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Japan Has Become a Cryptocurrency Haven, Multi Billion Dollar Firms Launch Exchanges

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Japan is quickly becoming a global center for blockchain ventures and cryptocurrency firms. Despite the region’s colorful history–involving Mt. Gox, for example–the local authorities see merit in these new technologies in the global cryptocurrency industry. Major local conglomerates have begun to enter the sector, with some of them operating cryptocurrency exchanges.

Japan’s Checked History With Bitcoin

When people discuss Bitcoin, the topic of Mt. Gox will come up at some point. This now defunct trading platform made the world’s leading cryptocurrency very appealing years ago. Unfortunately, the platform suffered from alleged hacks and other oddities. While many people see Mt. Gox as a black page in the history books, it also created a vibrant crypto ecosystem in Japan.

Ever since the exchange disappeared, the demand for regulation has grown. Investors lost a lot of money through this exchange, yet the interest in Bitcoin never waned. Local officials took a proactive approach to cryptocurrencies rather than banning it. Even the recent Coincheck hack has not diminished the positive attitude toward Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Japan stands out when it comes to the regulatory aspect. Various other governments – including China, India, and some US states – make it nearly impossible for crypto firms to exist, let alone thrive. The firm support for this nascent industry makes Japan a haven for this type of activity. Even major domestic firms are now entering this booming industry through various means.

Japanese Companies Embrace Cryptocurrency

A fair few technology and financial giants are based in Japan. Among those companies are Rakuten, Line, SBI, DMM, and GMO Internet. Every single one of these firms if currently active in the cryptocurrency world. Ranging from accepting Bitcoin payments to launching or operating a trading platform, the opportunities are virtually limitless.

GMO Internet is perhaps the most intriguing entity of them all. The company, valued at $2bn according to Bloomberg, is active in the mining and exchange industry. Additionally, they also announced a Bitcoin payroll service for its employees. In Japan, it will be possible to receive part of your paycheck in Bitcoin. A novel approach to dealing with recurring payments.

All of this further confirms Japan will continue to quest to become a global cryptocurrency hub. With troubled exchange Coincheck recently being acquired by Monex, another interesting development takes place. The country continues to show the rest of the world how a positive approach to cryptocurrency regulation can open a lot of new doors.

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World’s Largest Art Auction for Covid Relief to Close With Speech by Bitcoin Pioneer

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Bitcoin Pioneer

Art&Co., the world’s largest online auction for supporting charities addressing the five D’s of the Covid-19 virus:, Death, Disease, Depression, Domestic Violence and Disproportionality for ethnic minorities, will mark its closing today with a speech by crypto-currency pioneer Brock Pierce about philanthropy and art as collectible investments. Fineqia International Inc. (“the Company” or “Fineqia”) (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is among Art&Co.’s founding partners.

Pierce is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with an extensive track record of founding, advising and investing in disruptive businesses. A noted philanthropist, he is also credited for pioneering the market for digital currencies and co-founding Blockchain Capital, the EOS Alliance and Tether.

255 pieces of art are being auctioned to bidders from across the globe by Art&Co. Funds raised are being shared by seven registered charities and 46 artists who have come together in the fight against Covid-19. Worldwide infections are approaching 10 million, with nearly half a million deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The United States, Brazil, Russia, India and the UK top the countries most affected.

“Covid represents a clear, present and global danger,” said Brock Pierce, founder of the Puerto Rico based non-profit Integro Foundation. “There’s no time like the present to fight this danger.”

Pierce will be live online at ArtandCo.net/Live on Saturday June 27, at 5 PM UK/12 PM NY time. The auction will end at 7 PM UK/2 PM NY time.

“Brock has a knack for spotting early opportunities,” said Bundeep Singh Rangar, Art&Co.’s Founder and Fineqia’s CEO. “He’ll share his picks live on screen, among works from emerging artists in the collection.”

