After hitting the peak in December 2017 at $20,000 Bitcoin price might have taken a crash with a new all-time high not expected till 2021, however, according to the latest data provided by Blockchain.com, the daily average block size of Bitcoin has made a new record of 1.3 MB megabytes.
This record has been made possible by the continued demand for the network along with scaling solutions like Segregated Witness (SegWit).
Actually, the blocks mined, that is about every 10 minutes are now regularly bigger than 1 MB which was the limit that existed before SegWit was introduced in August 2017. Last year in July, BitMex research had shared,
“After the upgrade to SegWit in August 2017, although in a much slower fashion than many had hoped, the old 1MB block size limit is slowly starting to fade away.”
Making New Records
About three months back in December, Bitcoin block registered 1.2 MB in size and before that in July, the block size was 1.1 MB in size as shown in the chart below.
Bitcoin average block size 1-year chart, Source: Blockchain.com
Recently, SegWit adoption hit its all-time highs as well. In October 2018, it reached the top but followed a drop only to take another spike in adoption just a few days back.
With SegWit adoption rising, Bitcoin is continuously accommodating more transactions. This has been happening while the network fee has been hitting near all-time lows.
Meanwhile, off-chain transactions on Lightning Network are growing rapidly. Currently, the network capacity of lightning Network has reached 687.38 BTC, according to 1Ml.
This growth in Bitcoin block size has beaten Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV into the ground as crypto enthusiast Kevin Rooke shared,
Bitcoin blocks are now 28x larger than BCH blocks, and 87x larger than BSV blocks.
Avg Block Size (Feb 12):
Bitcoin: 1.3 MB
Bitcoin Cash: 0.04 MB
Bitcoin SV: 0.01 MB
’Big Blockers’ couldn’t even do big blocks right… pic.twitter.com/Fcy6nxlgRZ
— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) February 14, 2019
But Is it “Proof of Spam”?
However, the point worth noting here is the that the biggest contributor to this uptick in the block size is VeriBlock, whose share is about 20 percent as James Lopp shared,
“Source of the now-highest volume of OP_RETURN outputs has been identified as VeriBlock “proof of proof” miners. They are creating around 20% of all BTC transactions now. Seems inefficient to me; will be interesting to see if the incentives work long term.”
VeriBlock miners posted 783,000 transactions to Bitcoin’s blockchain in December and are on track for 1,500,000 in January. https://t.co/CdIflq8Htu
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) January 5, 2019
This re-ignited the transaction or spam debate, as Lopp further shared,
“VeriBlock miners posted 783,000 transactions to Bitcoin’s blockchain in December and are on track for 1,500,000 in January.”
“I think if it pays the fee it’s not spam,” said developer Riccardo Casatta before adding, “however VeriBlock made about 1 million bitcoin tx with op_return from the 1st of December 2018, they call Proof of Proof but is it more Proof of Spam? Why more than one tx per block?”
Meanwhile, Bitcoin size debate has gotten another twist. Luke J. a Bitcoin developer, is writing code on the Bitcoin source code in order to reduce the block size to 300 kb. If it does happen, Lightning Network would be the primary beneficiary out.