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Author Topic: [2017-06-08] Bitcoin's Network is Objectively More Congested Than Ever  (Read 2698 times)
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June 08, 2017, 07:04:37 PM

This article highlights findings from CoinDesk Research's new Q1 2017 State of Blockchain report, focusing on data around the growth of bitcoin's blockchain.

Born from math, bitcoin is a game of numbers.

Transactions have a size of ~500 bytes, blocks are limited to 1 MB and blocks can only be published after a puzzle is solved, a process that occurs via algorithm once every ~10 minutes.

The facts that underlie the current bitcoin protocol, set years before transactions could ever be called 'expensive', set the stage for the 'scaling debate' we've watched unfold ever since. Proposals have since developed to decrease transaction sizes, remove the block size limit and move transactions off of the main bitcoin blockchain, all in the name of boosting capacity.

Amid this indecision, the network itself has adapted.

As bitcoin miners can control the transactions they include in proposed blocks, and users can pay to have their transactions included, a fee market has developed to incentivize the inclusion of transactions into blocks.

Still, opinions on scaling solutions and alternate cryptocurrencies aside, objective data from the Q1 2017 tells a different story. Transaction numbers, block sizes and transaction fees on the bitcoin blockchain each reached all-time highs in the first quarter of 2017, proving the demand to use the network is now larger than ever.

Here's a closer look at the situation in three charts:

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