Fund’s raised from InsurAid’s Art&Co. project will go to artists and seven registered charities: ICU Steps (https://www.icusteps.org/), The Care Workers Charity (https://www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/), Khalsa Aid International (https://www.khalsaaid.org/), Race on the Agenda (ROTA) (https://www.rota.org.uk/), Painting Our World in Silver (http://www.silvercharity.org/), Solace Women’s Aid (https://www.solacewomensaid.org/) and Za Teb (“For You”) (https://zateb.org/). Charities have welcomed the Art&Co. initiative by PremFina’s InsurAid unit as contributions have dried up, due to the lockdown.

London-based insurtech firm PremFina’s shareholders include global investors Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Japan’s Rakuten, the UK’s Draper Esprit Plc, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, Thomvest Ventures, the venture capital firm of Canada’s Peter Thomson, whose family is known for its namesake Thomson Reuters Corp., Emery Capital, Talis Capital and the company’s founder and CEO.

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Crypto Experts Reveal Thoughts: How Will Bitcoin Perform After the COVID-19 Crisis Has Passed?

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COSS

To educate Crypto-enthusiasts and prepare them for upcoming market conditions, a group of well-respected crypto experts brought together by Investoo Group has expressed their thoughts on the recent COVID-19 crisis, and its effect on the global crypto markets. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our daily lives, our ability to interact and our financial structures and security. Blockchain technology has been around for over a decade, and there are now thousands of projects that seek to utilize its limitless potential to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Coin Journal has assembled a veteran team of experts in the field of cryptocurrency and financial technology, to gain some valuable insights into what the world may look like after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Globally, we can only hope that containment of this danger is now within our grasp, but we can only speculate to the long-term impact that it will leave in its wake.

Heavyweight Opinion

The panel is headed by Yoni Assia, the CEO of the world’s largest social investment network, eToro. Yoni also brought his market analyst and renowned crypto expert, Simon Peters to the table. The next to join the team, Ciara Sun, is currently employed as the Head of Global Markets at Huobi Group, a global blockchain financial asset service provider. The panel also has the founder of virtual currency platform, Coincurve, and CEO of Interlapse, Wayne Chen. Finally, the panel would not be complete without the 15-year veteran of Wall Street technology and CEO of BSV blockchain service provider, TAAL; Mr. Jerry Chan.

They discuss the potential effects of unlimited quantitative easing, the need for a Universal Basic Income (UBI), and how blockchain technology can be a tool for research teams to interact with transparency on a global scale. The team reveals evidence that shows how cryptocurrency stands resilient against the economic downturn caused by social distancing measures and the closure of businesses that have succumbed to the strain.

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Swapzone Add Bitcoin SV (BSV) Capacity

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Bitcoin SV

Almost every week more and more exchanges, aggregators and projects are using BSV. Swapzone is an exchange aggregator working with non-custodial instant cryptocurrency swap services. They now also list BSV, one of the best performing assets of any kind over the last year.

Inevitably, as a result, demand for BSV has increased. The reason for BSV‘s popularity among business users is simply that it has been designed to scale and can process thousands of transactions a second and also store huge amounts of data on its immutable blockchain with very low fees.

Currently, Swapzone’s service supports over 300 assets for swaps at best rates and operates through 10+ partnering platforms like Changelly, SimpleSwap, Godex and ChangeNOW.

Swapzone’s aim is to provide as much information on cryptocurrency swap rates and services as possible, all in one convenient interface.

Swapzone features:

  • Non-custodial
  • No registration or account creation needed
  • Wide range of coins and tokens to choose from (includes Stablecoins)
  • Multiple exchange partners with the possibility to choose among services
  • Exchange offers sorted by the best rate

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of the Bitcoin Association, commented: “Its always great to see businesses identifying the value in listing and using BSV. I’ve long admired Swapzone’s model and think that BSV will be a popular commodity for both them and their customers.”

Maria Carola, Marketing Advisory, Swapzone added: “We strive to have the most comprehensive offering in the market and never sit still as we lookout for what our customers need and want so adding BSV was a natural progression for the business.”

