Tech

Derek Tonin

Bitcoin SV shatters 1GB block size in testnet

For Bitcoin to have any chance of replacing existing payment options, it needs to scale to the point where it can handle as many or more transactions than those methods offer. Bitcoin SV (BSV) is proving it’s capable of that massive scaling, with the nChain BSV Node Team, with the help of the Satoshi Shotgun team, showing on the Bitcoin SV Scaling Test Network (STN) that they can now achieve 1.42GB blocks.

The team conducted the tests on May 21, and had the plan of testing bigger block sizes in 200MB increments, until they hit either 1GB or started encountering a natural limit in the software. These increased block size tests were made possible by the recent upgrade to BSV 0.2.0, which now allows block sizes of up to 10GB on the testnet.

They quickly saw the success they were looking for, surpassing previous records and mining five 1GB+ blocks in total, with two at 1.42GB. They encountered two small issues, with block explorers experiencing degraded services and bandwidth restrictions in China affecting a node, but they didn’t cause any major issues. Brad Kristensen, STN operations manager, wrote that they ended the test because the “Stresstest team and the nChain team both needed some sleep.”

Discovering those two issues were a productive step though. As Kristensen notes, the reason for testing higher block sizes was to “identify those breaking points well in advance,” so they could be addressed before the mainnet gets bigger blocks.

The biggest block handled 359,793 transactions, which is quite a feat when compared to the narrow capacity of Bitcoin Core (BTC). Kristensen notes in the test plan that transaction counts are more of a constraint than block sizes now, and this test was a way to help analyze that.

These new 1GB+ block sizes are being rightly celebrated in the BSV community. Dr. Craig Wright, the man behind the pseudonymous name Satoshi Nakamoto and creator of the Bitcoin whitepaper, said of the news:

“When I started developing bitcoin, the existing Visa network could process 15 million Internet purchases a day. It is now closer to 25 million a day but with the results from my team we have shown that bitcoin will shortly be able to exceed this level. With Moore’s law bitcoin is capable now of scaling faster than Visa or MasterCard combined.”

Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen also had something to say about the test. “Big blocks, big businesses,” he began, focusing on the ultimate end goal of bigger blocks. “With these impressive test results, Bitcoin SV continues its path to massive scaling to become the global enterprise blockchain—just like Bitcoin’s creator Craig S. Wright (Satoshi Nakamoto) always intended.”

Remarking on how other so-called Bitcoin developers, like the BTC team, have strayed, Nguyen noted, “The other projects which claim Bitcoin’s mantle have abandoned that vision, but we are building the original Bitcoin every day now on Bitcoin SV.”  

The developers behind the BSV also had plenty to say about this recent success. Daniel Connolly, BSV’s lead developer, wrote: “These achievements show that we’re on the right path with our improvements to the node implementation, but more importantly, they show that Bitcoin, as originally designed, scales.”

Steve Shadders, BSV’s technical director, wanted to celebrate the successes of the team, and what this means for Bitcoin’s future. “I congratulate the Bitcoin SV team for exceeding expectations once again,” he began. “For me the most exciting metric captured in this test is the block transaction fees. For the first time ever we have seen a block where the transaction fees collected exceeded the block reward. This means Bitcoin is finally becoming the Bitcoin that Satoshi envisioned, driven and incentivised by transaction fees. We are entering a new paradigm not only with the advent of data use cases but also in the fee driven behaviour of miners.”

Finally, Kristensen wanted to thank the efforts of the SV Node team, who made this possible with their hard work and professionalism. “A truly commendable effort was put in by Steve, Daniel and the rest of the SV Node team, their work is world class and the rigorous QA and testing their code is put through shows in the results we achieved today,” he wrote. “Part of the 0.2.0 release to make this possible included a hard fork on the STN chain, which went through without a hitch or “lost” transaction.”

This massive news is a yet again a testament to BSV’s ability to scale the blockchain and achieve a new vision for the world’s money and data. If you want to join in on the celebration, the CoinGeek Toronto scaling conference is started in less than a week at the Carlu in Toronto. If you haven’t already, register now to see other exciting things going on in the world of Bitcoin, and maybe meet some of the people who made this success possible.

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