Data Propagation How fast does information move in the network?

Below we present the witnessed propagation behaviour in the network. It is measured by connecting to a large random sample of nodes in the network and watching for inv-messages that indicate that a node has received a block/transaction, has verified its validity and the node will provide it upon request. It is based on the findings by Decker and Wattenhofer (2013) using a modified client to collect the data and take daily snapshots. The plots and metadata are re-evaluated on a daily basis and are archived for later reference and measure the impact of networking changes.

Block propagation

A block at its core is a set of transactions that the block creator believes to be valid. As such blocks may reach considerable size, compared to individual transactions. Currently capped at 1MB in size by convention among the nodes, the size would grow quickly as adoption of Bitcoin picks up. A larger block size would also mean that the broadcast slows down considerably, increasing the probability of finding a block while another block is already being propagated.

Block Percentiles
50th3.3 seconds
75th6.4 seconds
90th13.5 seconds
95th25.0 seconds
99th100.5 seconds


Transaction propagation

Slow propagation of transactions may increase the chances of a successful double-spending attack.

Transaction Percentiles
50th0.9 seconds
75th1.5 seconds
90th2.6 seconds
95th3.9 seconds
99th38.2 seconds