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Calculated probabilities were calculated by Greg @

Block 840,000 is not just another block in the blockchain; it triggers the Bitcoin halving where the block reward is reduced from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, cutting the amount of BTC mined each day in half. You don’t have to be a Princeton economist to understand the impact this will have on the supply and demand dynamics for bitcoin. Beyond the obvious halving of the block reward, a new market has developed around Ordinals which could have a significant impact on what happens to the first block of the halving. Contained within the first block of the halving is an extremely rare “epic sat”. While Ordinals have divided some Bitcoiners on their merit, there is no arguing the impact they have had on Bitcoin.and it raises an important question, could Ordinals cause a blockchain reorg? Through this article we will dig into the basics of a reorg, Ordinals demand, how mining probabilities work, and finally who could pull off a successful reorg.

Before we dig into this “epic sat”, let’s build an understanding of what a reorg is. The Bitcoin blockchain is a slow and dumb database that creates blocks of data every 10 minutes or so. It continues working as intended, but occasionally, things get tense. When two miners find blocks nearly simultaneously, it creates a temporary fork in the blockchain. This moment of overlap leads to a brief period of uncertainty. These forks are resolved by the network through the longest chain rule, which is when the fork tip of the blockchain with more proof-of-work (the longest chain or aka more blocks) will be adopted as the valid chain. Orphaned blocks from the shorter chain are not included in the longer one, and the transactions they contain are returned to the mempool to be included in future blocks. This process of one chain becoming longer than the other and becoming the accepted version is known as a reorganization, or reorg.

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Due to the incentive structures built into Bitcoin mining, reorgs are usually resolved as soon as the next block is found and added to the tip of one of the forked chains. This is because finding a block is extremely difficult, and miners are incentivized to work on the longest chain in order to build the next block, and get paid. If they are mining on the short fork, the rest of the network will leave them behind and they will have invalid blocks. The last thing you would want is to build a block that is rejected by the network because you’ve built a block on a chain and are rejected by the network due to the longest chain rule. During the reorg period of a fork, miners build on whichever chain fork hits their node first and try to…

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