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Bitcoin's method is detailed in Satoshi's classic paper:


Ethereum uses a variant of the GHOST algorithm, which was introduced in the paper Accelerating Bitcoin’s Transaction Processing: Fast Money Grows on Trees, Not Chains.


The Ethereum white paper mentions how they modified it:


Full detail is in their infamously difficult Yellow Paper:


Thank you for all those links!

I had some idea about the Bitcoin blockchain - also succinctly summarized by @tylerswift.

But the Ethereum material is all new to me. It at least sounds more interesting than "the least interesting".

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