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Block https://etherscan.io/block/13168598 used just 1,037,420 gas which is -93% Gas Target.

Why would such a block be mined when there are more than 100,000 transactions in the mempool from which the miner could be collecting transaction fees?

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Miners mine blocks as they wish, they can produce blocks with 0 transactions. During normal opeartions, not when gas price is high, the most of the miner revenue comes from inherent block reward, not from tx fees.

Not to include txs in block might have plenty of reasons:

  • some network issues
  • miner has small mempool, for instance he's only started his node or by some reason did not receive other mempool txs from other nodes
  • he has software which by some reason faster operates with small blocks
  • a protest, it was few years earlier in bitcoin network during adoption of new fork (here is an example, but this particular block is not a protest)
  • miner premined several blocks, so his target benefit is in another block

Also have a look on this article.

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Why would such a block be mined when there are more than 100,000 transactions in the mempool from which the miner could be collecting transaction fees?

Because it is more profitable for miner to do so.

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