BitMEX Research reports Bitcoin SV is struggling with its large block sizes

19 Apr, 2019 | Updated: 19 Apr, 2019
by Richard Allen
BitMEX Research reports Bitcoin SV is struggling with its large block sizes

The Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) blockchain has reportedly suffered several “block re-organizations,” raising questions over the integrity of the network.

According to a tweet by BitMEX Research, the analysis arm of crypto exchange BitMEX, their BSV node experienced two block re-organizations on April 18. First, a three-block re-organization, then a six-block re-organization.

As the Hard Fork explains, block re-organizations occur when miners are forced to “orphan” blocks after they’ve been mined. One potential cause for this is when the network is too slow to “propagate” blocks effectively, and bigger blocks (like BSV’s) are even more susceptible to orphaning.

This happened several months ago in November 2018. Two blocks, sized 16MB and 13MB, were orphaned for being too large. BitMEX also attributed bad network connectivity as the issue at the time. This latest occurrence marks the third re-organization in six months.

BSV has a block size of 128MB, an increase on Bitcoin Cash’s 68MB blocks. Zak Cole, chief executive of Whiteblock explained that when blocks become too big they take much more time to be processed by the network.

“The longer it takes to propagate throughout the network, the higher the likelihood of it becoming an orphan,” Cole said. “The larger the object, the more likely it will be that it isn’t transported in its entirety and will likely have to be rebroadcast.”

Cole goes on to explain that frequent block orphaning can result in devastating consequences:

“When a significant portion of nodes receive ‘Version A’ of the chain and then a similarly significant portion of nodes receive version B, everything will go to hell,” Cole explained. “If blocks are too large to propagate throughout BitcoinSV’s mining pools effectively, they’re all going to be deadlocked for a period of time.”

This significantly increases the likelihood of 51% attacks.

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