[bitcoin-dev] Bitcoin Node Speed Test

slurms at gmx.us slurms at gmx.us
Thu Jul 23 14:19:59 UTC 2015

On this day, the Bitcoin network was crawled and reachable nodes surveyed to find their maximum throughput in order to determine if it can safely support a faster block rate. Specifically this is an attempt to prove or disprove the common statement that 1MB blocks were only suitable slower internet connections in 2009 when Bitcoin launched, and that connection speeds have improved to the point of obviously supporting larger blocks.

The testing methodology is as follows:

 * Nodes were randomly selected from a peers.dat, 5% of the reachable nodes in the network were contacted.

 * A random selection of blocks was downloaded from each peer.

 * There is some bias towards higher connection speeds, very slow connections (<30KB/s) timed out in order to run the test at a reasonable rate.

 * The connecting node was in Amsterdam with a 1GB NIC. 


 * 37% of connected nodes failed to upload blocks faster than 1MB/s.

 * 16% of connected nodes uploaded blocks faster than 10MB/s.

 * Raw data, one line per connected node, kilobytes per second http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=6b4NuiVQ

This does not support the theory that the network has the available bandwidth for increased block sizes, as in its current state 37% of nodes would fail to upload a 20MB block to a single peer in under 20 seconds (referencing a number quoted by Gavin). If the bar for suitability is placed at taking only 1% of the block time (6 seconds) to upload one block to one peer, then 69% of the network fails for 20MB blocks. For comparison, only 10% fail this metric for 1MB blocks.

More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list