The latest version of Bitcoin Core software has brought a lot of improvement in the performance of the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin Core version 0.12.1 was released earlier last month with lots of new features supporting scalability of Bitcoin network in the near future.
With Bitcoin companies gradually upgrading to the newer and updated versions of Bitcoin Core, there has been a significant decrease in the number of Orphan Blocks in the network. According to available data, the average number of Orphan Blocks created during the mining process has gone down to about 7 per month since the past few updates. The main reason for a reduction in the number of Orphan Blocks is attributed to faster block propagation, which is brought about by performance improvements within the peer to peer network.
For those who are new to the technical aspects of Bitcoin, the Orphan Block or a Stale Block is created when more than one miner discovers and solves the same block. Bitcoin is a decentralized open source digital currency protocol that runs on the processing power supplied by the miners connected to the network. These miners use mining hardware like Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) which generate and supply the processing power required to sustain the network. The processing power is used to solve complicated mathematical problems on the bitcoin network to discover and process a new block which will be added to the blockchain.
While processing a new block, the miners will also include records of bitcoin transactions happening over the network into the blockchain. they also confirm that the particular transaction hasn’t been made before. The miners are always in the process of discovering new blocks. The discovery of a new block will be rewarded by design, with freshly minted bitcoin. Most of the miners or mining pools work in its/their individual capacities to solve the cryptographic problem and discover new blocks. Upon discovery of a new block, the miners will be notified about it in order to prevent the same block from being simultaneously mined by multiple miners. But sometimes the blockchain fails to update miners about a block discovery, leading to other miners continuing to mine the same block. These repeated blocks will not be included into the blockchain, thus creating Orphan Blocks. This issue is overcome by allowing the blocks to propagate faster so that multiple miners do not mine the same block.
Thanks to the contributions made by the dedicated developer community, we can expect the bitcoin network to become even more efficient in the coming days. In addition, the segregated witness improvement will also help increase the block size, allowing more transaction data to be stored in each block. This will help the network to process more transactions per block.
These minor improvements greatly contribute towards the overall scalability of Bitcoin network,increasing the rate of bitcoin transactions over the network.
Ref: Bitcoin.it | Reddit | Graph: Blockchain.info Header: NewsBTC