Blockchain size and scalability are two crucial features that underpin the effectiveness and viability of any blockchain network. A rapidly growing blockchain can become unwieldy, making it challenging for participants to store and synchronise the entire ledger.
Scalability, on the other hand, relates to a blockchain’s ability to handle a growing number of transactions and users. The inability to scale can result in network congestion, slow confirmation times, and increased fees, which undermine the utility and competitiveness of the blockchain platform.
This was unpacked in more detail during a recent panel at the London Blockchain Conference and featured:
- Latif Ladid (President of IPv6 Forum);
- Michael Choi (Founder & CEO of MyFabula);
- Ralph Wallace (Programme Director at Aptive Resources);
- E. Smitty (Producer, Engineer, Consultant, and CEO at Sound Alive Records).
Why does block size matter?
The panel was moderated by John Jack Pitts, Co-Founder of SLictionary, who started the panel by asking E. Smitty why a blockchain’s size does matter.
Blockchain utility depends on scalability
Smitty responded by referring to the daily transaction volume of the biggest blockchains, out of which the BSV blockchain is responsible for the most transactions. This showcases the utility of a scalable blockchain.
The Internet’s evolution depends on blockchain throughput
Prof Latif Ladid widened the perspective in the discussion by pointing out how pairing IPv6 and BSV could provide a better version of the Internet for everyone. Currently, platforms and Internet service providers sit on top of communication and data transfers and set the terms for using their products and services. Often, this results in a worse user experience in IPv4. Ladid remarked that currently, many users are just ‘tourists on the Internet.’
Wallace added that IPv6 and a scalable blockchain could represent an evolutionary jump for Internet users, making communication more equitable than before through true peer-to-peer connections. One of the features that IPv4 provides is fixed IP addresses, which allows Internet users to act more autonomously on the Internet. Together with blockchain technology, this enables users to act more sovereign about their user data. As data can be stored on the blockchain, it does not need to be shared with companies that gather data for profit.
Blockchain-based social media depends on scalability
For Michael Choi, the founder of the social network, MyFabula, scalability and big blocks matter, as they allow for a high number of transactions, which are needed for social media platforms. While MyFabula might still be at an early stage, Choi expects to have a wide user base in the future. His targeted users range from Baby Boomers to Gen Alphas.
More than just a technology issue
The importance of blockchain size and scalability extends beyond the realm of technology. They have significant implications for the adoption of blockchain in various industries, such as finance, supply chain management, and healthcare.
A blockchain’s ability to handle a high volume of transactions quickly and efficiently is essential for businesses seeking to streamline operations and reduce costs. Furthermore, a smaller and more manageable blockchain size promotes decentralisation, a core principle of blockchain technology that enhances security and trust.
As the world increasingly relies on blockchain for applications like remittances, voting, and record-keeping, the capacity to accommodate a growing number of users and data becomes paramount. Therefore, blockchain developers and stakeholders must prioritise the optimisation of size and scalability to ensure the long-term success and relevance of blockchain technology in the global digital landscape.