Increased Block Size And Bitcoin Blockchain Dynamics
Increased block size and Bitcoin blockchain dynamics Abstract: Bitcoin is a peer to peer electronic payment system where payment transactions are stored in a data structure named the blockchain which is maintained by a community of participants. The Bitcoin Core protocol limits blocks to 1 MB in size. Each block contains at most some 4,000 transactions. Blocks are added to the blockchain on average every 10 minutes, therefore the transaction rate is limited to some 7 transactions per second (TPS). This is much less than the transaction rate offered by competing financial transaction processing systems. The Bitcoin TPS can be increased by increasing the block size and/or by decreasing the block discovery interval. Both of these interventions will increase the end-to-end block transmission delay, which in turn will increase the probability that different participants momentarily record different versions of the blockchain, so that the consensus protocol will discard an increasing number of blocks. The net effect is that the real increase in the TPS is not proportional to the increase (decrease) in the block size (block discovery rate). Our simulation experiments show that large block sizes, if accompanied by large end-to-end block transmission delays, give rise to the frequent appearance of inconsistent blockchain copies, to the detriment of the TPS. We present a simulation analysis of Bitcoin-Next Generation where blocks (keyblocks) stripped of transactions propagate rapidly through the peer-to-peer network. Once a keyblock is mined, only the miner of the keyblock is entitled to broadcast small microblocks of transactions until the next keyblock is mined and another miner is selected to broadcast microblocks. Initial simulation experiments show that Bitcoin-NG can susta Continue reading >>
Satoshis Best Kept Secret: Why Is There A 1 Mb Limit To Bitcoin Block Size
Satoshis Best Kept Secret: Why is There a 1 MB Limit to Bitcoin Block Size Bitcoins scaling crisis was one of several things Satoshi and earlier Bitcoiners never anticipated. Heres how that 1 MB blocksize limit got put there. Anybody familiar with Bitcoin is aware of the vexing problem caused by the 1 MB blocksize limit and the controversy that arose over how to scale the network. Its probably worthwhile to look back on how that limit came to exist, in hopes that future crises can be averted by a solid understanding of the past . In 2010, when the blocksize limit was introduced, Bitcoin was radically different than today. Theymos, administrator of both the Bitcointalk forum and /r/bitcoin subreddit, said, among other things : "No one anticipated pool mining, so we considered all miners to be full nodes and almost all full nodes to be miners. I didn't anticipate ASICs, which cause too much mining centralization. SPV is weaker than I thought. In reality, without the vast majority of the economy running full nodes, miners have every incentive to collude to break the network's rules in their favor. The fee market doesn't actually work as I described and as Satoshi intended for economic reasons that take a few paragraphs to explain." It seems that late in 2010, Satoshi realized there had to be a maximum block size, otherwise some miners might produce bigger blocks than other miners were willing to accept, and the chain could split. Therefore, Satoshi inserted a 1 MB limit into the code. Yes, Satoshi kept this change a secret until the patch was deployed, and apparently asked those who discovered the code on their own to keep quiet . He likely kept things quiet to minimize the chances that an attacker would figure out how to use an unlimited blocksize to DOS the network. Sat Continue reading >>
Where Do I Find The *actual* Blockchain Size?
