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How long does the stress test usually last on the blockchain? Also what is it for? I'm fairly new to bitcoin and was having trouble processing transactions in a fair amount of time earlier.

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It's not a standard occurrence, it's just a company of dubious origin deciding that they will spam transactions to somehow prove a point about block sizes. Interestingly it proves the opposite of what they intended, rather than showing that the block size needs to be bigger, it shows that no matter how big you make the blocks people can spam enough to fill them.

If you have trouble getting transactions confirmed, you need to pay a fee for them rather than relying on the charity of miners. A transaction paying more than an absolutely rock bottom fee will be prioritized over the spam.

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  • I don't see it as spam if it's announced and undertaken by a white (grey) hat team. If it were a black hat, then at least there's some realisation of the brittle nature of the network at present Jun 25, 2015 at 2:06
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    We don't need to go stepping on turtles to prove that their shells can't stand up to the weight of a full grown American, just like we don't need to spam the network to prove anything about the networks behavior. It's not unknown, unexpected, or undocumented that the free portion of transaction relaying can be overwhelmed by someone with a little time on their hands. You can scream that God should have made their shells thicker or their necks less vulnerable to Converse All Stars, but it doesn't justify the behavior as somehow being good for them.
    – Claris
    Jun 25, 2015 at 2:20

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