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Bitcoin Association Opens Registration for Third BSV Hackathon

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Bitcoin Association

Bitcoin Association officially announces and opens registration for its third BSV Hackathon competition for developers, with $100,000 in cash prizes (payable in Bitcoin SV) staked for the winners. Following two successful Hackathons in 2019, Bitcoin Association is once again delighted to partner with leading enterprise blockchain development firm nChain, as well as digital currency conglomerate CoinGeek to organize this third competition.

BSV Hackathons are global coding competitions for developers. Within a set frame, entrants (which can be individuals or teams) are tasked with developing an application on the Bitcoin SV blockchain within the parameters of an overarching theme announced at the commencement of the competition.

Registration is free and open now. This 3rd iteration of the BSV Hackathon will look a little different from past editions. As with prior competitions, there will be a virtual competition period, but it will last almost two months rather than just over one weekend. The virtual competition commences on June 23 and ends August 18. This longer competition period allows entrants to take advantage of their extended time at home during current COVID-19 self-isolation periods, and conceptualize, design and build a more complete project.

Entrants will be provided with access to a digital platform designed to facilitate collaboration between team members, as well as experts from nChain and even fellow competitors who will be available to provide advice throughout the competition period.

Following the virtual competition period, three finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges. The finalists will present their submission at the CoinGeek New York conference (anticipated to be in New York in October 2020) for final judging. Normally, a representative from each finalist entry is flown to the CoinGeek conference city to make their presentation in front of the live conference audience. Given event and travel conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bitcoin Association will evaluate later whether finalist presentations will happen live or through online video.

The winner will walk away with a $50,000 prize, with $30,000 for second place and $20,000 for third, all paid in Bitcoin SV.

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association, commented on the announcement, saying:

“It’s extremely exciting for Bitcoin Association to kick off our third BSV Hackathon, following months of work from our team planning for the competition. Developer training is a core element of Bitcoin Association’s work and the BSV Hackathons provide a fun opportunity for developers to test themselves and learn more about building applications on the Bitcoin SV blockchain, all the while competing for some serious BSV prizes. We encourage all developers – whether you have worked on other blockchain platforms or have no blockchain experience at all – to compete in this Hackathon and build with us on BSV.

Past entrants have used the BSV Hackathon as a platform from which to build and develop not only innovative solutions, but real businesses – as finalists have the opportunity to be considered for investment if their projects can sustain a business venture. Now that Bitcoin SV’s Genesis upgrade has restored the original Bitcoin protocol and massive scaling continues on BSV, I’m looking forward to seeing what creative developers can build using the technical power inherent in the original Bitcoin and the massive scaling capabilities of BSV.”

Steve Shadders, CTO at nChain, also spoke, saying:

“The BSV Hackathons are a great point of entry for developers interested in developing blockchain applications. They’re an exciting time for us here at nChain too – we’ll once again be responsible for the technical elements of the competition, with our team providing support and development assistance throughout the competition. We’ve seen some excellent ideas come to fruition as a result of the first two BSV Hackathons and I’m sure that with the longer time frame for this third competition, we can expect many more to emerge this time around.”

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BitDeer.com Pioneers Annual Wet Season Festival

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BitDeer

On 21st April 2020, BitDeer.com is launching the first annual wet season festival, bringing altogether eight of the biggest names in the industry to bring an array of promotions on an all-inclusive platform to bring promotional offers and freebies amounting up to USD 50 million in value.

In China, the wet season of their river has historically been a symbol of growth and prosperity as the water helps everything flourish. Coincidentally, this season is correlated with lower electricity costs. This festival, set to launch on 21st April, 2020, will bring altogether eight of the most respected companies in the mining space. The event integrated more than 10 high-quality hydropower mining farms in Sichuan and Yunnan, China with a capacity of more than 300,000 KW, to bring a low hosting electricity fee starting from just $0.03 kWh, as well as other discounts.

Hosted by the world’s leading computing power-sharing platform, BitDeer.com, this is the first iteration of the Wet Season Festival and the unified effort of the seven participating institutions in alliance with BitDeer.com will provide mining rigs, computing power, mining pools, and a top-notch customer care service, which was all made possible by CEOs such as Xiaoni Meng of BitDeer.com and Bitmain’s CEO Jihan Wu, among others.

