Tech 24 January 2019

Paul How

Scaling tests show Bitcoin SV handling sustained 64MB blocks for 24 hours

Results from the new Bitcoin SV Scaling Test Network (STN) show that the BSV network is capable of handling the generation of sustained 64MB blocks over 24 hours straight, another milestone for the only Bitcoin following Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision.

In a report published on BitcoinSV.io, Daniel Connolly, lead developer of the Bitcoin SV Node, noted that large blocks had been mined on the Bitcoin SV chain before. A 64MB block was first mined in November, and a 103MB block was mined January 3, on the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block. Those are the largest blocks ever mined on a public blockchain. But blocks of that size have not yet been mined for sustained periods.

Recent tests on the BSV STN, however, focused on transaction propagation, by using specialized systems (such as the “Satoshi Shotgun”) to produce large numbers of transactions, propagate them across the network to be received by mining nodes, to then be included in mined blocks.

“What have we seen? Well, sustained 64MB blocks—over a full 24 hour period—with the latest development build of Bitcoin SV are easy. That’s 270 transactions per second, sustained, continuously for a full 24 hour period. Our tests did this over a 24 hour period with no problem,” Connolly wrote in a recent report.

Already, tests for 128MB blocks are underway, and early results are encouraging. “A bit more difficult than 64MB but we’re getting there for sustained 128MB blocks,” he said.

bComm Association Founding President, nChain’s Jimmy Nguyen, said of the achievement, “nChain’s BSV Node team continues to lead Bitcoin scaling work. We know it’s important to show these results in real life, with sustained big blocks on the live BSV network.”

Nguyen added, “The bComm Association will be supporting further Professional Stress Tests, as part of our commitment to build Bitcoin SV into the blockchain for the world’s biggest enterprises.”

One key factor for enabling sustained bigger blocks, according to Connolly, is the need to improve transaction propagation. One metric added by nChain’s team is called “txninvsize,” which is the number of transactions that are queued to be included in inventory messages to a peer. It is the mechanism by which nodes inform other nodes of transactions for propagation. Progress has been made in this regard, with transaction build up greatly reduced in nChain’s recent tests.

Connolly said that through use of the STN, much has been learned for future releases of the Bitcoin SV Node implementation. “What we have learned has not only helped the Bitcoin SV Node team to get to this point but has helped outline a clear roadmap for more short term scaling gains,” he said.

nChain created the Bitcoin SV STN to be its own version of the Gigablock Test Network to research Bitcoin scalability. The STN is designed to be a permanent public test network with regular and consistent large volumes of BSV transactions. nChain is looking for miners and developers to participate in tests on the Bitcoin SV STN, so as to ensure all infrastructure systems involved in the BSV ecosystem are capable of handling high transaction throughput in the future. 

“Our goal is to eventually have every ecosystem participant running a test instance of their product on STN—including wallets providers, exchanges, block explorers, BitDBs and more. With the next release of Bitcoin SV, planned for 11 February 2019, this network will be public and available to everyone,” Connolly said.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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