An overview of Erlay, a proposal to improve the bandwidth usage of Bitcoin nodes

Bitcoin’s network security is reliant on the connectivity of its nodes. And while past efforts like FIBRE have been developed to help improve block relay, transaction relay has received limited research attention.

On May 28, researchers Gleb Naumenko, Gregory Maxwell, Pieter Wuille, Sasha Fedorova, and Ivan Beschastnikh published a proposal to improve the bandwidth-efficiently of transaction relays in Bitcoin. The proposal described a protocol dubbed Erlay. According to the proposal, Erlay will reduce “the bandwidth consumption [of Bitcoin node’s] by 40%” while keeping “the bandwidth use almost constant as the connectivity increases.”

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