# Why is the difficulty important?

The difficulty is a number that regulates how long it takes for miners to add new blocks of transactions to the blockchain. This difficulty value updates every 2 weeks to ensure that it takes 10 minutes on average to add a new block to the blockchain. Because it ensures that blocks of transactions are added to the blockchain at regular intervals, even as more miners join the network.

If the difficulty remained the same, it would take less time between adding new blocks to the blockchain as new miners join the network. At this interval, each node takes the expected time for these blocks to be mined x 10 minutes , and divides it by the actual time it took however many minutes :.

Every miner on the bitcoin network now works with this new difficulty for the next blocks. The difficulty will only adjust by a factor of 4 at most i.

This is to prevent abrupt changes from one difficulty to the next. Now, you are able to randomly generate a number between 1 and once every minute.

And your goal is to generate a number below my target number. But over the long run it will work out to be 5-minute intervals.

Therefore, based on how many numbers you are able to generate per minute, I can use the height of the target to control how long it takes you to find a winning number. Furthermore, I can use this difficulty value to help me set the target to any level I want:. So I use the difficulty to control the target , and therefore how long it takes for you to generate a winning number.

And seeing as miners are able to generate thousands of numbers hash values per minute, bitcoin uses ridiculously big numbers:. And due to the fact that there are now thousands of miners trying to find winning numbers, to ensure that a winning number is found every 10 minutes instead of every few seconds , the range of successful numbers ends up being absolutely tiny:.

Because these target numbers are so big, computers prefer to work with them in hexadecimal format. So the target is a hexadecimal value, and miners are trying to get a hexadecimal hash value below the target. But just remember that both these decimal and hexadecimal numbers have the same value , and you can easily convert between the two. Awkwardly, the difficulty is usually given in decimal format, whereas the hashes and targets are stored in hexadecimal.

I used this hexadecimal to decimal converter to do this. Plus the presence of letters within the value is a dead giveaway anyway. So when the miner was trying to solve block ,, she wanted to get a hash for her candidate block that would be below Oh yeah, the hash is in hexadecimal format. Let me convert from hexadecimal to decimal again so that we can compare the two numbers:.

Yep, that hash is a smidgin smaller than the target. But it is lower, so the hash is successful and the block can be added to the blockchain. You can find the current difficulty by entering the getdifficulty command in to your bitcoin client:.

The difficulty can also be found with getmininginfo amongst other mining info. I'll let you know about cool website updates , or if something seriously interesting happens in bitcoin.

Don't worry, it doesn't happen very often. What is the difficulty? Why is the difficulty important? When does the difficulty change? The difficulty adjusts every blocks roughly every 2 weeks. If the number is less than 1 i. How does the difficulty control time between blocks? Bitcoin example. And due to the fact that there are now thousands of miners trying to find winning numbers, to ensure that a winning number is found every 10 minutes instead of every few seconds , the range of successful numbers ends up being absolutely tiny: Even though that difficulty number looks big, the target is still absurdly difficult to get under.

Introducing hexadecimal numbers… Because these target numbers are so big, computers prefer to work with them in hexadecimal format. Block , header. The target is hexadecimal, but it is stored in a compact format in the block header called bits. I got the difficulty from the block header information I pasted above. Hey there, it's Greg.

## Eligible signature (hash) — aka mining difficulty

The popularity of Bitcoin is rising as more and more people are learning about it. However, it is still difficult to understand some ideas related to Bitcoin — Bitcoin mining is definitely one biitcoin. What is Bitcoin mining? How does Bitcoin mining work? How long does it take to mine a bitcoin…? There are bictoin many questions we ask ourselves when we first read about Bitcoin and mining. In this guide, you will find all the answers you need.

## What is the difficulty?

Understanding how Bitcoin mining works is crucial for both people looking into doing it themselves and other crypto enthusiasts. In this article we explain how hashrate and mining difficulty affect the process. Whether you are new to Bitcoin and want to dive deeper into its concept or you are an experienced user and looking into building your first mining rig , you need to know about how mining is performed and what are the requirements for doing it. The terminology used in describing the mining process can be confusing for some. Hence, there are many misconceptions about this process, especially when it comes to inexperienced users.