(BlockBar) Erlay, a newly-proposed relay protocol could reduce the “transaction bandwidth” used up by bitcoin nodes by up to 75%. The proposed protocol gives alternatives to the way transactions are relayed so that they use significantly less bandwidth. To be noted that it is an important resource for the nodes that make up the network. The University of British Columbia researcher Gleb Naumenko as well as two bitcoin development heavy-weights: Greg Maxwell and Pieter Wuille, are its authors.
The bitcoin works when the nodes across the world tie together to form a network and Erlay changes up how the announcement of these transactions is performed. Researcher Naumenko described in a bitcoin dev email, where he announced the new proposal:
“The main idea is that instead of announcing every transaction to every peer, announcements are only sent directly over a small number of connections (only 8 outgoing ones). Further relay is achieved by periodically running a set reconciliation protocol over every connection between the sets of withheld announcements in both directions.”
According to Naumenko, the results: “We save half of the bandwidth a node consumes, allow increasing connectivity almost for free, and, as a side effect, better withstand timing attacks. If outbound peer count were increased to 32, Erlay saves around 75% overall bandwidth compared to the current protocol.”
The researchers say that one of the important results of this new protocol would be that nodes can increase the number of connections they hold with other nodes only by reducing how much bandwidth this process takes
It’s important research although as low-level and technical as it sounds. It is because particularly it relates to the security of the network itself.
This new protocol could make room for more connections, and the more connected a node is, the more “hardened” it is against network attacks because the security of bitcoin depends at least partly on connections between nodes
It is worth noting that according to the rules a new technology isn’t added to bitcoin unless the most active contributors to the software, as well as the wider ecosystem that actually operates the nodes agrees with it.