The Bitcoin network briefly went offline, failing to produce a block for about an hour on November 7th, prompting concerns over the network’s stability.
This event represents the third occurrence of such a delay this year, with prior incidents noted in May.
Among several instances
Records from Blockchain Explorer show that block 815,689 took nearly 43 minutes to generate, and the following block, 815,690, took 66 minutes. These times are significantly longer than Bitcoin’s average block time, which is typically about 10 minutes.
Colin Wu, a journalist from China, pointed out that in 2021 there were also two significant block production delays, with each lasting close to two hours.
Though somewhat infrequent, these types of interruptions are not unprecedented. Tadge Dryja, creator of the Lightning Network, commented during one of the earlier setbacks that a gap of 85 minutes between blocks is expected to happen roughly every 34 days. However, his estimate does not take into account any changes in the network’s difficulty that may alter this frequency.
Bitcoin mining milestones
The year 2023 was particularly momentous for Bitcoin, as the network mined its 800,000th block in anticipation of its fourth halving event in April 2024.
At the time of the 800,000th block, there were 867 million confirmed transactions, with an average of approximately 1,084 transactions per block, marking a significant achievement for both the cryptocurrency and its community.