More Examples

“People usually mean to say ‘stale block’ when they say ‘orphan block.'”

“The orphan blocks were not included in the blockchain.”

Orphan blocks have no known parent.”

Definition(s) from the Web

  1. Usually when people say “orphan block”, they mean a Stale Block, which is a well-formed block which is no longer part of the difficultywise-longest and well-formed blockchain. The Block Reward in a stale block is no longer spendable on the difficultywise-longest and well-formed blockchain; therefore whoever mined that block does not actually get the reward (or the transaction fees). This phenomenon must be taken into account by mining pools that use any payout strategy other than “proportional”. Conceptually, calling the above type of block an orphan block doesn’t make any sense, since it does have a parent. Indeed, in the Bitcoin source code and in more technical discussions, orphan blocks and stale blocks are two separate things: both are not part of the longest valid chain, but in an orphan block it is because the parent is unknown, whereas in a stale block it is because that part of the chain is known to no longer be longest. However, in general discussions people almost always mean “stale block” but say “orphan block”. Source
  2. Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree. Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain. This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the initial block, which is known as the genesis block. Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks. Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and are given incentives to extend with new blocks rather than overwrite old blocks. Therefore, the probability of an entry becoming superseded decreases exponentially as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low. For example, bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system, where the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner. Source

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