Can the bitcoin network still survive under extreme conditions? Brokerage CoinWallet.eu organized a stress test to find out how many transactions the network could handle and if a crash would take place. The stress test was conducted on earlier this week and lasted for 100 blocks.
The plan was to see if the network could spend around 20 BTC on transactions amounting to 200MB of data. The bitcoin network had passed without any major incident, but it was only able to handle 15% of the transactions.
Bitcoin Network Stress
CoinWallet wanted to find out if the current 1MB block size would be enough for the transaction volumes. They used ten bitcoin servers to send two transactions per second of approximately 3KB in size to 10-20 addresses.
“At 17:00 GMT our BitcoinD servers crashed. The servers were restarted but failed to meet our planned transaction volume. The max pending backlog was 15MB. Far short of the 200MB goal. By late evening the test was considered complete. Approximately 15% of our planned transaction volume occurred,” CoinWallet reported.
The organizers were able to conclude the current block size wasn’t adequate enough for this particular surge in volumes, implying that the 1MB block size is inadequate if bitcoin is to become “anything more than a costly science project”.
The debate to increase the block size limit has been going on for quite some time, with members of the community varying in their desired limit. The lack of a centralized authority making decisions and implementing them in the industry made it difficult for the bitcoin network to see any changes.
CoinWallet faced plenty of criticism with the stress test they recently conducted on an unsuspecting bitcoin network, with some worrying that it was an actual attack. Others, however, were curious to see the results and its implications on bitcoin protocol.