Will Bitcoin experience "mining gaps" less than a month after the 2024 Halving?
May 21

The paper "On the Instability of Bitcoin Without the Block Reward" by Carlsten et al., suggests that as the Bitcoin block subsidy decreases relative to the transaction fees, there is a possibility that Bitcoin will experience "Mining gaps". This occurs when a substantial fraction of miners turn off their mining equipment for a short period immediately after a block is mined (when the mempool is smaller and when there is accordingly less of a reward for mining blocks), in order to save on electricity costs.

This question resolves to "YES" if the Bitcoin blockchain shows clear evidence of a at least 10% of the network hashrate using a Mining gap strategy during the month after the next (2024) halving. Note that the argument for the presence of mining must consist entirely of analysis of chain data. An example of "clear evidence" might be a statistical analysis of inter-block times, showing that these times are not exponentially distributed (as we would expect if hashrate was constant) or showing a difference in inter-block times depending on the state of the mempool as extrapolated from fees in previous blocks.

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