How Is Block Assembled?

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I think I understand mining well enough, but what I don't get is how the blocks of transactions are assembled. According to this post - What exactly is Mining? - the miners assemble the blocks and then solve for the difficulty.

So, once a block is solved and the miners need to create a new block, how do the miners decide how many transactions to put in the block? Could the miner just assemble a block with a single transaction? Could certain blocks contain more or less transactions than another? Thanks!

a432511

Posted 2014-05-12T14:42:31.297

Reputation: 123

Answers

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Technically a block with just one transaction in it would be valid. However miners have an incentive to add more transactions to the block they are currently mining because they receive the transaction fees attached to those transactions.

Maran

Posted 2014-05-12T14:42:31.297

Reputation: 246

another question... could miners ignore transactions that didn't pay fees? – a432511 – 2014-05-12T15:03:31.050

Yes; and they are actively doing that as well. Giving priority to higher fees and omitting none/lower fees. – Maran – 2014-05-12T15:14:15.837

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could miners ignore transactions that didn't pay fees?

yes. bitcoin is voluntary system. each miner has a right to include or skip any transaction.

(not asked questions)

why do miners include free transactions?

Why not? The system is for people, not people for system.

do miners include all free transactions?

No! There are some recommended rules https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Transaction_Fee

user15732

Posted 2014-05-12T14:42:31.297

Reputation: 106