Bitcoin miners dug empty blocks several times after halving. So what is the mystery of these transactions?

Bitcoin miners started earning 6.25 BTC, not 12.5 BTC, from the blocks after halving. As a result, there was a very serious decrease in miner’s income. When we look at blockchain.com data, we can clearly see this decline.

With the decrease in mining revenues, some miners started to pull chips. Because these miners no longer earn enough money to cover the cost of digging blocks. As a result, there has been a decrease in the hash rate on the network, resulting in an increase in the approval time of transactions and transaction fees.

Miners who can no longer earn as many block rewards as before are not able to earn as much income as they used to, but now rely more on transaction fees. So much so that 17% of the $ 9 million miners earned yesterday came from transaction fees, which has not been so high for almost 2 years.

Empty Blocks
When we look at some blocks that Bitcoin miners have dug after halving, we see that these blocks are empty. In other words, there is no transaction for users in these blocks. When miners dig these empty blocks, they do not receive any transaction fees, they only have to settle for the block reward.

Confirm from Side…
Since it is a Bitcoin blockchain-based system and works with the PoW algorithm, every bitcoin block excavated needs to be verified by each miner on the network. Invalid, fake, erroneous, malicious transactions are prevented in this way.

This system means: When a miner digs a new block and shares it with other miners, other miners must approve this block. So how do they do this? Miners are downloading the full version of this block, confirming each transaction in it and explaining that this block is valid, in other words, a new block can be added on top of this block.

… Dig a Hand
To understand why miners dug empty blocks, first of all, it should be reminded that miners are working with the motto “no stopping”. Mining devices consume a significant amount of electricity every second they work and cost money. And miners don’t want to waste any seconds.

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This is why miners are starting to dig a new block while confirming the block that another miner is digging. In this way, they do not lose time just to confirm that someone else is digging, and they do not stay idle while doing this operation. Professor of Computer Science, Campinas State University. Jorge Stolfi; he summarized the miners’ working styles a few years ago. According to his statements, when the miners “started to approve the N block”, they immediately start “digging the N + 1 block”.

But at this point, we have to remind how Bitcoin works again. If there is an invalid transaction in a block; A new block cannot be added to that block. In other words, if you reflect an invalid operation in the N block to the N + 1 block, the block you dig will also be invalid. At this point, the miners follow a method like this: When they start approving the N block, they start digging the N + 1 block, but they do not transfer any operations in the N block to N + 1. No action is added to the N + 1 block because the N block has not yet been approved (it is not known whether there is an invalid transaction).

Miners add only the block reward they will receive to their N + 1 block (which is why they are not literally ’empty’) and they start digging that block that way. Professor As Stolfi stated, if these miners are lucky; It takes less time to dig N + 1 block than confirm N block. Thus, “empty blocks” emerge.

That’s why miners are digging these ’empty’ blocks with only 1 transaction (block reward). When they do this, they cannot charge extra transaction fees, yes. But at least they guarantee that they will get the block reward. So they are digging empty blocks because they prefer a safer way. But Wolfe, one of the domestic crypto commentators; he thinks this points to a bigger problem. In his view, miners cannot afford their expenses despite the “high transaction fees”. Wolfe says this could lead to “exorbitant transaction fees” and “network congestion” over time.

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