Pieter Wuille, one of the most active Bitcoin core developers, has proposed a new BIP protocol called Erlay which would help the network grow further and secure it against numerous attacks. Bitcoin works on the principle of DLT, which is why the security of the network depends on the connectivity among these nodes. As of today, there are 9277 active Bitcoin nodes in operation and as per research, connectivity across the network is really low.
Erlay, a full scheme for efficient tx relay (https://t.co/j2lmwt0nRr) can be seen as a set of client-side policies around the use of these additions.
— Pieter Wuille (@pwuille) September 25, 2019
The paper released by the core developer highlights two main issues with the Bitcoin network, which the proposed BIP protocol aims to resolve,
- Current connectivity in the Bitcoin network is too low for optimal security
- Increasing connectivity will substantially increase the bandwidth used by the transaction dissemination protocols, making it prohibitively expensive to operate a Bitcoin node.
Bitcoin nodes contain the transaction history of the complete blockchain network and play an essential role in keeping the network decentralized, as well as secure. However, there is no economic incentive for running a node and people operating it only do it out of their love for DLT. In fact, running a Bitcoin node is quite a complicated and an expensive task, and that is why many have proposed changes to make it more financially feasible.
Erlay protocol will reduce the bandwidth use of nodes by 40%
Core developers have noted that at present, half of the total bandwidth required to operate a node is currently used for announcing transactions. Existing protocols increase bandwidth consumption linearly, which means that as the number of nodes in the network increase, so does the bandwidth consumption.
Erlay protocol promises to solve this issue by reducing the bandwidth consumption of nodes by 40%, based on current connectivity. It would also improve connectivity between nodes, which in turn would make the bandwidth consumption constant. Thus, Erlay protocol would not only make the Bitcoin network more secure with better connectivity, but will also ensure that running a Bitcoin node without any incentive is less complex and cost-effective.