Where do I find the *actual* blockchain size? Okay, my hard drive is a bit cramped, and the Blockchain for my Bitcoin client is completely sucking up my free space. I want to know how much room I need to be prepared to lose. This isn't a duplicate of the other questions - those had answers that were highly impractical - I'm not sure if they dealt more with the theory of the blockchain or what, but the filesizes were way off. For example, right now, says that the current blockchain size is 6073 MB, which is complete BS - the cumulative size of ~/.bitcoin/blocks/*.dat is 6970 MB, and it's not even done yet. Basically, what I want is a realistic, down-to-earth estimate of how much hard disk space the blockchain is going to cost me. Not the theory, not the "data minus overhead", the actual cost of the .dat files. Continue reading >>
19 Answers - Why Isn't The Size Of The Blockchain A Serious Problem For Bitcoin? - Quora
Why isn't the size of the blockchain a serious problem for Bitcoin? While there are a few enthusiasts who are experimenting with building applications, there is still one missing piece of that puzzle and that is to be: scalability. What that means is that blockchains are limited in their ability to scale. Of course, this might not be going on forever but it is happening today. This is probably one of the greatest barriers to the technology that we face today. How many transactions are made are simply dependable of the actions of a single node that is taking part in the network. In fact, as more nodes are added to the network the weaker the blockchain gets. Similar to this, although bitcoin has a limit (and that is in theory) of 4,000 transactions per second, in practice it has about 6 to 7 transactions per second. But limitations like these dont apply for private blockchains. Private ones can achieve over 1000 transactions per second on Bitcoin . If you are asking yourself why that is the case, well, being in a private blockchain you can ensure that each and every node on the network uses a high-quality computer with strong bandwidth internet connection. Not to fool ourselves, this topic is extremely complex but I hope that this answers at least a little of the big-picture. If you are seeking a more expert advice, you should check out this website: DC FORECASTS ! Well, there indeed is a problem with the size of the blockchain. Not a serious one though. Why? Lets see: Bitcoin blockchain nodes are majorly of two types: A full node stores the complete blockchain ledger locally. Here, the size of the blockchain is a problem because the full node will have to store all the transactions that ever happened on the blockchain. The lightweight nodes or partial nodes dont store t Continue reading >>
Is The Bitcoin Blockchain Too Big?
One of the major criticisms on Bitcoin and crypto currencies is the ability for the blockchain to scale and compete with volume offered by traditional money systems.The Bitcoin network handles a transaction once every two to three seconds, which when compared to established money transmission networks at between a hundred to two thousand transactions per second. There are proposals to let the blocksize alter in accordance to supply and demand or lift the block size to 8MB. The summer of 2015 had shown how the community can have differences of opinion in relation to the best method to go down. At present the Bitcoin block size is limited by the code to 1MB per block. At present all full nodes perform two tasks checking block hashes and checking transaction verification signatures. Transactions mostly contain two inputs but in the future this will in increase as multisignature and P2SH transactions increase in use and therefore increase the number of inputs although computational power to counteract this is relatively simple in terms of CPU speed. Major bottlenecks come in the form of burgeoning RAM requirements for UTXOs and in terms of storage space. If the Bitcoin network handled 2000 transactions per second that would translate into over 25 TeraBytes per year alongside rapidly increasing the UXTO. Solutions are available for example the blockchain could be split into three pieces or create a new blockchain to be merge mined with bitcoin to store the UXTO in a data tree. Continue reading >>
Block Size Limit Controversy
In 2010, a block size limit of 1 MB was introduced into Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto . He added it as a safety measure to prevent miners from creating large spam blocks. However, the limit was not changed again before Nakamoto disappeared. As transaction volume increased with widespread Bitcoin adoption, increasing the limit became subject to heavy debate in 2015. However, most proposals involved hard forking changes. To prevent Bitcoin from temporarily or permanently splitting into separate payment networks ("altcoins"), hard forks require adoption by nearly all economically active full nodes. Arguments in favor of increasing the blocksize Off-chain solutions are not yet ready to take off the load from the main blockchain. Increased blocksize will leave space for extensions like Mastercoin, Counterparty, etc. Neutral: Bitcoin competitors will have lower fees Negative: Bitcoin full nodes are forced to use more resources that don't support Bitcoin Small blocks eventually will require higher fees for fast confirmations. Positive: It will no longer be cheap to spam transactions such as Satoshi Dice bets Positive: Fees will not be zero. This is eventually a necessity in order to incentivize miners and secure the mining ecosystem Negative: Bitcoin may look unattractive to new users with high fees Negative: High fees may stop or reverse global adoption, investment, development, support and centralization A low blocksize limit encourages higher transactions fees to incentivize miners ("let a fee market develop"). A fee market naturally develops due to miner latency regardless  The relay network can be optimized so that miners don't have a stale rate increasing with latency. This should cause the fee market to once again require a block size limit to exist. Arguments in oppo Continue reading >>
