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Author Topic: How will the bitcoin network handle a large amount of very small transactions?  (Read 1066 times)
TradeFortress
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October 17, 2012, 03:29:57 AM
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Say, in the future people pay 0.004 BTC for a iPhone and 0.00000299 BTC for a pizza.

Can the bitcoin network handle a lot of very small transactions?

How will fees impact the use of bitcoin?

Would lower fee policies or percentage-based fees make it easier to carry out a DDoS attack on the Bitcoin network?

Will third party services take up the gap and send coins between accounts on networks directly to minimize impact and leave the blockchain with large transactions between the services?
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October 17, 2012, 03:33:55 AM
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This is exactly why we have miner fees

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October 17, 2012, 03:37:13 AM
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If 0.04 BTC buys an iPhone then it isn't a "small transaction".  The nominal amount is irrelevant the purchasing power is what matters.   

Often people confused "the minimum required anti-SPAM fee" with "all fees".  In time competition for space in the block will drive fees HIGHER than the min required fee and it will be less and less relevant.  Still in the interim the min require fee can be lowered.  It has been lowered in the past (when BTC went above $20 USD:BTC).   Bitcoin likely won't scale well to micro transactions (measured in USD cents) but neither an iPhone or a pizza would be considered a micro transaction.

Remember nominal numbers are simply arbitrary.  Say Satoshi had decided that the network would have 2.1 billion BTC and thus the standard block subsidy would be 5,000 BTC.  The numbers would be "bigger" but the value of the transactions wouldn't be any more than they are now.
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October 17, 2012, 04:23:57 AM
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Bitcoin likely won't scale well to micro transactions (measured in USD cents)

Correct, even with improvements that will let Bitcoin scale to levels way beyond what PayPal and VISA networks see today, it still isn't well suited for payments worth just a penny or fraction of a penny.

Here's the recently-updated Scalability page on the Bitcoin wiki:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability

Also, there's an alternative approach for using Bitcoin for microtransactions described here:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contracts#Example_7:_Rapidly-adjusted_.28micro.29payments_to_a_pre-determined_party

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October 17, 2012, 04:28:11 AM
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As I've often said before I believe eWallets will play a big role when Bitcoin becomes more mainstream. With eWallets transaction size doesn't matter. Neither does network scalability. You can still do transactions free (wallets profit by premium services and/or ads) and transactions are instant - no confirmation time. EWallets can also improve the user experience in ways the core network can't, such as simply using someone's email address instead of a hard to remember jumble of letters and numbers, searching payment history etc.

This doesn't mean the core network won't be used. There will always be a use for that because it's where the true authentication of coins comes from. However, once you have user saturation in the millions you will see Bitcoins traded on both the core network, and on services built on top of it.

Note this doesn't mean users put the majority of their wealth in eWallets, transferring ill-advised trust and risk to them. Rather, users keep minimum balances on the service, while storing the bulk of their wealth in a more responsible way, such as Armory cold storage.

I'm actually in the process of writing a post with more thoughts on the future of Bitcoin.
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October 17, 2012, 04:44:15 AM
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i have faith in BTC and other curencies' developeres. Thus i believe that if and when needed, the optimizations will come
and bottlenecks will be overcomed successfully Smiley
perhaps the electronic currency idea is very old (if someone knows?) but today was the time to make it happen!
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October 17, 2012, 06:50:23 AM
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i have faith in BTC and other curencies' developeres. Thus i believe that if and when needed, the optimizations will come
and bottlenecks will be overcomed successfully Smiley
perhaps the electronic currency idea is very old (if someone knows?) but today was the time to make it happen!

You are Atlas's counterpart, then. LOL

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