According to an official blog post, the research team of Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX recently concluded a test of the Bitcoin Core by conducting 35 initial block downloads (IBDs) and also noting the length of time the network node synchronization takes. The test showed very interesting results about the general growth and development of the Bitcoin network, over the last couple of years.
BitMEX Research in its conclusion, suggests that the changes made to the network which ensure its improvement seems to be the main reason it has not only survived this long but is still highly consistent.
“The results show a considerable and consistent improvement in the performance of the software, but also a high degree of variance.“
The team goes on to explain that the software releases used in the test were released from 2012 to 2019. Buttressing its point about the software enhancements, BitMEX Research suggests that newer hardware would have performed terribly with older versions of the Bitcoin software, confirming that the enhancements were not only spot-on but the key to the network’s stability.
“Even with the latest computer hardware, older versions of Bitcoin struggled to get past the pickup in transaction volume which occurred in the 2015 to 2016 period. Therefore we conclude that without the software enhancements, an initial synchronization today could be almost impossible.”
Scalability has been highlighted by BitMEX Research as a significant factor in enhancements on the network especially since 2012, and that there has been a considerable improvement in the speed of the network with each new software release; with the ‘libsecp256k’ upgrade in 2016 named as the most significant. With the improvements, IBDs are a lot faster and synchronization a lot more accurate.
The team has concluded that if not for the software enhancements, Bitcoin would have died out.
“The large reductions in IBD times and the inability of old nodes to fully synchronize indicates that if it were not for these scalability enhancements, by now Bitcoin would be essentially dead, even if users had the highest specification hardware available.”