Blockchain - Wikipedia
For other uses, see Block chain (disambiguation) . Blockchain formation. The main chain (black) consists of the longest series of blocks from the genesis block (green) to the current block. Orphan blocks (purple) exist outside of the main chain. A blockchain    originally block chain   is a continuously growing list of records , called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography .   Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block,  a timestamp and transaction data.  By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. Harvard Business Review defines it as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way."  For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority. Blockchains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance . Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain.  This makes blockchains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records,   and other records management activities, such as identity management ,    transaction processing , documenting provenance , or food traceability .  The first blockchain was conceptualised in 2008 by an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto and implemented in 2009 as a core component of bitcoin where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions. Continue reading >>
Is Bigger Better? How To Evaluate Bitcoin Cash Based On Blocksize
Is Bigger Better? How to Evaluate Bitcoin Cash Based on BlockSize When people compare the block size of Bitcoin Cash versus Bitcoin, they often think about it as if they were comparison shopping for a new smartphone. A 256 GB model has four times the storage of a 64 GB model. That means the 256 model can hold four times as many photos, songs and videos. Similarly, Bitcoin Cash has 8 MB blocks versus Bitcoins 2 MB (SegWit) blocks. That means Bitcoin Cash can process 4x as many transactions as Bitcoin, and therefore, Bitcoin Cash has better technology than Bitcoin so the thinking goes. However, that line of thinking stems from a fundamental misconception about what block size means to bitcoin. Whereas storage capacity on a phone hits up against physical limitations on how many memory cells can be crammed onto a tiny chip, block size in bitcoin is a customizable limit that can be raised or lowered based on consensus from the nodes in the network. static const unsigned int MAX_SIZE = 0x02000000; +static const unsigned int MAX_BLOCK_SIZE = 1000000; static const int COINBASE_MATURITY = 100; Diff from the 2010 commit adding a block size limit to Bitcoin (via Sourceforge ) In that sense, block size is more policy than it is technology. And like policy, block size then should be judged, not based on the size of the number in isolation, but on whether it helps each project achieve its policy goals and creates a healthy and growing network. Bitcoin Cashs goal is to create electronic peer-to-peer cash aka PayPal 2.0 so bigger blocks should increase transaction throughput via on-chain scaling and improve user accessibility through lower fees. Bitcoins goal is to create a store of value aka digital gold so its blocks should enable its use as a settlement network via off-chain scalin Continue reading >>
What Is Blockchain Bloat?
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have always been concerned about the size of the Bitcoin blockchain. It now appears Ethereum is suffering from similar issues as well. A blockchain of several hundred gigabytes is not unlikely in the future for either currency. Most of these problems can be attributed to blockchain bloat, a very annoying side effect of maturing blockchain ecosystems. One has to understand blockchain bloat is both a good and a bad thing at the same time. It is a positive development, considering this means the number of transactions on that particular blockchain is increasing. More transactions means more people are using it, which is positive for long-term adoption of any currency. It is the main reason why Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains are quickly growing in size compared to nearly all other cryptocurrencies in existence. More transactions also means more data is transmitted on the blockchain in question. Unfortunately, this also creates a lot of problems when it comes to actively storing all of this data. Using a large hard drive almost becomes a necessity, which can be quite problematic for people operating a network node. Considering how these blockchains continue to grow on a daily basis, it is a matter of years until we see terabyte-scale blockchains moving forward. Blockchain bloat brings forth one serious problem, though. As blockchains get bloated, the block size needs to increase as well. Failure to do so will result in fewer transactions being broadcasted per block on the network. In the world of Bitcoin, this has already become a significant problem. This is why scaling solutions are being proposed to counter this problem. It is evident Ethereum will go through similar struggles moving forward, and sharding may alleviate some of the concerns. U Continue reading >>
What Is The Bitcoin Block Size Debate And Why Does It Matter?
