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TxStreet.com

TxStreet.com is a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin (BTC) live transaction visualizer inspired by txhighway.com. This website helps users to understand the mempool and blocksize in an easy way.

When a new transaction is broadcasted to either the BCH or BTC network, a person appears and attempts to board a bus. If the mempool size is lower than the block size limit, then they board a bus and wait for the next block to be found. If the mempool is bigger than the block size limit, then they will have to wait in line before boarding a bus.

The movement speed of the person represents how high a fee they paid in sat/B. The size of the person represents the size of the transaction in bytes.

Segwit transactions will board the segwit bus, drop off their signature data and then board the BTC legacy bus.

BCH currently has 32 buses representing a 32MB block size limit. BTC has two buses representing the 1MB block size limit and 4MB block weight (segwit).

When a block is found, both BTC buses will leave for the blockchain. For BCH, only the required number of buses will leave. For exmaple, if there is a 1.7MB block found, only 2 BCH buses will leave for the blockchain. If there is a 31.5 MB block found, all 32 BCH buses will leave. Please see the guide for more information.

This is a beta version of this website. Many more features are planned. Please consider donating to help fund development.

Thanks to:
Reddit.com/r/btc - TxHighway.com - Blockchain.com - BTC.com - Bitcoin.com - CoinMarketCap.com - Memo.cash

Contact:
txstreet(at)outlook(dot)com - @revofever

Guide

Here a few simple explanations of how certain elements of Bitcoin work and how TxStreet visualizes them. If you would like something added or need clarification, please contact me and I can change it!

arrow_rightBlockchain

The blockchain is the complete "database" of every transaction that has ever occurred on Bitcoin. Every full node (which is the downloaded Bitcoin software) has an identical copy of this database. New transactions are added to this database through "blocks", which are created by miners using [mining]. When a block is created, it included a reference of the previous block that was created. The previous block includes a reference of the block before that, and so on. This was how the term "blockchain" was coined.

How Does a Blockchain Work? - Simply Explained (Load Youtube Video)

On TxStreet.com, the blockchain is where all the buses go after a block is created, to unload passengers (transactions). When a block is created, the traffic light will turn green and the bus will turn towards the road with the blockchain writing on it.

arrow_rightBitcoin Cash (BCH)

Please see Bitcoincash.org or Bitcoin.com for more info.

arrow_rightBitcoin (BTC)

Please see Bitcoincore.org or Bitcoin.org for more info.

arrow_rightSegwit

Segwit was added to the Bitcoin (BTC) protocol in 2017 as a "soft fork" with backwards compatibility. The main function of segwit is removing the signature data (witness) from transactions and storing them in a separate area of the block that legacy nodes (nodes running bitcoin software from before segwit) cannot see. Segwit also removes the block size limit of 1mb (1,000,000 bytes), and replaces it with a "weight limit" of 4mwu (4,000,000 weight units), giving bitcoin a slight increase in transaction throughput, if utilized. However, it is not a simple 4x increase because the way in which the weight limit operates is complex.

Since segwit was a soft fork, both legacy nodes and segwit nodes can continue to operate on the same network. Both legacy transactions and segwit transactions can be relayed by all nodes. However, segwit transactions cannot be validated by legacy nodes, since they do not have access to the signature data, and have to assume that they are valid transactions. The main difference is how each node interprets and stores the data from each transaction.

When a segwit node receives a legacy transaction, it simply multiplies the size of that transaction in bytes by 4 and includes it in the block weight. Since the block weight is measured as 4x bigger than the block size, this means that if 100% of the transactions in a block were legacy transactions, it would be both 1mb and 4mwu at the same time, with a 0% transaction throughput increase. The increase comes from segwit transactions, which have their raw transaction data and signatures separated. The signature is added to the block weight at a rate of 1 byte to 1 weight unit, and the signatures are then easily accessible by segwit nodes. The rest of the transaction data again, has it's size in bytes multiplied by 4 and added to the block weight. So if 100% of the transactions in a block were segwit transactions, it would be larger than 1mb, but still would not come close to 4mb. Depending on the size of the raw transaction data, it would most likely be between 2-3mb.

