"Mining and Validation" TAG

Layer 2 Scalability
  • glossary
One approach to increasing a blockchain network’s transaction scalability is to utilize linked Layer 2 networks to reduce burden on the main chain. They do so by allowing users to conduct a number of transactions on this separate channel, while only recording the final state (net changes) of both accounts to the main blockchain. This...
Node
  • glossary
Any device (phone, computer, printer, camera, etc) connected to a blockchain network is considered a node. Some nodes perform important network functions, such as validating transactions, storing data, providing computational power, or participating in governance. Such nodes typically have further descriptors; see full node, lightweight node, masternode, etc.
Block
  • glossary
A block is a file where certain data is stored. Blockchains are composed of blocks, with each valid block on a chain referring to its predecessor. What specific data is stored on a block, how blocks are validated and linked, how big blocks are, and so on can vary between blockchains. Common block components include:...
ASIC
  • glossary
An Application-Specific Intergrated Circuit, or ASIC, is a type of computing hardware chip optimized for a particular use. ASICs are used in many Proof of Work blockchain networks, particularly Bitcoin. Since ASICs are dramatically more efficient in solving Proof of Work puzzles than are consumer hardware, the vast majority of Bitcoin mining power is from...
Lightweight Node
  • glossary
A lightweight node is a type of blockchain node client that validates transactions by downloading only the block headers, not the entire contents of the blocks. This significantly reduces the storage requirements for node operators. Lightweight nodes do not interact directly with a blockchain or its consensus process, and instead use full nodes as intermediaries...
Scrypt
  • glossary
Scrypt is a hashing algorithm used in many cryptocurrencies as Proof of Work (Bitcoin uses SHA-256). Scrypt was first used in the now defunct altcoin tenebrix, and adopted in Litecoin soon thereafter. Scrypt is a memory intensive algorithm and makes it harder to design ASICs for mining. Even if ASICs are available, their advantage is...
Selfish Mining
  • glossary
Selfish Mining, a.k.a a ‘block withholding attack’ is a type of economic attack vector in blockchain systems. In this attack, a mining pool delays their release of a discovered block so to attempt to secretly mine further blocks, while the rest of the network wastes energy mining what will become an orphan block. The attack...
SHA-256
  • glossary
‘Secure Hashing Algorithm’ is a title given to a set of cryptographic hashing algorithms designed by the NSA.
Soft Fork
  • glossary
A soft fork is a temporary split of a blockchain brought about by a change in the consensus protocol that make previously valid transactions now invalid. Nodes that have not upgraded will still accept new blocks (because they contain only transactions previously considered valid), making the change backward compatible. Only miners need to implement soft...
Kimoto’s Gravity Well
  • glossary
Kimoto’s Gravity Well (KGW) is a modification to Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment algorithm that was first developed for the altcoin ‘megacoin’ and has since been implemented in many other altcoins, both in its initial incarnation as well as in modified fashions. Whereas Bitcoin averages the last 2016 blocks to determine difficulty retargeting, KGW retargets difficulty at...
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