Utter “Noncesense” — a statistical study of nonce value distribution on the Monero blockchain

This week, I was looking for a lighthearted research project for the holidays, and thought it would be amusing to toy around with visualizing reported nonce values. Neptune Research (co-founder and developer for the Monero Archival Project) kindly provided a data dump of nonces from the Monero blockchain.

I expected that exploratory analysis on this data would be an entirely nonsensical endeavor, since possible winning values are scattered randomly through a huge input range that miners sample by brute force. In fact, I joked in the Monero Research Lab: My Jupyter notebook at the end will demonstrate that I spent an hour on a completely useless task, thus itself being a “proof of work”…

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