When a legacy node receives a segwit transaction, it receives a smaller version of that transaction because the witness data (signatures) have been stripped. In the same scenario above, when 100% of the transactions in a block were segwit transactions, and the block was between 2-3mb, legacy nodes would still only receive 1mb of that data, because it is only the raw transaction data. This is how segwit achieves backwards compatibility with the 1mb block size limit. Legacy nodes have no knowledge or understanding of segwit, which means that a block with 100% legacy transactions, and 100% segwit transactions would look nearly identical. The only difference is that the legacy transactions would still have their signatures attached.

It is important to clarify that a block can have a mixture of both legacy and segwit transactions, and this is the case now in almost every block.

On TxStreet.com, segwit is visualized by a bus behind the legacy bus. Passengers will enter and drop off their luggage (signature data), and then enter the legacy bus with the rest of their transaction data. So if the legacy bus becomes full, it means that the mempool is greater than 1mb and 4 mwu, and both buses will stop boarding, even though the segwit bus has more potential space for signature data.

arrow_rightMempool

The mempool is a list or "pool" of transactions currently waiting to be confirmed on the Bitcoin network. These transactions are stored in each node's memory until they are confirmed and stored in a block on the blockchain. Each node is responsible for maintaining it's own mempool, which means some nodes may have a slightly different list of transactions in their mempool than others. However, the list is more or less the same across the network. When a block is found by a miner, they choose transactions from the mempool to include in the block. They can choose any number of transactions as long as the total size of the transactions included is less than the block size limit (or total weight less is than the weight limit on BTC). Miners are incentivized to pick transactions with the highest fee attached, because they get to claim these fees along with the block reward.

On TxStreet.com, the mempool is visualized with people. Each person represents one transaction in the mempool waiting to get to the blockchain. The buses combined together represent the block size limit, or the maximum space allocated for the next block. The people will board buses in anticipation of a block being found. When the mempool becomes larger than the block size limit, the buses become full and will stop boarding passengers. At this point, it becomes impossible for everyone on the street to get onto the current set of buses for the next trip to the blockchain (impossible for next block to confirm all the transactions in the mempool), so some people must wait on the street for at least one more round trip of the buses.

It is important to note that until a transaction has been confirmed and stored on the blockchain, it should not be considered final. The sender can perform a double spend attack and get their funds back. Nodes will also start removing transactions from their mempool if they have been there for a long time, or if their total mempool size gets too large.

arrow_rightBlock Time

The block time is the average time between blocks that are found by miners. This average is 10 minutes for both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin. In practice, individual block times will vary above and below 10 minutes. Sometimes to a great extent.

The block time is enforced by the network through "difficulty", which is a measure of how difficult it is for miners to find a hash in order to create a block. On Bitcoin, the difficulty is recalculated every 2016 blocks, based on the current difficulty and how well it is keeping the block time to 10 minutes. If the average block time is above 10 minutes, the difficulty is decreased. If the average block time is below 10 minutes, the difficulty is increased.

Bitcoin Cash used to have the same difficulty adjustment algorithm as Bitcoin, in which it recalculated the difficulty every 2016 blocks. However, in November 2017 Bitcoin Cash implemented a new difficulty adjustment algorithm that recalculates the difficulty after every single block, based on the past 144 blocks (or 24 hours).

arrow_rightBlock Size Limit

The block size limit is the maximum size (in bytes) that a block can be in order to be accepted by the network. The more transactions that are included in a block, the larger it gets. Therefore, the lower the block size limit is for a block, the fewer transactions it can hold. This also means a lower transaction throughput for the network.

Bitcoin currently has a 1 megabyte block size limit, plus a small 1-2 megabyte maximum increase with segwit. Bitcoin Cash currently has a 32 megabyte block size limit.

On TxStreet.com, the block size limit is visualized by the number of buses. Each bus represents 1 megabyte of potential storage space in the next block, aside from the segwit storage bus which only holds signature data. Not every bus needs to be used in every block, they are only there incase they are needed. This is the difference between the block size, and the block size *limit*.

arrow_rightMining

Mining is the process in which transactions from the mempool are added to a block in the blockchain. This is done by miners, who are people running bitcoin mining software on their computer. Miners are incentivized to do this because for each new block they mine, they get to collect/create a block reward (which is also how new bitcoins are added into circulation), and transaction fees.

