Something that I feel might be the obstacle against Bitcoin going global -- but which I've never seen anyone mention -- is this:

If Bitcoin goes global, I think it's possible that the number of transactions per second will be so high that it will become impossible to download the block chain at typical internet speeds -- it will grow faster than it can be downloaded.

What I'm wondering is: is this a real possibility? If so, how might Bitcoin deal with it?

  • 2
    Bitcoin is global, so I'm not sure what you mean by this.
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 25, 2013 at 14:28
  • @RoryAlsop: By "go global" I meant "when everyone is using it".
    – user541686
    Nov 25, 2013 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


This is a possible issue.

Currently we have a block limit in size of 1Mb although many pools send out 250Kb to make their block propagate faster to avoid orphaned blocks.

This gives us a cap of 7 transactions per second, data usage of 6Mb per hour or 144Mb a day, almost negligible amount of bandwidth.

Visa on average handles 2000 per second.

So looking at 285 times the amount of transaction is using 40Gb per day in bandwidth.

Most home ADSL2 lines can handle this now.

  • Holy cow, 40 GB per day means you need 1 MB/s bandwidth just dedicated to Bitcoin 12 hours/day... +1 thanks for the numbers
    – user541686
    Nov 25, 2013 at 21:00

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