The Bitcoin mining network is still catching up after a massive spam attack delayed transactions for several days.
It has yet to be confirmed who conducted the attack or why it was done. But it put Coinwallet’s so-called ‘stress test’ to shame, generating a backlog as high as 80,000 unconfirmed transactions, and it may have been pulled off with a fraction of the transaction fees paid.
Such attacks or tests send an inordinately high number of low-value transactions carrying large amounts of data, making them more appealing for miners to process first, as they carry higher transaction fees. Low-data transactions are pushed to the back, and can wait days before being processed.
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The recent ‘stress tests’ have been conducted in order to prove Bitcoin’s vulnerability under its current 1 MB block size limitation: ordinary low-fee transactions seemingly cannot get processed in timely fashion during spam attacks or if Bitcoin network usage would expand to the scale for which it is envisioned. It is suspected that the recent spam attack was carried out to prove this point.
An increase in block size is opposed by China-based miners, which have lower bandwidth to work with than their American counterparts and argue, therefore, that they’ll be at a disadvantage.
According to blockchain.info data, there are still over 13,000 unconfirmed transactions, well above normal levels.
The latest comes as a minor glitch in the Bitcoin software resulted in users having to wait for at least 30 confirmations to be certain that transactions are valid, unless they’re running Bitcoin Core 0.10.x or 0.9.5.