What Is Bitcoin Mining? (Load YouTube Video)

In order to find a block, your computer performs many trial and error calculations every second in order to find a solution to a complex math problem (a number that can be linked to the previous block's solution with a hashing algorithm). When a new block is created, it includes a new math problem (or reference number) that miners must use to find the next block. For this reason, it is impossible to skip ahead and do work for future blocks, because you always need the reference number from the previous block.

Bitcoin mining is a very competitive industry, because no matter how many miners are working towards finding the next block, a new block will only be found every 10 minutes on average. This is enforced through the network difficulty, which automatically changes the number of zeros required to be in the start of the block's solution to the math problem.

On TxStreet.com, mining is visualized by the traffic lights, which turn green whenever a miner finds a block, and otherwise stay red when miners are working.

arrow_rightTransaction Throughput

Transaction throughput is a measurement of the volume of transactions that the network experiences, usually expressed as the number of "transactions per second" (TPS). It can also be expressed as "bytes per second" because this is sometimes a more relevant metric.

The maximum transaction throughput is mainly determined by the block size limit, because only a certain amount of transactions can be included in a block until the limit is hit. For example, let's analyze a 1 megabyte block size limit. If the average bitcoin transaction is 500 bytes, and 1 megabyte (1 block) is added it the blockchain every 10 minutes, that will allow exactly 2000 transactions per 10 minutes (1,000,000 / 500 = 2000). Converted to seconds, that is 3.33 TPS (2000 / 10 / 60 = 3.33).

This limit scales predictably as the block size limit is increased. For example, a 10 megabyte block size limit would allow 33.3 TPS (3.33 x 10 = 33.3). The 32 megabyte limit on Bitcoin Cash allows 106 TPS.

arrow_rightTransaction Fees

Transaction fees are fees attached to transactions by the sender. These fees can only be collected by a miner after it has been included in a block, which is what incentivizes the miner to do so. After the block reward is discontinued in 2140, miners will rely solely on transaction fees to operate.

The average or median transaction fee directly correlates to supply and demand. If there is a large number of transactions and the block size limit is too small to include all of those transactions into a block, senders will "outbid" each other for a spot in the next block by increasing their transaction fee, and effectively incentivizing the miners to choose their transaction over someone else's. This is usually done automatically by the wallet software. If there is a lot of transactions, and the block size limit is large enough to include them all, the average transaction fee will not increase, because there is enough supply to fulfill the demand.

In 2015, Bitcoin (BTC) implemented a new feature called "Replace By Fee" (RBF) which basically allows you to rebroadcast a transaction that is stuck in the mempool with a higher transaction fee. BTC nodes will then accept the new transaction. When Bitcoin Cash forked away from Bitcoin in 2017, it removed RBF, because the theory is that it will never be needed if every transaction can be included in the next block with a minimal fee, and that RBF only introduced risks to receivers.

arrow_rightCoin Value

Supply and Demand.

Bitcoin Q&A: Who determines the value of bitcoin? (Load YouTube Video)

arrow_rightSupply and Inflation

Both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin have the same supply limit of 21 million coins, with each coin divisible down to 8 decimal places. That equals a supply limit of 2.1e+15 "satoshis", which is the lowest divisible unit of a bitcoin (0.00000001).

The bitcoin supply limit is enforced by mining rewards that get lower over time. Every 210,000 blocks or approximately every four years, the block reward that miners receive for finding a block is cut in half. The block reward first started out at 50 bitcoins, and is now at 12.5 bitcoins. In 2020 it will be reduced again to 6.25 bitcoins. This continues until 2140, when the block reward reaches zero, the last bitcoin will be mined and the 21 million bitcoin supply limit is hit. After this, miners will receive all of their income from transaction fees.

Since the block reward decreases over time, this creates decreasing inflation or a "deflationary" currency. Most of the supply has already been created in the first few years of bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin Q&A: The 21 million supply cap (Load Youtube Video)

Memo.cash

Memo.cash is a social network built on top of the bitcoin cash blockchain. All data is stored in the blockchain.

Yours.org

Yours.org is a content publishing platform that enables users to earn bitcoin cash for creating content. All payments, votes and tips are processed on chain.

BCH Stress Test

On September 1, 2018, Bitcoin Cash will undergo a stress test, where the community will create millions of transactions in a 24 hour time frame.

Lightning Network

Lightning Network is a second layer to the BTC chain. This is the chosen solution for scaling BTC.

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