mined yet, but even if they were instantly mined, we would have 6 difficulty adjustments on blocks 478577 to 478582. This will reduce difficulty 20% each so we will have blocks that are 0.8⁶ ~ 0.262 as hard to mine. That is, miners will need to put in about 1/4 the work to mine a block.

This may explain why there was a 13 hour gap between blocks 478570 and 478571. Miners may simply have wanted the chain to be easier to mine!
 

Jimmy Song
Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur

Upd.: 

Bitcoin Cash has changed its mining difficulty. 

As predicted, a Bitcoin fork has now changed its difficulty, currently operating at 26% of the main chain’s mining difficulty. The change happened at block 478577, which was found at around 4AM London time on August 3rd, 2017. It lowered difficulty to 80%, with the next 5 blocks lowering it further until block 478582 lowered it to 26%.

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.