What is the Bitcoin Block Size Debate and Why Does it Matter? Bitcoin is divided. Some are calling it the currencys "constitutional crisis", a debate that has split itscommunity right down the middle. The crux of the issue comes down to a single technical detail: the size of bitcoins blocks. The question of scale in bitcoin is not a new one. But as transaction volumes are expected to increase in the years ahead, questionsabout the cryptocurrencys future composition must, in the eyes of those who favor change, be answered sooner rather than later: who does it serve? How should it look? What makes it unique? As the block size debate rages on, here's a primer on its broad strokesand why it matters. Blocks arebatches of transactions which are confirmed and subsequently shared on bitcoins public ledger, the blockchain. In the early days of the currency, these blocks could carry up to 36MB of transaction data apiece.However, in 2010, this was reduced to 1MB to reduce the threat of spam and potential denial-of-service attacks on the network. This limit remainsin place today, however as transactions increase bitcoin's blocks are filling up edging further towards this 1MB line. Data released by TradeBlock in June revealed the average block size had increased from around 125KB to 425KB since 2013, while the daily volume of bitcoin transactions had increased 2.5 times. The amount of data in each block is increasing. Source: TradeBlock In turn, some blocks are already hitting this maximum. At the time of TradeBlocks research, this was happening on average more than four times a day. "Meaning at least some otherwise-acceptable transactions are seeing delayed confirmations due to capacity issues on the network 3% of the time since the beginning of the year," it said. And while the 1 Continue reading >>
What Is The Block Size Limit
If you've been in crypto for a while, you've heard of the block size and the everlasting debate that surrounds it. This debate has plagued the community for years and it has pretty much torn it apart into two groups: Those in favor of a blocksize increase and those against it. But maybe you haven't been around long enough to know what the block size and the block size limit mean and why it's so heavily debated in the crypto sphere. The block size issue is much more than just a curiosity or technicality and it could indeed define the future of Bitcoin as a mainstream currency. So, what is the block size and why does it matter? Why are there groups that defend the block size limit while others push for an immediate increase? As you most likely know, Bitcoin is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency. All the transactions that take place within the network are recorded on this blockchain, a public ledger that can be seen by anyone but changed by no one. This ledger is made up of blocks that fit together cryptographically (hence the name, blockchain). When a user makes a transaction, said transaction is included in the block that is being mined at the time, and will later be confirmed by the blocks that follow it. The more blocks there are on top of your transaction, the safer it is to assume it is immutable. Transactions, at its most basic level, are made up of data which is usually composed of the information regarding the transaction itself. This data, like any other, takes up space on the block it is included. Currently, each block on the Bitcoin blockchain is able to contain 1mb of data, meaning that the block size of bitcoin is 1 megabyte. This means that there is a limit to how many transactions can fit in Bitcoin's blocks, according to the data contained in said transact Continue reading >>
If We Lived In A Bitcoin Future, How Big Would The Blockchain Have Tobe?
If we lived in a Bitcoin future, how big would the blockchain have tobe? Lets imagine Bitcoin has accomplished the unthinkable its become the one true currency used for peer-to-peer payments around the world. In this Bitcoin Valhalla, lets imagine that all non-cash payments are conducted with Bitcoin. Instead of credit cards, people whip out their favourite Bitcoin hardware or mobile wallets in coffee shops and hair salons across the world. Just how many of these non-cash payments would there be in this perfect world? Today, non-cash payments account for approximately 522 billion transactions per year worldwide , and that number seems to be increasing in quadratic fashion, meaning itll be a lot bigger by the time we get to Bitcoin Valhalla. Theres no predicting when exactly well get there, so lets imagine that Bitcoin has taken over as the dominant currency today. Where we stand in terms of non-cash transactions across the world, source: worldpaymentsreport.com Now of course, Bitcoin has to make sure its system can accommodate the enormous number of transactions here without bottlenecking. So lets dive into the source code and flick the scalability switch that appeared to be there all along lets increase the size of the block enough to account for our 522 billion transactions. Lets do some napkin math to see just how big our new block is. 522 billion transactions a year translates to 1.4 billion transactions a day. This is equivalent to 9,722,220 transactions every 10 minutes, which coincides with how often blocks are published to the Bitcoin blockchain. Assuming transaction sizes stay around the same size, at 250 bytes , this means that every block would hold about 2.4 gigabytes of data. This transaction volume would generate about 350 gigabytes on the blockchain ever Continue reading >>
