What Is An Orphaned Block?


Jake Morr


August 25, 2023

An orphaned block is a valid Bitcoin block that doesn't become part of the longest, established blockchain. When two blocks are produced nearly simultaneously, the network temporarily retains both, forming two valid chains. Over time, as new blocks are added, one chain becomes dominant and universally accepted. The shorter chain, with the "orphaned" blocks, is then abandoned. Contrary to the name, these blocks have a parent; their chain is discarded. Often confused with "stale blocks," orphaned blocks result from simultaneous block creation, and their prevention is vital for the financial interests of miners. Swift block propagation and size limitations help mitigate this phenomenon.


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