TL;DR: bloXroute Labs, a so-called “layer zero blockchain scalability solution” company, announced recently they are running a mining test on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. Their plan is to solve scalability bottlenecks “by tackling the network layer, underneath the blockchain” through their proprietary Blockchain Distribution Network (BDN). They claim the BDN will allow “blockchains to scale to 1000s of transactions per second.” CoinSpice snagged company COO, Eyal Markovich, who is currently running the mining test, to get more detail about this ambitious project.
Several Large Bitcoin Cash Pools Compare Network BDN Performance with Mining Tests
CoinSpice: What is bloXroute Labs?
Eyal Markovich: bloXroute is a layer zero blockchain scalability solution. We have taken a unique approach to solving the scalability bottleneck by tackling the network layer, underneath the blockchain. We have developed a Blockchain Distribution Network (BDN), that allows blockchains to scale to 1000s of transactions per second.
The BDN uses compression, encryption, and cut-through routing to help propagate blocks and transactions faster. As a result, for example, miners can send and hear about blocks faster which result in saving money for them.
Importantly, the network requires no protocol changes so adoption will be very fast.
We picked the name bloXroute because that is what we do best – routing blocks fast.
Can you explain the mining test you’re engaged in?
As we were getting ready to release the first version of the BDN (scheduled for Q3) we wanted to start the first public testing. Knowing that block propagation improvement is key for the miners’ success, we wanted them to be the first to test the BDN. We were very happy to see such eagerness from leading mining pools of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to partner with us and help testing. Right now, we are operating a Mining Test with several large Bitcoin Cash mining pools to compare BCH network performance with and without the BDN. Current participants in China include BTC.com, F2Pool, and Rawpool.
We will present the network’s baseline without the BDN, including block propagation time and block size, and then present the network’s performance using the BDN. So far, we are seeing that with the BDN the block propagation time has decreased and performance is more consistent.
How did you get involved, personally?
I joined bloXroute more than a year ago to help build the company. My goal was to take the brilliant idea of our founders Uri/Aleks and turn it to a product. I have more than 22 years of experience leading companies in the areas of operations and product development.
I am truly enjoying working with the crypto community for several reasons – first, most people I work with are young and filled with enthusiasm. Second, I believe that crypto is the future and I wanted to be part of making it happen. Since bloXroute is an infrastructure solution that can work with all blockchains, we are in a unique position to be a cheerleader for the entire blockchain community.
Why do you think Bitcoin Cash miners in China were so eager?
There are also miners outside of China that are participating in the testing. The mining pools in China hold most of the hash power and control most of the pool market.
I think that they were eager to help because: 1. There is currently a performance problem sending blocks in/out of China (the great China Firewall) and bloXroute can help; 2. They understand that block propagation is key for them to continue making money and be profitable; 3. They want to contribute to the success of BCH just like us.
How long has/will the Mining Test gone on/go on?
We started last month and had a few weeks delay because of the BCH planned upgrade in May 15th. Testing will complete in two weeks
Why not go with BTC or ETH? Why Bitcoin Cash?
We picked BCH and testnet for two reasons: 1. We picked BCH and not BTC or ETH as we wanted to test large block propagation. BTC supports 1 MB blocks and we are testing 32 MB blocks in BCH; 2. We used testnet as we are creating millions of transactions and it would have been too expensive to do on the mainnet.
As I mentioned above, during the tests we have created huge amounts of transactions, and the miners created many 32MB blocks. Some blocks had 70-80K transactions. I don’t think that the BCH network experienced such high load before.
Is your work anything like XThinner and Graphene?
We are compressing the block’s data in similar way like Compact blocks, XThinner and Graphene. However, we are also a relay network so we send the data faster. One major difference between us and XThinner (Graphene) is what happens when the mempool is not in sync. If the mempool is not in sync, XThinner will not work well while we will.
Will the results be published?
Yes, we plan to publish the results.
Have you found anything through testing you were not expecting?
We had an idea where we bring value but during testing we identified a few other use cases. For example, how the network can recover from forks much faster (as Compact blocks’ performance after forks is not optimal) or how we improve propagation to China.
One other cool finding from the mining pool testing was that Compact blocks are working much better with us, […] since bloXroute helps distribute the transactions and the mempool is staying in sync.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
CONTINUE THE SPICE and check out our piping hot VIDEOS. Our podcast, The CoinSpice Podcast, has amazing guests. Follow CoinSpice on Twitter. Join our Telegram feed to make sure you never miss a post. Drop some BCH at the merch shop — we’ve got some spicy shirts for men and women. Don’t forget to help spread the word about CoinSpice on social media.