A new study by the Cornell team, including Adem Efe Gencer, Soumya Basu, Ittay Eyal, Robbert van Renesse, and Emin Gün Sirer, finds bitcoin could increase its blocksize while maintaining the same level of decentralization it had in 2016.
The study finds network bandwidth has increased year on year from 2016 to 2017 when the study was undertaken, with the authors stating:
“One of the most interesting discoveries of this study is that the Bitcoin network has improved tremendously in terms of its provisioned bandwidth.
The results show that Bitcoin IPv4 nodes, which used to be connected to the network with a median bandwidth of 33 Mbit/s in 2016, have a median bandwidth of 56 Mbit/s, as of February 2017.
In other words, the provisioned bandwidth of a typical full node is now 1.7x of what it was in 2016.”
The findings back Nakamoto’s prediction bitcoin never hits a scalability ceiling due to Moore’s Law. He said back in April 2009:
“By Moore’s Law, we can expect hardware speed to be 10 times faster in 5 years and 100 times faster in 10. Even if Bitcoin grows at crazy adoption rates, I think computer speeds will stay ahead of the number of transactions.” While in public Nakamoto said:
“The bandwidth might not be as prohibitive as you think. A typical transaction would be about 400 bytes (ECC is nicely compact). Each transaction has to be broadcast twice, so lets say 1KB per transaction. Visa processed 37 billion transactions in FY2008, or an average of 100 million transactions per day.
That many transactions would take 100GB of bandwidth, or the size of 12 DVD or 2 HD quality movies, or about $18 worth of bandwidth at current prices.
If the network were to get that big, it would take several years, and by then, sending 2 HD movies over the Internet would probably not seem like a big deal.”
Bandwidth, storage, memory and much else has exponentially increased since the 1MB limit was implemented, yet bitcoin continues to retain it primarily due to Blockstream Corporation developers.
However, a number of Blockstream Corp employees and Bitcoin Core developers, including Pieter Wuille, suggested as late as September 2015 that bitcoin’s blocksize could be increased by 17.7% per year.
Then suddenly they somehow unanimously agreed to 1MB forever with a Blockstream employee and Bitcoin Core developer stating the blocksize could be increased in perhaps a decade or two.
Thus strongly indicating their decision might have a profit motive, rather than based on any technological considerations, as Adam Back, Blockstream’s CEO, has said the for-profit company plans to profit from, presumably off-chain, transaction fees.
This has led to many splitting to Bitcoin Cash, which plans to continue scaling on-chain in a peer to peer manner in line with Moore’s Law and scientific findings as suggested by Satoshi Nakamoto.