The participating institutions are:

  • BITMAIN
  • Antminer
  • BTC.com
  • AntPool
  • Matrixport
  • HashGard
  • AntSentry
  • BTC.top

The event starts off with a livestream from some of the most influential people in the world of mining and will be a valuable opportunity for the various communities to have the conference feel from the comfort and safety of their homes by participating in the live chat. An assortment of plans tailored to the user’s needs for cheaper electricity with a streamlined feel is up for grabs, as well as giveaways of mystery prizes to its customers, amounting up to USD 50 million in value. The Festival aims to provide its respective user bases with an opportunity to gain at lower expenses during this time of blooming.

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Bitcoin SV Wallets Collaborate to Bring Peer-to-peer Transactions Back to Bitcoin

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Bitcoin Scam

HandCash and Money Button – two leading wallets in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem – are collaborating to bring back true “peer-to-peer” transactions for Bitcoin, the way Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto intended. The original Bitcoin white paper announced Bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system”, but BTC protocol developers deviated from the “peer-to-peer” design nearly a decade ago.  HandCash and Money Button will now send signed BSV transactions to each other directly, without third parties involved, restoring the true Satoshi Vision for Bitcoin.

The original Bitcoin software provided an option for users to “send to IP”. This method would allow a sender (Alice) to deliver a transaction directly to the recipient. (Bob), with no third parties involved. But the implementation for “send to IP” was not finished, so early BTC protocol developers removed the IP-to-IP functionality, removing the peer-to-peer nature of Bitcoin’s protocol.

Bitcoin SV’s mission has been to restore Satoshi’s original Bitcoin protocol and allow it to massively scale. HandCash and Money Button seek to lead the Bitcoin SV ecosystem back to the peer-to-peer design that Satoshi intended. The Paymail protocol (announced for Bitcoin SV in May 2019) brings back true peer-to-peer transactions. Paymail allows users to send Bitcoin transactions to an email address, providing for secure, end-to-end, encrypted communications and authentication via HTTPS.

Using the Paymail protocol, both the HandCash and Money Button wallets will now send all signed Bitcoin SV transactions to each other directly, without third parties acting as an intermediary. The receiving end will check if the transaction is valid instantly and broadcast it to miners directly, allowing both services to scale far beyond the limits imposed by status-quo. A peer-to-peer transaction system, as Satoshi intended, is much more scalable than how Bitcoin has worked for the past decade.

A call to the Bitcoin SV ecosystem: HandCash and Money Button have agreed to launch this change on their wallets in order to quickly demonstrate the original peer-to-peer design of Bitcoin. Both companies invite the rest of the Bitcoin SV ecosystem to follow suit and help the industry smoothly transition back to peer-to-peer transactions for the benefit of all.

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Curv’s Keyless Cryptography Brings a New Level of Security to Bitcoin Satoshi Vision

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bch-clouds

Today, Bitcoin Association announced Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) will be fully supported by Curv’s institutional digital asset security platform. Helping secure digital assets thanks to its keyless cryptography, Curv’s wallet service is swiftly being adopted by exchanges, OTC desks, lenders, brokers, and traditional asset managers worldwide.

Eliminating the single point of failure introduced by private keys, Curv delivers a mathematically secure way to approve and sign transactions on the blockchain. In addition, Curv has obtained digital asset insurance protection of up to $50 million for its customers from Munich RE and is the first and only Multi-Party Computation (MPC) digital asset wallet solution to achieve SOC2 Type II status.

Bitcoin Association is the global industry organization that supports Bitcoin SV. In its ongoing work to grow the Bitcoin SV ecosystem’s infrastructure, Bitcoin Association sought an additional security provider for BSV that was blockchain agnostic and not limited by certain rule sets, such as the need to support the Pay-to-Script Hash (P2SH) transaction type which has now been sunsetted on Bitcoin SV.

