Joannes Vermorel, founder of Lokad, the company behind Terabyte Blocks, appeared this week at the Satoshi’s Vision Conference in Tokyo to discuss, first hand, the advantages of Terabyte Blocks.
For many, this won’t have been the first time Terabyte Blocks has been mentioned, back in December 2017, Vermorel published a paper named ‘Terabyte Blocks for Bitcoin Cash’ (http://blog.vermorel.com/journal/2017/12/17/terabyte-blocks-for-bitcoin-cash.html). Vermorel’s paper featured an adaptation of the original Bitcoin white paper, where the white paper discusses Moore’s Law, a concept which is used to describe the inherent advancement of technology, occurring in two-year cycles, Lokad and Terabyte Blocks want to surpass this.
The idea is simple, by increasing the size of the blocks that contain bitcoin transaction data to one terabyte (1TB), each block can contain around four billion Bitcoin transactions. In this instance, whilst security remains the same, each transaction is processed with a million times less energy than those occurring in one-megabyte (1MB) blocks. According to Vermorels calculations, each Terabyte Block can compute around fifty transactions per day. In his calculations, according to both the paper and his recent presentation, the Earth’s population stands at around ten billion people. Therefore, at fifty transactions per person per day, Terabyte Blocks can theoretically process five hundred billion (500,000,000,000) Bitcoin Cash transactions every day.
In the presentation, Vermorel also highlights some statistics for UTXO management costs taken in December 2017, compared to statistics from this month, March 2018. In December 2017 256 nodes used 32TB of RAM, to the tune of $3,900,000 spent on hardware and energy consumption. These figures have been lifted from Vermorels initial paper, in this, he highlights the exact set up used to generate these figures, according to Terabyte Blocks for Bitcoin Cash each of the 256 nodes included:
- 1 Intel Xeon Processor E7, 8 cores
- 2 Intel Xeon Phi 7210, 64 cores
- 1 Intel Optane 4800X 750GB
- 2 Samsung 64GB PC4-19200 DDR4
- 2 WD Red 10TB HDD
- Misc (rack, power, network etc)
Then, in March 2018, just 32 nodes used 4TB of RAM, to the tune of just $500,000 spent on hardware and energy consumption.
If these figures are true and refer to similar levels of transaction processing, they do go some way towards highlighting the energy efficiency and cost-saving potential Terabyte Blocks have to offer through the evidently quick advancement of their technology. It would be interesting to see if the same rigs had been used across these 32 nodes, although unfortunately, I don’t have that information to hand.
Vermorels presentation then goes on to discuss the future of CPU, where again, under the Terabyte Blocks vision, a GPU could validate 7 million bitcoin transactions per second, achieved through the fast hardware implementation of an Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) signature scheme.
Ultimately, Vermorels promises an optimistic future, one in which billions of transactions pass through single layers every day. His future seems much more efficient and much more cost-effective, in as little as ten years from now he sees a ten-fold improvement on the computing hardware already used by Terabyte Blocks. If the technology takes off, Bitcoin Cash won’t be far behind.