While some cryptocurrency projects find their developers willing to unsafely test network applications on the live network, Bitcoin SV (BSV) developers understand that this is dangerous and could lead to irreversible damage of the blockchain. This is why BSV segregates its testing components so that the blockchain can be built the same way a permanent, solid structure is built—from the ground up. The Scaling Test Network (STN) is one of those testing platforms and BSV Node developer Brad Kristensen dove into the system and Satoshi Shotgun at the CoinGeek Toronto 2019 conference held at the end of May.
In his presentation, Kristensen did an excellent job describing why the network was created. He points out that it is a test network designed to test BSV mining and the propagation and validation of large blocks. In addition, it tests “transaction volumes of various amounts and types.” This is the fourth permanent network established on BSV after the mainnet, testnet and regtest, which is used for localized testing. Kristensen adds that the STN reduces the impact of scalability testing on the testnet and preserves that testnet as a network for specifically testing BSV applications. Additionally, STN is compatible with all software implementations.
An STN is a viable testing solution because it allows for the creation of different scenarios to determine a range of outcomes. Developers can measure and test as the solutions are being constructed, giving them the ability to understand how the product will handle varying levels of operations prior to being launched to a live blockchain. The STN allows for testing against blocks that are regularly larger than 1GB, which has already been shown to be viable on BSV.
Using the STN also allows mining developers to incorporate the latest improvements of the BSV Node software in a controlled environment. Developers provide feedback to the Node developers in order to ensure that all facets of the blockchain are advancing in unison, creating a solid, reliable solution for consumers.
Satoshi Shotgun is the name of the professional stress test for BSV. It allows for heavy-load testing of the network and is a proven method for verifying the strengths of the blockchain. As it continues to evolve, developers can schedule transaction loads, create transaction profiles, define variables and configure other aspects to test different load scenarios. It will be receiving its own scaling development to produce “tens of thousands” of transactions per second as the development team works toward terabyte block sizes and the Genesis upgrade next February.
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