### Your Answer

Difficulty is a measure of how difficult it is to find a hash below a given target. The Bitcoin network has a global block difficulty. Valid blocks must have a hash below this target. Mining pools also have a pool-specific share difficulty setting a lower limit for shares. How often does the network difficulty change? What is the formula for difficulty?

Traditionally, it represents a hash where the leading 32 bits are zero and the rest are one this is known as “pool difficulty” or “pdiff”. The Bitcoin protocol represents targets as a custom floating point type with limited precision; as a result, Bitcoin clients often approximate difficulty based on this this is known as “bdiff”. How is difficulty stored in blocks?

### What does the increase in mining difficulty factor mean to bitcoin miners?

Each block stores a packed representation called “Bits” for its actual hexadecimal target. The target can be derived from it via a predefined formula.

The largest legal value for this field is 0x7fffff. To make a larger value you must shift it down one full byte. Also 0x is the smallest positive valid value. How is difficulty calculated? What is the difference between bdiff and pdiff?

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It uses a modified Taylor series for the logarithm you can see tutorials on flipcode and wikipedia and relies on logs to transform the difficulty calculation: Current difficultyas output by Bitcoin’s getDifficulty.

Graphs What is the maximum difficulty? There is no minimum target. The maximum difficulty is roughly: Can the network difficulty go down? See discussion in target. What is the minimum difficulty? The minimum difficulty, when the target is at the maximum allowed value, is 1.