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Block Height Definition

What is block height in a blockchain?

The height of a block in a blockchain is the number of blocks that comes before that the last block that has been confirmed.  The blockchain starts with the genesis block, which has a height of zero.  After that each block is counted sequentially and difference between the last and the genesis is considered the block height.

Blockchain, Block Height, bitcoin

Example of a Block Height in a Blockchain 

The height of the block is not recorded in the block itself and must be computed by looking at the entire blockchain.  This might be a good representation for time for Bitcoin since a new block every 10 minutes, which are confirmed by miners.  It might not be an accurate representation of time for other cryptocurrencies since, depending on the altcoin, blocks are created at different speeds and different sizes.  It is used to measure the distance or maturity of the network since genesis block.  Some uses for this are when a coin’s developers will announce an implementation of an update, like the segwit update, at a specific block height.

Related Terms

Blockchain A blockchain is a decentralized public ledger that helps facilitate secure digital transactions. It is a public database that is managed by the network.
What is an ICO? An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is a way for a company to crowdfund and distribute a token or coin for cryptocurrency prior to release on exchanges.
Smart Contract Definition A smart contract is a coded contract that is stored on the blockchain.  The contract, once signed, can not be altered and will execute on the programmed conditions. 
What Are Bitcoin Futures and How Do They Work? Bitcoin futures were created as a hedge against the future price of the asset. It it allows for traders to short the currency without actually owning any.