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.
Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology Presentation - IUJ Club
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 >>