Bitcoin Developer Guide

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Peter Tschipper has been doing some very careful, quantitative studies on how to compress a Bitcoin connection. If Bitcoin messages could be compressed well, this may allow us to blockchain compression calculator more scaling bang for the buck, by enabling the network to send larger blocks in the number of bytes currently used to send a relatively small block. But Peter's results so far do not look very inspiring. I believe the problems here stem from the choice of the generic Lempel-Ziv family of compressors.

While I'm not familiar with every single compression engine Peter tested, the Lempel-Ziv family blockchain compression calculator compressors are generally based on "compression tables. Note that the sequence "abc" got added into the table only after it was encountered twice in the input. This is nice and blockchain compression calculator and works well for English text where certain letter sequences e.

There are opportunities for much better compression, made possible by the structured reuse of certain byte sequences in the Bitcoin wire protocol. On a Bitcoin wire connection, we might see several related transactions reorganizing coins in a set of blockchain compression calculator, and therefore, several reuses blockchain compression calculator byte addresses.

Or we might see a byte transaction get transmitted, followed by the same transaction, repeated in a block. Ideally, we'd learn the sequence that may be repeated later on, all at once, and replace it with a short number, referring back to the long sequence. In the example above, if we knew that "abcdf" was a unit that would likely be repeated, we would put it into the compression table as a whole, instead of relying on repetition to get it into the table.

Yet the LZ variants I know of will need to see a byte sequence repeated times in order to develop a single, reusable, byte long subsequence in the compression table. So, a Bitcoin-specific compressor can do significantly better, but is it a good idea? Let's argue both sides of the coin:. On the one hand, Bitcoin-specific compressors will be closely tied to the contents of messages, which might make it difficult to change the blockchain compression calculator format later on -- changes to the wire format may need corresponding changes to the compressor.

If the compressor cannot be blockchain compression calculator cleanly, then the protocol-agnostic, off-the-shelf compressors have a maintainability edge, which comes at the expense of the compression ratio. Another argument is that compression algorithms of any kind should be tested thoroughly before inclusion, and brand new code may lack the maturity required. The nature of LZ compressors leads me to believe that much higher compression ratios are possible by building a custom, Bitcoin-aware compressor.

If I had to guess, I would venture that compression ratios of 2X or more are possible for some cases, and I base this on the fact that transactions blockchain compression calculator sometimes transmitted twice over links, once for dissemination and once as part of a block. In some sense, the "O 1 block propagation" idea that Gavin proposed a while ago can be seen as extreme example of a Bitcoin-specific compressor, albeit one that constrains the order of transactions in a block.

Compression can buy us some additional throughput at zero cost, modulo code complexity. Given the amount of acrimonious debate blockchain compression calculator the block size we have all had to endure, it seems criminal to leave potentially free improvements on the table.

Even if the resulting code is deemed too complex to include in the production client right now, it would be good to understand the potential for improvement. This is the kind of self-contained exercise that bright young hackers love to tackle. It'd bring in new programmers into the ecosystem, and many of us would love to discover the limits of compressibility for Bitcoin bits on a wire. And the results would be interesting even if the final compression engine is not enabled by default, or not even merged.

Hacker and professor at Cornell, blockchain compression calculator interests that span blockchain compression calculator systems, OSes and networking. How to Compress Bitcoin bitcoin blocksize December 02, at Bleak Outlook But Peter's results so far do not look very inspiring.

Why Bitcoin Doesn't Compress Well. Opportunity for Better Compression. Cons On the one hand, Bitcoin-specific compressors will be closely tied to the contents of messages, which might make it difficult to change the wire format later on -- changes to the wire format blockchain compression calculator need corresponding changes to the compressor.

Pros The nature of LZ compressors leads me to believe that much higher compression ratios are possible by building a blockchain compression calculator, Bitcoin-aware compressor. How To Do It.

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