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association said, “We have secured another partner for the Bitcoin SV ecosystem that ensures BSV institutional users gain multi-signature wallet functionality and can use large-scale applications on top of the Bitcoin SV blockchain, without needing to compromise on security and flexibility. Curv’s protocol-agnostic approach gives institutional users the freedom to expand BSV utility and aligns with the restorations the Bitcoin SV Node team sought to achieve with the recent “Genesis” hard fork that successfully activated on February 4, 2020. We hope that enterprise adoption of BSV will accelerate and Curv’s infrastructure will play a critical role in supporting this scalability and more future business use of BSV.”

Curv’s service is able to support Bitcoin SV for multi-signature transactions even after P2SH is sunsetted given Curv offers users the ability to securely manage and trade all types of digital assets on both ECSDA and EDDSA blockchains. This flexibility is central to Curv’s platform given its patent-pending Multi-party computation (MPC) protocols enable transactions to be securely approved and verified off chain and eliminate the need for private keys.

Curv’s COO Josh Schwartz said, “We’re excited to add BSV to our growing portfolio. Our clients trust us to enable their business and help secure their digital assets. We view it as our obligation to ensure customers have the freedom to hold, trade, and interact with any and all digital assets. They should feel empowered to let the market dictate the assets they choose to support and not be limited by their wallet provider’s capabilities.”

About Curv

Curv is setting a new institutional standard for digital asset security, using revolutionary cryptography to deliver the industry’s first cloud-based Institutional Digital Asset Wallet Service. Curv’s unique, mathematically-secure, keyless platform gives organizations complete protection, instant access, and total autonomy over digital assets.

Curv is headquartered in New York with R&D offices in Tel-Aviv, Israel. For more information, please email [email protected]

About Bitcoin Association

Bitcoin Association is the global industry organization that backs Bitcoin SV (BSV). It brings together merchants, exchanges, application developers, service providers, enterprises, miners and others in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem to advance the growth of Bitcoin commerce. Bitcoin Association supports Bitcoin SV (BSV) as the original Bitcoin, with a stable protocol and scaling roadmap to become the world’s new money and global enterprise blockchain. For more information, email [email protected]

To hear from Bitcoin SV industry leaders, come to the CoinGeek London conference on February 20-21, 2020 at the historic Old Billingsgate venue in London. Visit BitcoinSV.com to learn more about BSV.

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Layer1 Opens its First Bitcoin Mining Factory; Brings Multiple Megawatt Containers Online in Texas

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Digital Money

Layer1 Technologies, the first U.S. based vertically-integrated and renewable energy Bitcoin mining and factory development company, announced today that it has started mining at its Bitcoin factory in West Texas. With multiple 2.5-megawatt liquid-cooled containers now online, Layer1 is on track to deliver on its mission to pioneer Bitcoin mining’s use of renewable energy and be the first to enhance Bitcoin’s decentralization.

With the goal of repatriating U.S. Bitcoin mining, Layer1 aims to scale up to 100 megawatts in the coming months and exceed 2% of the total Bitcoin hashrate, with a roadmap to reach 30% by the end of 2021. This will enable the U.S. to offset China’s dominance in Bitcoin mining and improve the country’s national security efforts for an asset class with the potential to be a reserve currency.

Layer1’s vertically integrated approach is a fundamental improvement over the industry’s status quo and positions the company to own the whole Bitcoin infrastructure stack. Layer1 designs, produces, and operates its entire mining infrastructure, from proprietary ASIC chips and liquid-cooled mining containers to wholly-owned power development and procurement.

“We are already delivering on our vision of making Layer1 the world leader in vertically integrated, sustainable Bitcoin mining,” said Alexander Liegl, co-founder and CEO, Layer1. “Our factory in West Texas is a game changer in Bitcoin mining. The facility uses custom ASIC chips and patent-pending liquid cooling technology, that enables us to unlock warmer climates – where others cannot – and benefit from the world’s largest supply of low-cost, sustainable local energy.”

Layer1 challenges the notion that bitcoin mining in the U.S. cannot compete with regions such as China, where approximately 60% or more of Bitcoin mining operations are located. Currently, less than 5% of the hashrate and 0% of the hardware for Bitcoin mining come from the U.S.

