An evaluation of the primary 100000 blocks

After a successful launch, Frontier hit 100,000 earlier this week. block exceeded. Here are some interesting stats from those first few blocks.

The first 50 block times (in seconds):

Right after formation, it took 29 seconds for the second block to appear, then 31 and 29 seconds for the next few blocks. Not too surprising as miners got confused with their setups when the last Genesis block was revealed.

After these first few blocks, we see the block time drop significantly as larger miners rush on, bottoming out at 1 second, which is the limit enforced by the consensus protocol.

Now let’s look at the average block time (every 200th block from Genesis to block 10000):

We can see that hash power really attacks the network after the first few hundred blocks, with block times of 1-2 seconds while the difficulty adjustment algorithm catches up. This algorithm increases or decreases the difficulty by diff/2048 per block depending on the block time.

After a few thousand blocks, we see the difficulty increase to the point where block times get into the 4-5 second range. After 9,000 blocks, we’re slowly approaching the target time of 15 seconds.

Largest miners in the first 100,000 blocks (address, blocks, %) :

0xef247e639d49461d25f57e9362cade3120910ce0 851 0.81% 0x790b8a3ce86e707ed0ed32bf89b3269692a23cc1 914 0.87% 0x0037ce3d4b7f8729c8607d8d0248252be68202c0 949 0.90% 0xbb12b5a9b85d4ab8cde6056e9c1b2a4a337d2261 1102 1.04% 0x580992b51e3925e23280efb93d3047c82f17e038 1129 1.07% 0xf2d2aff1320476cb8c6b607199d23175cc595693 1141 1.08% 0x47ff6576639c2e94762ea5443978d7681c0e78dc 1159 1.10% 0x1b7047b4338acf65be94c1a3e8c5c9338ad7d67c 1335 1.26% 0xeb1325c8d9d3ea8d74ac11f4b00f1b2367686319 1446 1.37% 0xbcb2e3693d246e1fc00348754334badeb88b2a11 1537 1.45% 0xa50ec0d39fa913e62f1bae7074e6f36caa71855b 1692 1.60% 0xf8e0ca3ed80bd541b94bedcf259e8cf2141a9523 2437 2.31% 0x9746c7e1ef2bd21ff3997fa467593a89cb852bd0 3586 3.39% 0x88d74a59454f6cf3b51ef6b9136afb6b9d405a88 4292 4.06% 0xbb7b8287f3f0a933474a79eae42cbca977791171 8889 8.41% 0xf927a40c625.b7f6e0%e

While one can never be sure if a single miner uses multiple Coinbase addresses, assuming they use a single one, we have a fairly even distribution of hash power over the first 100,000 blocks. 0xe6a7a1d47ff21b6321162aea7c6cb457d5476bca with 11% hashing power is ethpool, the first mining pool for Ethereum. Next we have two big miners with around 8%. After these three, the distribution is fairly even, with most miners having less than 1% of the total hashing power.

However, things are moving fast in the Ethereum world and if we look at the last 15,000 blocks we see:

0x580992b51e3925e23280efb93d3047c82f17e038 327 2.2% 0xbb7b8287f3f0a933474a79eae42cbca977791171 496 3.3% 0xf927a40c8b7f6e07c5af7fa2155b4864a4112b13 612 4.1% 0x790b8a3ce86e707ed0ed32bf89b3269692a23cc1 674 4.5% 0xe6a7a1d47ff21b6321162aea7c6cb457d5476bca 5775 38.5%

Here it is clear that Ethpool currently has almost 40% of the hashing power and the second and third largest miners only have 4%

blocks in a row

Another interesting statistic is when looking at consecutive sets of blocks from the same miner. This can provide insight into how hashing performance and latency come into play for larger miners.

Shortly after launch, most of the blocks in a row we saw were 6, for example blocks 1578, 1579, 1580, 1581, 1582 and 1583 mined from 0x9dfc0377058b7b9eb277421769b56df1395705f0.

0xbb7b8287f3f0a933474a79eae42cbca977791171 also mined 6 blocks a few times, for example blocks 656, 657, 658, 659, 660 and 661.

This miner also mined 5, 4, 3, and 2 blocks multiple times in a row, which is not too surprising considering 21% of the total hashing power at the time.

This happened very early after launch, when difficulties were mounting rapidly and many miners had not yet joined the network. When the hash power leveled off after block 5000, we didn’t see more than 4 blocks in a row for some time.

However, lately most blocks in a row are 10, for example blocks 103049, 103050, 103051, 103052, 103053, 103054, 103055, 103056, 103057, 103058 from ethpool. With the exception of Ethpool, no miner had more than 6 blocks in a row.

Stay tuned for more stats from the Frontier Network as we monitor over the next few months!

Gustav Simonsson is a developer on the Ethereum Security and Go teams.


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