Bitcoin Blockchain Size Reaches 100 Gb
The community is concerned about the possible slowdown of the network. According to CoinDance , the current size of full bitcoin blockchain equals 100.18 GB. As of now, there are about 4,500 to 5,000 full bitcoin nodes constantly online. The news about the blockchain reaching the 100 GB milestone met a mixed reaction on Reddit. Will we lose some nodes, which are running on virtual servers (due to more expensive tarif needed), user ltogo wonders. Other commenters noted that the key issue is not the size of files but the limited bandwidth capacity for some nodes connecting to the Internet through TOR. Its not about storage space its about internet speeds especially over TOR. Small blocksize means nodes can propagate blocks much faster, wrote user FluxSeer. Several bitcoin network node holders have reported the declining speed of synchronisation. I just sync'd a node and it took two weeks. On an old laptop that I want to make into an always-on node, says user belcher. The Bitcoin Core devs have not commented on the problem yet. The Core download page recommends having enough bandwidth and storage for full blockchain size. It looks like the page has not been updated for months as it states the blockchain size of 65GB. Meanwhile, a group of Core developers are working on the next stage of bitcoin scaling solution that includes the long-awaited 2Mb block size increase. The work has been going on for at least a year. Besides scaling and allegedly a more secure way of the hard fork implementation, the proposal promises lots of useful improvements including the new Merkle tree algorithm that closes some existing vulnerabilities. Despite the raised maximum block size limit, the coders promise the average and actual block will decrease, which may help the bandwidth issue. Continue reading >>
Ethereum's Blockchain Size Surpasses Bitcoin's By 40%
Ethereums Blockchain Size Surpasses Bitcoins by 40% Ethereums (ETH) blockchain is now larger than Bitcoins at around 180 gigabytes, with experts warning further increases may spell disaster. After one user reported downloading the backlog of transactions for over a week while syncing a node, cryptocurrency commentator and entrepreneur Tuur Demeester highlighted a source giving an overall figure of up to 180 GB. According to one source, the Ethereum blockchain has bloated by +700% in the past 12 months: now about 180 GB. pic.twitter.com/XfH5He4gRL Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) June 12, 2017 Ethereum overtook Bitcoin sometime in February 2017, according to the source data, when both were around 130 GB. Further Twitter commentators added that the problem of so-called Blockchain bloat would be compounded by the fact that the relative free-for-all on Ethereum-linked wallets meant that many users had a considerable number of them. A huge range of altcoins are based on the Ethereum blockchain, many of which continue to see frantic trading activity with the completion of various ICOs . What the future holds for ETH itself meanwhile poses further issues. Continued upward trajectory could see the biggest altcoins blockchain hit one terabyte before 2018, making syncing a seriously unwieldy business. Based on that, the chain is projected to be over 1Tb in less than 12 months. If it continues that growth rate it'll die; space = $$$$ David Keenleyside (@Nuke_Bloodaxe) June 12, 2017 ETH prices meanwhile hit new highs over the weekend, capping a 3000% increase since the start of the year which is doing the rounds across mainstream media. Continue reading >>
Ensuring Network Scalibility: How To Fight Blockchain Bloat
With more and more users turning to Bitcoin and Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen having proposed a hard fork of the blockchain, the issue of network scalability has once again risen to the surface. The problem is called blockchain bloat: when more transactions are made, the blockchain has more data to record, and if it grows too large, it becomes difficult to easily download or store. As a result, blocks are currently limited in size, which limits the maximum number of transactions per second we can make to 7far less than the volume handled by Visa or MasterCard. This has become a major point of criticism against Bitcoin, especially with the arrival of Bitcoin 2.0 applications unrelated to cryptocurrency that want to use the blockchain. Despite all the FUD, however, there are a number of solutions in sight that make it a trivial concern. In this article, I intend to put the issue to rest. What Gavin Andresen has basically proposed is that we increase the block size, and thus the maximum number of transactions per second. You might interject that this is impossible due to the aforementioned technical difficulties, but the plan is to do this gradually by 50% per year. Computer and Internet technology grows at an exponential rate, so scientists and engineers should be able to keep pace. Although the blockchain is now over 20 GB in size and growing at an increasing rate, because the block size is capped at 1 MB (and with 1 block approximately every ten minutes), this means that the blockchain can grow by at most 525,600 / 10 = 52,560 MB or ~ 52.5 GB per year (discounting leap year). If blocks increase in size by 50% per year, then the blockchain could grow by over 52.5 * 1.5^10 ~ 3 TB in 10 years. By comparison, hard disk drives in excess of 1 TB are now relatively abundant, Continue reading >>