Orphaned blocks duplicated in sequence are rare in Bitcoin’s Blockchain.
A rare event came to the attention of the Bitcoin community on Wednesday, when two „orphan“ blocks were created and discarded in the Blockchain of the world’s largest cryptomat.
Both blocks were mined by F2Pool and Slush at the level of blocks 656,477 and 656,478. At the same time, the same blocks were opened by two other mining companies, BTC.com and Binance, which generated a division of the chain and the duplicate blocks were discarded without prejudice to the transactions, according to BitMEX Research published on Twitter:
A chainsplit of length two occurred on Bitcoin today. The following diagram shows the miners involved, block timestamps & the time our node’s first saw the blocks
Still, according to BitMEX, there were no losses from the transactions. But how can Bitcoin mining generate an „orphan“ block and discard it?
How does an „orphan“ block occur?
In the Bitcoin Blockchain, each block in a Blockchain is made up of several transactions collected by the miners in the queue. Orphaned blocks are the most common ones in the Bitcoin network and are usually rejected when two miners produce a block very close together. Since in the end there can only be one block, the winner is decided on the basis of which block has the most working evidence.
There are also cases where hackers try to create orphaned blocks in an attempt to reverse transactions and steal funds.
Bitcoin miners will use the derivatives, just as traditional commodity producers do
However, when an orphaned block is produced in the Blockchain, as transactions go to the end of the queue, it is better to wait for the transfer to be completed or for the cryptomonies to be recovered. When such a block is identified, the transactions return to the queue and are included in a later block.
The creation of orphan blocks is common in Blockchain technology, but the creation of two orphan blocks in a row, as happened this Wednesday, is much rarer. In late September, BitMEX Research also found two orphan blocks, and the event also occurred in July and August.
According to experts, although not rare, they can have an impact on mining. According to a BitMEX Research spokesperson, the orphaned blocks result in „wasted work, less test work, which can make the network cheaper to attack.
In addition, he says that orphaned blocks „can benefit large mining companies by increasing the pressure of centralization.