An epoch is an era of time within a blockchain network.
This era of time is used to define when certain actions will take place within a blockchain network, such as when rewards will be paid out or when a new group of validators will be put in charge of verifying transactions. That era of time is defined differently on every blockchain protocol. It is usually defined as the period of time it takes for a specific number of blocks to be finalized on the chain.
For example, within the Ethereum protocol, an epoch is the amount of time it takes for 30,000 blocks to be finalized on the chain. The physical time an epoch lasts is variable as the speed for processing transactions and reaching consensus can vary. However, the speed generally remains stable at around 100 hours.
See epoch (on eth2).
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