Although there has been a lot of focus regarding the scaling of bitcoin and increasing the block size, it would appear existing blocks still have some leftover space. To be more precise,the average number of transactions per block has increased steadily, and is now close to the 2,250 mark. Quite an impressive feat, although upping the block size remains a pressing issue.
More Transactions Per Block Than Before
It is always interesting to take note of how many transactions can effectively be included in one block on the bitcoin network. Considering little has changed to the transaction sizes and block size over the past few years, it is somewhat surprising to learn there is so much “available space”. This does not mean the current block size fits the pace at which the bitcoin network is growing, though.
Back in March of 2016, the number of transactions per bitcoin block sat around the 1,250 mark. At that time, people were already speculating on how to best increase the block size for this network, in preparation of what the future may hold. Fast forward to today, and it is evident the number of bitcoin network transactions continues to grow as time progresses. This is a sign of bitcoin becoming more popular, yet it also presents an issue concerning these transactions.
Some of the concerns associated with network congestion seem somewhat overstated, though. Considering how it is possible to squeeze in 2,250 transactions per bitcoin block – on average – it seems the blocks have never been full to begin with. Do keep in mind this number also includes blocks containing no specific transactions, the so-called “empty blocks“. The number also indicates some blocks have more than 2,250 transactions, which is quite impressive.
Using the available space to squeeze in as many transactions as possible has been a somewhat “necessary” approach up until now. Considering how increasing the bitcoin block size will take some time, it is important to make sure transactions still get confirmed as soon as possible. This has been a challenge as of late, as multiple incidents of network congestion have arisen over the past twelve months.
It has to be said, bitcoin has come a very long way ever since its inception in 2009. Considering how there was a time when 100 transactions per network block was considered to be a milestone, things have definitely evolved in the right direction ever since. Reaching 2,250 transactions per block is significant, yet it remains to be seen if there is much room left to try and increase this number even further.
In the end, the popularity of bitcoin will force a scaling solution to go live on the network sooner or later. There is only so much room for network transactions and a size of 1MB is no longer sustainable at this rate. It is hard to say when we will see a scaling solution, although SegWit seems to be making a lot of headway as of late.
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