Amidst all the discussion and confusion regarding the Block size, one company decided to go ahead and see what will happen if the current Bitcoin network with 1 MB block size gets overloaded. The UK-based company, CoinWallet.eu had planned to subject the Bitcoin network to a stress test last Monday.
As a part of the test scheduled at 13:00 GMT on 22 June, the company planned to make enough transactions to span over 100 blocks. In order to generate over 200 MB of transactional data over a short period of time, the company had set aside about 20 BTCs worth about $5000 in fiat currency. According to CoinWallet.eu , the test was devised with the aim to demonstrate that the current block size of 1 MB may not be sufficient if the community were to grow and bitcoin usage becomes rampant or in the company’s words—“if Bitcoin is anything more than a costly science experiment”
The experiment involved initiating at least 2 transactions per second using ten Bitcoin servers and sending the bitcoin to 10-20 addresses. With each transaction being about 3 KB, the overall output size for these transactions put together contributing over 30 KB. These transactions, in the next step were combined to be sent back to its original servers.
In order to understand the effect of transaction fee on bitcoin transfers the company assigned a range of different fees for test transactions. Transaction fees varied from 1000 satoshis to over 10,000 satoshis and it was observed that those transactions with 1000 satoshis fee took about 87 blocks for confirmation, while the ones with 3000 satoshis and 10000 satoshis took 11-80 blocks and up to 9 blocks respectively.
Even though the experiment was meticulously planned, it faced a setback after one of the servers crashed during the experiment before they could meet the set milestone. CoinWallet.eu failed to meet the set transaction volumes due to a failed server, ultimately achieving only 15% of the targeted volumes.
Even though the experiment was inconclusive due to the interruption in between, few users reported transaction delays on the Bitcoin network. CoinWallet.eu plans to run a few more tests in the coming days.