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How does this scale?

How does this scale?

Posted Nov 12, 2010 8:31 UTC (Fri) by jgarzik (subscriber, #8364)
In reply to: How does this scale? by JohnLenz
Parent article: Bitcoin: Virtual money created by CPU cycles

The bitcoin community is well aware of Visa and Paypal transaction rates.

A gigabyte every ten minutes is quite doable for modern machines and networks, and even more so in an imaginary future where bitcoin transaction rates equal Visa transaction rates.

At those rates, it's not hobbyists running the P2P network anymore; from the transaction fees alone, you're looking at competition among professional players with major investments in the network.

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How does this scale?

Posted Nov 12, 2010 21:30 UTC (Fri) by droundy (subscriber, #4559) [Link]

I'm a bit skeptical. You're talking about 1.7M per second that needs to be sent to every client on the network, right? Since as I understand, each client needs to examine all the blocks to verify the integrity of the chain. And can clients really afford to compute the hash of a couple of megabytes per second? Or would most clients just trust someone else to verify the integrity of the bitcoin system?

How does this scale?

Posted Nov 13, 2010 0:34 UTC (Sat) by jgarzik (subscriber, #8364) [Link]

Drawing an analogy to the Gnutella network...

At Visa/Paypal transaction rates, most bitcoin clients will be leaf nodes, that send and receive transactions, but don't bother with the block chain.

Beefy ultrapeer nodes would be the ones storing transactions, building blocks, monitoring and verifying the block chain, etc. They are incentivized to do this with transaction fees, which non-generating leaf nodes would not receive.

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