I'm talking about nodes that miners connect to that help relay blocks fast, to reduce hash power wastage and forks: http://bitcoinrelaynetwork.org/ and http://www.falcon-net.org/

2 Answers 2


Because in Ethereum you don't waste hashpower since stales are also rewarded.

A stale block is called uncle or ommer block in Ethereum and you might want to read about the reward scheme here: What is GHOST and what is its relationship to Frontier and Casper?

And here: What is an uncle/ommer block?

  • 1
    Adding a subtlety: you do waste some hash power as uncles are rewarded only 7/8 of the block reward and nephews only 1/32. This reduces the incentive for fast relay to 3-4x less (according to Vitalik Buterin).
    – kanu
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 8:06

To supplement this with Vitalik's answer on Gitter (quoted):

  1. Rewarding ommer blocks means miners have lesser incentive to mine on the latest block:

basically means that miners' private incentive to make relaying super-fast is ~3-4x lower than it normally would be this is by design, to limit centralization concerns

  1. Ethereum is computation-heavy. IO accesses and state Merkle root computation are more of a bottleneck than network latency. In Bitcoin, the transaction Merkle root can be precomputed (before getting the hash of the previous block).

ethereum in practice is a bit more computation-heavy than bitcoin is, though for reasons more subtle than "OMG it's turing complete!!1!", so bandwidth improvements won't help quite as much the actual reasons are (i) you can't pre-compute as much before receiving the block as it's more order-dependent, (ii) there's overhead from Merkle state root computations, (iii) you can't pre-compute IO accesses as those may be dynamic

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