As of this publication, Cardano has around 30 network parameters.
Parameters are the mechanisms that control HOW the Cardano Blockchain works.
Today we are talking about the max_block_size parameter.
Blockchain systems work by taking many different pieces of data, putting them into a digital box or “block,” applying some labels and metadata to that block, and ultimately replicating that assembled block across many, many computers. On Cardano, a new block is replicated across over 3000 computers worldwide every 20 seconds as of this publication!
For various reasons, almost all blockchains will directly limit how big a single block can be. On some blockchains, the block size limit is indirect. Ethereum is one such chain. Rather than limiting the size of the block, it defines how long it takes to package up a new block by limiting something called gas; Ethereum’s block size averages between 70 to 80 kilobytes.
The current value of Cardano’s max_block_size is 90112 bytes or 90 kilobytes–enough storage to hold a 45-page document or 6 seconds of your favorite mp3.
How does this impact you? How many things your favorite blockchain can fit into a single block affects how long pending transactions waiting to go into a block might sit around when the blockchain usage spikes. This is even more important when converting from ada, Cardano’s native currency, to national currencies. Most exchanges will freeze your funds until x number of blocks have come after the block with your transaction.
If waiting for your transaction to go into a block is not how you like to spend your time, perhaps have a general sense of what times of the day your blocks are typically filled up and avoid sending your transactions during those times.
As a business that needs to process many transactions that convert to another currency, timing when you submit your transactions means saving on exchange rates slippage.
Another reason you might care about this value is if you’re trying to build a company that stores data on the blockchain. The smaller your piece of information is, the more chance it will fit into a block since many blockchains will skip bigger transactions in their preference for maintaining the fullest individual blocks possible.
This has been your LIDO Minute with Darlington Kofa. Visit lidonation.com for more minutes and hype-free blockchain education in English, Kiswahili, and Espanol.