Decreasing block time causes more transactions to be processed, but that also causes frequent forks. frequent forks have 2 downsides: hashrate is wasted and 51% attack becomes easier. In the very first iteration, ethereum tried ghost protocol which rewards miners for orphan or call it, uncle blocks. I understand till now, so no need to explain this further.

I want to only understand one thing: Note that I am NOT asking this with the current ethereum as it is already POS or POW+POS(doesn't really matter for this question), this question is related to the time when there was only POW in ethereum i.e right at that moment before it was updated to POW+POS.

since there are frequent forks, how does it not cause inconsistent chains between nodes ? I know that in the end, chain uses some rule so everyone gets on the same chain, but till then, before this rule is activated, inconsistency is definitely there, not only that, if I create a tx that ends up in orphan block, that means my waiting time for transaction to be included in main chain increases again. If there're frequent forks, my transaction could end up in orphan block not only one time, but even 3 times - first it gets into orphan, then since this tx didn't end up in main chain, node tries it again in a new block, but that block again ends up orphan. This definitely would be possible and increasing my tx time so much. Maybe that's what was wrong with ghost. How did ethereum solve this ?

1 Answer 1


In practice forks were just 2 o 3 blocks long. Longer forks were quite unusual.

There were several attempts to fix this.

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