Ethereum allows for an extremely low block time by keeping track of and rewarding miners of orphan blocks (uncles in Ethereum) thus including their work in calculating the longest chain.

Is there any reason to not implement something similar in Monero if it allows for faster block times and deals with the problem of stale blocks?

  • 1
    what is the ghost protocol? link to info about it?
    – CQM
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:53
  • Instead of linking to an external source can you modify your question to describe the protocol feature you are most interested in and ask about that?
    – 254123179
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 21:26
  • So instead of throwing away unwanted blocks like orphans they are just kept around as creepy uncles? Is this done to enable people to ensure a smart contract gets into the chain? What benefits would this have for Monero? How would the reward structure be based?
    – JohnHanks
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 0:28
  • Even if the stale blocks problem was reduced, faster block times would lead to faster growth of the blockchain. Perhaps that impact needs to be considered too
    – Julio
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 2:19

2 Answers 2


Pretty much anything could be done.

I'd been thinking about a block tree, where you'd have geographically [1] close miners mining at a low difficulty and low block time, and making their own quick chain. Every, say, 10 blocks, they'd hash their blocks (or 10 blocks in the recent past, to guard against reorgs) and a higher level set of miners would have a slower blockchain embed these hashes. Any number of levels. This would allow (A) faster confirmations on a local level without much more orphans due to the geographical (2) proximity, and (B) the ability to scale the blockchain to very distant regions. Like, you know, the actual moon.

This might or might not be similar to what Ethereum is doing, but it's certainly fun to think about.

[1] Doesn't work well with I2P
[2] Well, closeness with a metric based on ping, rather than distances


The "Uncle mining" currently tested on Masari, a Monero code-fork seems to correspond to your description. The block time is planned to be reduced to 60s. This test will allow to see if there are any reasons not to implement this concept.

You can see the current state of the implementation in this pull request: https://github.com/masari-project/masari/pull/71.

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