Blockchain/Bitcoin for beginners 9: Bitcoin difficulty, target, BITS – all you need to know

In this video I break the somewhat confusing and mysterious question of how exactly the block difficulty is defined, represented and updated. There is a …


  1. I have watched all your impressive bitcoin videos. Thank you so much for effort. I would like like to request you to give information on how we can include NP-complete problem on bitcoin. I would be so grateful if you could provide insight on this.

  2. You are the one that just a single video of yours worth ten thousand value of celebreties' funny clips. I wish YouTube could include a measure for effectiveness. So you could get supported through your teaching more effectifly. Thank you Matt!

  3. Very nicely explained…!!
    I just wanted to know what will happen when the difficulty bits becomes 0x03000001 i.e. all zeros with last bit 1.. would the difficulty increase ceiling be met and we won't be able to further increase the difficulty??

  4. No Idea why this has just 80 thumbs up, it helped me to follow each step and calculate new target and all manually.
    Another part to fully understand blockchain: Done. Thanks.

  5. Great videos Matt – I made it this far without a question! You used 17 as the "Difficulty" element as part of the total hash. But, is it for each coin we analyze such that we use the current reported Difficulty for a coin (eg. ETH is now 2.4521387070771e+15) in place of 17? i think that is the answer but wanted to confirm.

    Or, does this Difficulty number represent something else?

  6. If you multiply the difficulty with the current hash target, you get a hash target that is a lot BIGGER then the current hash target…. right? (35:50)

  7. Just a slight correction or perhaps a misunderstanding on my part. Adding a zero to the difficulty will make it 16 times more difficult since each zero consists of 4 bits. Is this correct? In other words 17 zeros = 68 bits. 18 zeros = 72 bits. Or can they specify the difficulty in terms of bits and not only nibbles ?

  8. +Matt Thomas, Can please explain who set the target (256 bit number) in the system, and where the target is stored, thanks ! (from the video it seems to me like an abstract number)

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