At 7:54 a.m. on November 20, CoinGeek—the largest miner on the Bitcoin SV blockchain—mined a 64MB block, the largest ever on a public blockchain, according to the company’s press release.
The block, which can be seen here on the Bitfire blockchain explorer, is the latest salvo in the ongoing war between rival Bitcoin Cash implementations Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. Although Bitcoin ABC has gained the upper hand by most indices , SV has produced far bigger blocks, filled with transactions created by the network capacity “stress testing” procedure that is currently underway.
We know that the block contains 334,074 transactions and just under 64MB data. But how big is that, anyway?
And although there is no hard cap to the size of Bitcoin ABC’s blocks, they are currently tiny: consulting a block explorer shows that most recent blocks are under 50KB, and frequently below 10kB.
As mentioned, a 64MB block can fit well over 300,000 transactions. But what else can you fit in 64MB of data?
Sadly for rap fans, the giant SV block is not big enough to contain Lil Wayne’s 1999 debut album Tha Block Is Hot, which comes in at 86.8MB even at mid-range 160 kbps audio quality.
But speaking of blocks: The original version of Tetris on the GameBoy, a strong candidate for one of the most iconic games ever made, had a tiny file size. A version of the game made to run on a GameBoy emulator is just 19kB, more than 60 times smaller than a standard bitcoin block, and 3368 times smaller than the SV megablock. In fact, even the full color, 3D-rendered games of the N64 were very small compared to modern PC games: for example, a zip file of this Tetris64 rom is only 6.5MB, meaning that 9 of them could be stored in a 64MB file.
Of course, these are mostly apples-to-oranges comparisons. Tetris blocks have little in common with bitcoin blocks, ditto Lil Wayne’s blocks (although Ol’ Dirty Bastard may have more of a connection.)
The point is, size isn’t everything. What makes a cryptocurrency most valuable are its users, and without those, an artificially large block size is just a lot of icing with no cake underneath.