Understanding Block Time
If you haven’t read our previous article titled, Understanding Blocks, you should check it out first in order to facilitate the understanding of this complimentary article.
A Brief Overview
Simply put, a block is where transaction data is stored in a blockchain. Each block has a hash that is unique only to that block. This hash serves as an identifier and verifier for the information contained within that block so that each block can be completed and further built upon. This same process repeats itself ad-infinitum.
Block time can be defined as, the average amount of time it takes for the hashing (computational) power of the network (nodes) to find a solution to the current hash and create a new block. It is simply the time in-between the generation of each new block, which is determined by the blockchain’s protocol.
The block time is determined by a number of factors like: the computing power (hash rate) of the network and the complexity of the hash being solved.
The block time for Bitcoin is currently around 10 minutes, whereas the block time for Ethereum is a mere 10–15 seconds.
Once any given block has reached completion, the information contained within the block becomes verified and deemed trustworthy, allowing for the next block to be built on top of it.
The block time can also be seen as the time that it takes for a transaction to process on that given blockchain protocol. In essence, the faster the block time, the faster the transactions on that blockchain.