“We have a long-term vision for Bitcoin mining, building a multi-generational business that is already profitable in the short-run and growth-focused in the long-run to be the biggest player in the space,” said Liegl. “From hardware to energy, we’ve redesigned Bitcoin mining from first principles to control every profit and cost lever across our technology stack. Far too many mining operations still work from a playbook stuck in 2017; the halving will be a death knell for many of them.”

The Layer1 team brings together Bitcoin mining’s most experienced team, having built-out over 10% of the network as founders of some of the biggest players in the world. Armed with a full-stack approach and never-before-seen container power capacity that’s rapidly scalable, climate resistant, and plug-and-play deployable, the Layer1 team is on a mission to forever change the way large-scale mining works.

About Layer1

Layer1 is the only U.S. based renewable energy, vertically-integrated Bitcoin mining, technology and factory development company. Layer1’s team consists of highly experienced Bitcoin miners, energy entrepreneurs, and hardware technology experts who are on a mission to reinvent the business of mining and control every aspect of performance and cost, in order to strengthen Bitcoin’s decentralization and improve the usage of renewable energy.

Layer1 is backed by VCs including Digital Currency Group, Shasta Ventures, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who participated in a $50 million round adding to a previous $2.1 million seed round. Layer1 has its headquarters in San Francisco, with additional offices and an engineering presence in China, Nevada, Switzerland, Russia, and Texas. To learn more about the company, please visit www.layer1.com.

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Most Profitable Option of ВTC Gambling

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If you decide to make money on sports betting or on playing bitcoin poker, the website of the reliable company will easily provide you with the suitable opportunities.

The process of earning crypto currency is now greatly simplified thanks to the special feature of the presented bookmaker office, ВTC gambling 1xBit.com. Such type of entertainment allows the users to spend some quality time and earn digital assets at the same time and same place!

The reliable office offers its customers to take advantage of all the benefits available to them. If you decide to start your way in gambling here, you will certainly appreciate the following features:

 

  • Bonus offers. All new customers of the bookmaker can get a nice bonus during registration, which can be used right away.
  • Simplicity. Registration on the site takes only a couple of minutes, and the navigation here is very clear even for those who came here for the first time.
  • Wide opportunities. The company’s customers are able to not only try their hand at BTC gambling on 1xBit.com, but also bet on sports to increase their digital assets.

In any case, the cooperation with the reliable bookmaker office will bring users positive emotions, opportunity to put their knowledge into practice and use cryptocurrency without any additional costs.

Try your hand at bitcoin poker

Gambling can be a source of stable income for you even in the long run. We should also mention bitcoin poker https://www.1xbit.com, presented on the website of the trusted bookmaker. This version of the game will help you to not only convert your knowledge into profit, but also get cryptocurrency at no additional cost.

If we talk about sports betting, then the proven platform offers a wide selection of sports. According to user reviews, the most popular of them are:

  1. Football
  2. Basketball
  3. Tennis
  4. Hockey
  5. Volleyball
  6. Boxing
  7. Cybersports

In football, the sports season has already begun in most European national championships. The English Premier League is the most popular and strongest of them. Currently, the leader of the standings in Liverpool, which has not a single defeat. The previous year, the Reds became vice champions, losing the coveted title to Manchester City. The team of Josep Guardiola, who became the champion of the 2018/2019 season, now ranks second, but everything can change over the long tournament distance.

After all, the most important thing is that the customers are able to choose the most profitable options for them based on their own preferences.

 

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BitMEX: Bitcoin’s Initial Block Download

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Bitcoin

Abstract: We test the performance of Bitcoin Core by successfully conducting 35 initial block downloads (IBDs) and recording the amount of time the node takes to synchronize with the network. We used software releases in the period spanning from 2012 to 2019. The results show a considerable and consistent improvement in the performance of the software, but also a high degree of variance. Even with the latest computer hardware, older versions of Bitcoin struggled to get past the pickup in transaction volume which occured in the 2015 to 2016 period. Therefore we conclude that without the software enhancements, an initial synchronization today could be almost impossible.

