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
50th14.491 seconds
75th53.482 seconds
90th119.124 seconds
95th174.644 seconds
99th380.867 seconds

 

Transaction propagation

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

Transaction Percentiles
50th1.26 seconds
75th3.013 seconds
90th7.078 seconds
95th15.822 seconds
99th279.73 seconds