- Bitcoin network recently achieved a milestone by mining its 800,000th block, leaving just 40,000 blocks to go until the next mining reward halving event.
- The significance of this milestone extends to the resilience, security of the Bitcoin network, and implications for Bitcoin’s mining difficulty, rewards, and price.
The Bitcoin network has triumphantly mined its 800,000th block, leaving only 40,000 blocks until the next significant mining reward halving event. As market researcher Dylan LeClair highlighted, the block comprised 3,721 transactions and reached 1.64 megabytes in size, with the price of Bitcoin trading at $29,815 on July 24.
Bitcoin Block Height: A testament to Security and Immutability
The term “block height” refers to the position of a block in the blockchain sequence, counting from the genesis block, which was the network’s foundational block. Each block, created by network miners, contains a group of transactions and data.
— Dylan LeClair 🟠 (@DylanLeClair_) July 24, 2023
The block height plays a crucial role in maintaining the chronological order of transactions and blocks on the network. It links every new block to its predecessor, enabling users to determine the sequence in which transactions are registered. Additionally, it serves as an indicator of the Bitcoin blockchain’s immutability. As more blocks are added to the chain, a potential malicious actor would need exponentially more computational power to tamper with earlier blocks.
The concept of a 50% attack refers to a situation where a nefarious party manages to monopolize new block generation and rewards by gaining enough computing power to prevent other miners from completing blocks. This attacker could also reverse transactions.
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The block height also regulates Bitcoin’s mining difficulty. Proof-of-work-based blockchain networks adjust their mining difficulty periodically. This adjustment depends on the total computational power of the network and the time it took to mine a specific number of prior blocks.
On average, the Bitcoin network generates a new block every 10 minutes. If more hashing power is incorporated into the network, this measure is impacted, leading to automatic adjustments to the mining difficulty every fortnight to maintain balance.
Furthermore, the block height prescribes the amount of Bitcoin rewarded to miners for adding a new block to the network. Bitcoin is programmed to undergo a block-halving event every four years or every 210,000 blocks added to the chain.
From an initial block reward of 50 BTC in 2009, the reward has been halved to its current amount of 6.25 BTC, with the next halving expected to occur in April 2024, reducing the reward to 3.125 BTC. Historically, halving events correlate with major price surges for BTC and the wider cryptocurrency market.
With less than a year remaining until the next halving, the Bitcoin price has been influenced by macro events, including renewed institutional interest indicated by recent Bitcoin exchange-traded funds filings from global asset managers BlackRock and Fidelity.
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