Figure 1 – Bitcoin Initial Block Download Time (Days) – Average Of 3 Attempts

(Source: BitMEX Research)
(Notes: Synchronization up to block 602,707. Further details in the notes below)

Overview

To test the performance of Bitcoin Core during the initial synchronization, we successfully conducted 35 initial block downloads (IBDs) and recorded the amount of time each attempt took. The results are shown in Figure 1 above and illustrate that there was a significant improvement in speed when Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 was released in February 2016, due to the upgrade from OpenSSL to libsecp256k1 for signature verification. Libsecp256k1 was built specifically for Bitcoin. Since then, the improvements in speed were much slower and due to the high variance in IBD times, the improvements are only clearly visible after multiple attempts. However, even after Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 was released in February 2016, a small gradual improvement in performance is still visible after each software release from Bitcoin Core 0.13.0 to Bitcoin Core 0.19.0.1.

Of course, IBD time is only one metric, and there are plenty of other angles and considerations that one can use to evaluate the performance and capabilities of Bitcoin Core. While the IBD time may not be the perfect or complete measure of overall software performance, it is highly resource-intensive and therefore potentially a good metric to benchmark.

This report follows on from two previous experiments:

  • In November 2018 Jameson Lopp conducted a similar exercise, however that analysis focused on independent implementations, while this analysis focuses on older versions of Bitcoin Core (or just “Bitcoin”, as some of the older software pre-dates the name “Bitcoin Core”).
  • Sjors Provoost also conducted this experiment in July 2017, although Sjors provided data for fewer synchronization attempts.

Full Results and Raw Data

Figure 2 – Bitcoin Initial Block Download Time (Days)

(Source: BitMEX Research)
(Notes: Synchronization up to block 602,707, further details in the notes below)

System Specification & Other Notes

MacBook Pro (64 bit)
Linux VPS (64 bit)
OS
macOS Mojave (10.14)
Ubuntu 18.04.3
Processor
6 Core Intel i9 2.9GHz
8 Core Intel Xeon
Memory
32GB
32GB
Storage
1 TB Flash Storage
640GB Flash Storage
Internet Downstream Bandwidth
62Mb/s
2,000Mb/s
Internet Upstream Bandwidth
20Mb/s
400Mb/s
IBD ended at height
602,707
602,707
Bitcoin.conf settings
assumevalid=0
dbcache=24000
maxmempool=500

Full Table of Results

Client Client release date
Sync Time (Hours)
Machine
Bitcoin Core 0.19.0.1
24/11/2019
11.4
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.18.1
20/07/2019
10.4
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.17.0
03/10/2018
17.7
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.16.0
28/02/2018
18.5
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.15.0
14/07/2017
21.1
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.14.0
08/03/2017
16.4
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.13.0
17/08/2016
24.7
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.12.0
17/02/2016
15.8
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.11.2
10/11/2015
53.3
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.10.0
12/02/2015
81.2
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.9.0
18/03/2014
85.1
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.8.6
09/12/2013
Abandoned
MacBook Pro
Bitcoin Core 0.19.0.1
24/11/2019
13.6
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.18.1

20/07/2019
15.9
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.17.0

03/10/2018
13.3
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.16.0

28/02/2018
18.8
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0

14/07/2017
17.9
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.14.0

08/03/2017
25.1
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.13.0

17/08/2016
15.8
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.12.0

17/02/2016
14.8
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.11.2

10/11/2015
46.0
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.10.0

12/02/2015
77.2
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.9.0

18/03/2014
78.9
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.8.6

09/12/2013
98.5
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.19.0.1

24/11/2019
14.0
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.18.1

20/07/2019
13.7
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.17.0

03/10/2018
16.0
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.16.0

28/02/2018
18.2
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0

14/07/2017
17.9
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.14.0

08/03/2017
17.0
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.13.0

17/08/2016
21.9
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.12.0

17/02/2016
17.1
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.11.2

10/11/2015
44.1
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.10.0

12/02/2015
82.2
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.9.0

18/03/2014
82.1
Linux

Bitcoin Core 0.8.6

09/12/2013
72.6
Linux

(Source: BitMEX Research)

Analysis of the Results

As Figure 2 above illustrates, even when conducting the IBD with the same software and with a machine with the same specification, there is considerable variance in the reported times.

