Orphaned Blocks: Detached Pieces of Blockchain

Orphaned Block is a block whose parent block does not exist or is unknown.

What is Orphaned Block?

The term orphaned block is used in the cryptocurrency world and refers to valid mining blocks that have been discarded. Such orphaned blocks were formed in older versions of Bitcoin kernel software, when nodes on the network could receive blocks even if their parent was not known. But you should still know the difference between them. In fact, with the release of Bitcoin Core v.0.10 in early 2015, orphaned Bitcoin blocks are now impossible to find out about the difference between the two. You should still understand the difference between the two. It is important to note that such blocks can be called stale or extinct; but many people still refer to them as orphaned blocks rather than stale blocks.

An orphaned block is formed when two different miners transfer their actual blocks almost simultaneously, causing the network to split into two competing versions of the blockchain until one of the blocks is discarded. Typically, the longest chain wins and the second one is discarded; although in this case both blocks are verified and valid, only one of them can be attached to the main chain.

In addition, given the fact that miners are constantly creating new blocks around the clock, some blocks may be broadcast into the network at the same time. And since it is distributed, it can take quite a long time to transmit information between nodes.

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