Topic: Total Newbie Q: Block number frozen? (Read 10485 times)

Activity: 17
Merit: 0
May 17, 2010, 12:31:26 PM
Thanks so much for the info!
sr. member
Activity: 252
Merit: 255
May 17, 2010, 10:29:51 AM
Yes, that is the expected behavior.

Each of those blocks that you downloaded contains bitcoin transaction records spanning roughly ten minutes. All the Bitcoin clients which are generating bitcoins combine their computing power to securely authenticate outstanding transactions using linked time-stamps. The difficulty to generate a new time-stamp is adjusted every 2016 blocks, which is roughly two weeks, so that the combined computational power of the whole Bitcoin swarm will only be able to generate one time-stamp roughly every ten minutes. New bitcoins are awarded each time a time-stamp is generated to whichever computer generated the time-stamp. For the first 210,000 blocks or roughly 4 years, 50 bitcoins are awarded for each time-stamp. The number of bitcoins awarded for each subsequent 210,000 blocks is cut in half. I would estimate that your computer will probably generate at least one time-stamp everyday, but the rate will change every two weeks. Once you receive some bitcoins for generating a block, they'll immediately show up in the Bitcoin client, but you'll have to wait 120 blocks or roughly 20 hours before you can spend them.
Activity: 17
Merit: 0
May 17, 2010, 09:52:18 AM
I'm a total newbie, I just installed bitcoin yesterday and I have yet to generate a coin.  Last night after I installed, I asked bitcoin to generate coins and made sure it had connectivity through both my software and hardware firewalls.  Bitcoin still didn't use almost any CPU, and I saw the block number in the GUI increasing rather quickly, perhaps a few every second.  This morning my CPU is pegged (across all four cores) and the block number visible in the GUI is no longer increasing, but appears stuck at a constant value.

My newbie questions are:

Is my experience above expected behavior?

Under what conditions should the block number increase?

Should my CPU have gone up immediately after choosing "generate coins?"

I have a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, with all 4 cores active.  How long will it likely take for me to generate my first coin?  (It's been ~14 hours since I installed, but I don't know when last night the computer transitioned from no-CPU usage to full-CPU usage)

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