Bitcoin SV (BSV) recently witnessed not one, but two, 128MB blocks mined on its network – the world’s largest ever on a public blockchain. The first huge block was mined on March 30, 2019 by nChain’s BMG Pool; just a day later on March 21, the second 128MB block was mined by entrepreneur Calvin Ayre’s CoinGeek Mining operation. These record-setting blocks prove that massive on-chain scaling works on Bitcoin, and Bitcoin SV is succeeding as the only project following Bitcoin’s original design and protocol.
Bitcoin SV emerged from the world’s first Bitcoin “hash war” last November, initially as a competitor to the Bitcoin ABC implementation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and now as its own chain and BSV token. Named for the “Satoshi Vision” of Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin SV restores the original Bitcoin protocol, will keep it stable, and allow it to massively scale to a global network used by billions of people.
Bitcoin SV currently has a default maximum block size of 128MB, meaning the recent huge blocks contained sufficient data from BSV users to fill the current cap. The two 128MB blocks come as Bitcoin SV witnessed multiple days of big action, including a 113MB block mined on March 28 by CoinGeek Mining and numerous blocks above 50, 60 and even 80MB – all far larger than blocks on any other competing blockchain.
The big blocks come from organic growth as users take advantage of BSV’s larger data capacity for the OP_RETURN field, a place in Bitcoin transactions to embed metadata. Whereas the Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash ABC networks still restrict OP_RETURN data to much smaller sizes, BSV is lifting such limits to unleash the Bitcoin blockchain’s power to act as a global commodity ledger and data network. BSV’s recent big blocks contain large data files (high-resolution pictures) uploaded using the BitPaste multi-swipe application, which makes it easy for users to upload large files with quick swipes of MoneyButton. Other users have uploaded music and even video files to BSV.
As its big blocks are more routine, Bitcoin SV debunks incorrect notions of Bitcoin Core (BTC) (now more accurately called SegWit coin) which opposed on-chain scaling, capped its block size at a tiny 1MB, and instead pursued Segregated Witness and a Layer 2 payment solution in Lightning Network. BSV also disproves Bitcoin Cash ABC developer claims that it is not yet practically feasible to sustain blocks above 32MB (the default limit on BCH ABC).
The 128MB blocks are notable for another reason: each generated transaction fees for the successful miner of 1.279 BSV, adding another 10+% of miner revenue on top of the normal 12.5 BSV block reward. This demonstrates how massive on-chain scaling allows more transactions (of differing data types and differing fee levels) in a block, which in turn results in more revenue for miners. Bitcoin block rewards halve every 4 years, happening again next year as the block reward reduces from 12.5 to 6.25 coins. For mining to remain profitable to sustain the network, Bitcoin’s economic model requires miners to progressively earn more transaction fees to make up for the continually-reducing block reward value. That only happens with bigger blocks – as now demonstrated by BSV – to ensure Bitcoin’s long-term success. In contrast, other networks undermine Bitcoin’s economic incentive model by refusing to massively scale on-chain – with the BTC network’s biggest block to date only 2.3MB on March 11, 2019 and the BCH ABC chain only having a 4.6MB block on December 18, 2018. (The original Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain had bigger 32MB blocks but that chain no longer exists after the November 2018 hard fork event; in any event, the 32MB blocks mined on the prior BCH chain were done using the Bitcoin SV implementation.)
Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association which advances the global Bitcoin SV ecosystem, observes:
“For too much of its 10-year life, Bitcoin has been artificially restricted. BSV users are now proving the original Bitcoin can massively scale and that Satoshi Vision is correct. We are thrilled to see the explosion of user creativity organically fill big blocks with new forms of data and generate more transaction fees for miners. With the BSV network handling big blocks quite well, we look forward to lifting the block cap even higher this year.”
Scaling even bigger is the next step for BSV. In March, the Bitcoin SV Node team announced results from its BSV Scaling Test Network showing 128MB blocks were successfully sustained for 36 continuous hours. Later this year, the BSV Node team expects to lift the default block cap to 512MB, en route to 1 gigabyte (1000 megabytes) or higher block caps. The ultimate goal is to have no default block limit, and allow miners to fully decide for themselves what block sizes to accept and create new competitive marketplaces for mining.