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Congestion No More: Researchers Successfully Mine 1st 1GB Block

Researchers with Bitcoin Unlimited (BU), Nchain and the University of British Columbia have just successfully mined the 1st 1GB block on Gigablock, a testnet administrated by BU chief scientist Peter Rizun.

Such a development has particularly stark implications for the future of scaling in the crypto space in general. 1MB, 2MB, and 8MB block sizes are currently debated in the Bitcoin community, but 1GB blocks—and beyond—could make network congestion on the blockchain an extinct dilemma.

Both Nchain and BU have dabbled with “larger block” projects before, with BU previously testing 64MB block sizes and Nchain testing 32MB blocks. The collaborators’ latest 1GB achievement, then, has been a natural, if not hugely successful, progression.

The Gigablock testnet handled the mining of the massive block on October 13th, a research and development initiative that is by far the first of its kind in the crypto community.

“The world’s first 1.0001 GB block was mined and propagated on the Gigablock testnet yesterday,” Rizun tweeted in celebration. “Excited to present our research Scaling Bitcoin!”

The hope of Rizun and his peers, of course, is that the development and consequent adoption of such large block sizes will vastly reduce transaction congestion and high transaction fees. Indeed, the Gigablock team hopes to reach Visa-grade performance, i.e. 3,000 transactions per second.

The network optimization that such high block sizes will inevitably foster belies the necessary steps that must be taken in order to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin scalable for mainstream adoption but specifically for adoption by institutional investors.

Low fees and high speeds could make cryptocurrencies more attractive than traditional payment methods sooner rather than later. The disruption is only beginning, and the Gigablock project is helping to pave the way.


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TLDR: Researchers have just mined the first 1GB block on the Gigablock testnet. Massive blocks like these could make high fees and transaction congestion things of the past. 

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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