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I understand how it's calculated and what its intent is. I'm unsure of how the value is being used in practice.

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In short it increases/decreases the number of computations (time needed) to solve the proof-of-work puzzles to adjust the actual mining time to the target mining time.

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  • Thanks for the input. For more specificity, check apendix J of the yellow paper. Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 15:50

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