Thursday, 13 August 2020

BSV Network Splits into 3 Chains After 210MB Block Mined

As block sizes on the network continue to grow, forks with even more than three chain splits could occur.
The Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) network has split into three separate chains following the mining of a 210-megabyte block, according to a new report by BitMEX research. The block was mined on August 3rd, and involved 808,633 transactions–by comparison, a block on the original Bitcoin (BTC) network is just 1 megabyte.

However, the massive block seems to have put a bit too much strain on the network.

According to 420 Bitcoin SV peers, the nodes are currently on different chains and at different heights:

* 65% at the current tip
* 17% stuck on a large 210MB block
* 19% on the old pre-hardfork chain

BitMEX’ report explained that after the block was mined, 65 percent of the network’s nodes were located in the right place on the most recent iteration of the blockchain, while 17 percent were stuck on the 210MB block; the remaining 19 percent had not been upgraded when the network underwent a hard fork on July 24th, and are stilll apparently running on an old, pre-hard fork version of the BSV blockchain.

Trouble ahead for BSV?

The July 24th hard fork took place as part of an initiative to increase its block size from 128MB (its previously set limit) to up to 2 gigabytes. However, a new report from TrustNodes suggests that these gigabyte-sized blocks may generate further splits with even more than three forks.

As such, BSV miners–the individuals who run the nodes responsible for processing the network’s transactions–don’t seem to be too keen on the way that things are progressing.

Before the three-way split occurred as a result of the 210 MB block, CEO of BSV payment system MoneyButton Ryan X. Charles published a post on his company’s blog about how difficult and costly it is becoming to run a BSV node.

“Running a node is expensive,” he said. “Our new instance will cost thousands of dollars per month to operate. As blocks continue to get larger and we have to upgrade the instance many times, this cost will balloon. Since we do not earn money from transaction fees like miners, it will be too expensive for us to run a node.”

Additionally, Charles wrote that at a point prior to the mining of the 210 MB block, Money Button went down for three hours because the company’s BSV node ran out of memory and ultimately crashed during a stress test.

This three-pronged accidental fork isn’t the first time that the network has experienced technical problems due to its large block sizes. In April, BSV reportedly underwent a series of block reorganizations, which caused a number of temporary forks in the network. This can happen when a network runs too slowly to efficiently reproduce blocks, and can result in double-spend attacks and make a blockchain network generally more vulnerable to manipulation.

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