Figure 3 – IBD time vs Client Release Date (Days) – Average Time of 3 Attempts

(Source: BitMEX Research)
(Note: For the Bitcoin 0.8.6 client, the results above are an average of only 2 attempts)

Figure 3 above indicates that the performance of the software improved incrementally with each software release, with the exception of the strong performance of Bitcoin Core 0.12.0. However, despite the apparent clear trend in the above chart, the large variance and in IBD times on each attempt could indicate there is considerable uncertainty. One may need more sample data before drawing strong conclusions about improvements in performance since 2016. It is possible the variation is primarily caused by issues in the Bitcoin P2P network or the internet connection and therefore a good area of further study may be to compare the re-scan speed, the time taken to fully verify the blockchain once it has already been downloaded.

Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 performs well in the above analysis. This may be because Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 has libsecp256k enabled, but does not validate signatures for transaction inputs where the witness is segregated (Segregated Witness). Therefore Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 does not validate all the signatures in the blockchain post August 2017, giving the client somewhat of an “unfair advantage”. However this advantage may also apply to Bitcoin Core 0.13.0, despite this node not appearing to be an outlier. Of course all the versions prior to Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 have that same “unfair” advantage, but this is dwarfed by the disadvantages of using OpenSSL.

Syncing The Client Up To Its Release Date

The below chart (Figure 4) illustrates the time it takes to synchronize a client, up until the block height on the date the software was released.

Figure 4 – IBD Time Up To Client Release Date (Days)

(Source: BitMEX Research)
(Note: Data for the nodes running on Linux only. Bitcoin Core 0.19.0.1 only synced up to height 602,707)

The chart shows that the trend was reasonably flat from Bitcoin Core 0.8.6 to Bitcoin Core 0.14.0, at that point the scalability improvements could not match the impact of time progressing and the blockchain increasing in height, and the chart shows an upward trend. Unfortunately the rate of software improvement has been reduced in recent years, perhaps as the low-hanging fruit improvements have already been made. Higher transaction volume may have also contributed to this. Future scalability improvements may be a lot more challenging, and even if the 4 million unit blockweight limit is maintained, IBD times may continue to increase going forwards, despite further software upgrades and moderate increases in hardware performance.

The Failed IBD Attempts

We did successfully compile and run versions of Bitcoin prior to 0.8.6, however, the synchronization became slow when the node reached the 2015 to 2016 period. The pre-0.8.6 nodes, such as 0.7.0, did successfully get past the apparent hardfork in 2013, by manually changing the lock limit, however 2015 proved too challenging due to the increased transaction volume, and the node stopped processing blocks. We tried restarting the node, which did help push it forwards, but then it only got stuck again. We then even tried running Bitcoin Core 0.7.0 on our brand new local machine, with 64 GB of RAM and 8 Intel i9 processors, however the node was still unable to get past 2016. With many of the scaling parameters involved being non-linear, one cannot simply throw more hardware at the problem.

On occasions when the nodes got stuck on a block and we re-started, we abandoned the synchronization after 4 restart attempts. For Bitcoin Core 0.8.6 on the MacBook Pro, the synchronization was abandoned when the leading block was in 2016. Although this is slightly disappointing, no restarts were required for the remaining 35 successful synchronizations.

Conclusion

Other than the fact that the BitMEX IT department should be more cautious when issuing BitMEX Research with MacBook Pros, the data illustrates the significant scalability enhancements which have been delivered over the last seven years. The transition to libsecp256k being the most significant improvement. The large reductions in IBD times and the inability of old nodes to fully synchronize indicates that if it were not for these scalability enhancements, by now Bitcoin would be essentially dead, even if users had the highest specification hardware available. The data also shows that technological innovation is unlikely to keep up with the growing blockchain going forward and that IBD times will increase.

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