A block’s size is equal to the amount of data it can hold. A block can only store a certain amount of data, just like any other container. The block size limit is the most data that a blockchain block can accommodate.
Blockchain size restrictions are modest by the standards of contemporary data storage, because cryptographic transactions require very little data storage. Although the maximum block size for Bitcoin is 1 MB, this little bit of information can hold more than 2000 transactions.
An overview of block size history
There was no stated block size limit when Satoshi Nakamoto mined Bitcoin’s genesis block in 2009. A year later, when he discovered there was no other way to stop miners from producing blocks that other miners couldn’t accept, he implemented the block size restriction. He added some code that restricted the block size to 1 MB.
However, some people think Nakamoto made a bad decision with his limit. They contend that in order to support more transactions per second, the block size limit for Bitcoin should be expanded. Bitcoin’s transaction rate, which is now averaging 4 transactions per second, has frequently drawn criticism (on the base chain). During busy times, not all transactions can be processed at this speed and must wait in line for the following block.
Actual block sizes were significantly smaller than 1 MB at the time, and Nakamoto probably didn’t think that data-filled blocks would ever become a problem. Additionally, nodes would require a quicker internet connection if the limit were higher. The system can become out of sync if one node attempted to upload a big block to its peers because of possible block transfer delays. As a result, there would be brief chain breaks before everything got back on track.
The Bitcoin block size restriction discussion first troubled the cryptocurrency community in 2015. When a group of miners, investors, and activists forked the Bitcoin network in the middle of 2017, it eventually came to an end. In essence, Bitcoin Cash was founded when the newly-made fork’s block size limit was increased from 1 to 8 MB. Then, in order to meet the demands of its users, Bitcoin Cash continued on a road where they would frequently raise block size.
Though many blocks produced today are larger than that, technically, Bitcoin’s block size may be higher than 1 MB. Segregated Witness, or simply SegWit, is a modification to the Bitcoin protocol that is responsible for this. Block weight was introduced by SegWit in instead of block size, thereby increasing the size by four times (in theory, at least, since real blocks rarely approach that size).
Major protocols’ block size restrictions
The Litecoin protocol shares the 1 MB block size restriction of the Bitcoin system. However, Litecoin has four times more transactions per second than Bitcoin since its mean block time is four times shorter. The block size of Bitcoin Cash is by far the largest of the networks we listed, as you can see in the table above. Ethereum, in comparison, belongs to a whole separate category. There, the so-called gas limit rather than a block size limit determines the largest size of a block.
Blocks can occasionally fill up to their maximum capacity on a blockchain network when there is a lot of activity. This implies that some transactions must wait for the following block because they cannot be included in the current one. Numerous scalability solutions for blockchain are being used to solve this issue.