Coinwallet Stress Test, Take II: Network Inconvenienced, But Not Paralyzed

The second attempt at a 'stress test' on the mining network's capacity was felt, but failed to prove that Bitcoin

The second attempt at a ‘stress test’ on the mining network’s capacity was felt, but failed to conclusively prove that Bitcoin “is at a breaking point.”

The test was carried out by, a previously unknown name in the industry. Some charge that the company is trying to get its name out, and/or doesn’t serve any real function other than to carry out such tests.

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It flooded the network with transactions carrying large amounts of data, and offered to pay higher transaction fees for their preferential processing. Due to the current block size limitation of 1 MB, it was predicted that the backlog for ordinary transactions could reach 1-2 days.

Last week, the first attempt was unsuccessful due to what it said was a server crash. This week, it has reconfigured the structure of how transactions are sent.

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This time around, the effects of the test were more felt. Several miners reported the accumulation of over 15,000 unconfirmed transactions, well above normal levels. Others reported having to wait over 6 hours for their basic transactions to be processed, although it remains to be proven which instances were a result of the test.

There was a noticeable increase in the amount of data processed by each block. Several blocks came in above 900 KB, close to the 1 MB limit, and their average size implied full capacity.

After several hours, however, metrics returned toward normal levels, and the network has been far from paralyzed.

It has also been pointed out that those who want to have their transactions processed faster can simply raise their fee offer by a marginal amount, which would drastically cut down the waiting time. However, most participants are accustomed to having transactions processed in a normal fashion, and there is concern that such schemes can turn off potential adopters.

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