Fortnite Mastermind Tim Sweeney Defends EOS Blockchain Bloat

Journalist:
February 22, 2019

Gaming mogul Tim Sweeney, best known these days for founding the company behind Fortnite, made the unusual decision to defend the size of the EOS blockchain in a tweet today.

Crypto Blockchain Size: How Big Is Too Big?

EOS Weekly created a video expressing concern over the current size of the EOS blockchain. Sweeney wondered what the big problem with a 4TB blockchain is.

Of course, the size of blocks and blockchain bloat is a serious issue in the cryptocurrency community. The Bitcoin blockchain currently clocks in at over 200GB. Concerns over centralization fueled a years-long debate about the raising of the standard block size limit in Bitcoin. The debate eventually led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

After some explanation, the Fortnite billionaire still didn’t understand the problem.

It’s unsurprising that a video game developer would have no concerns about the size of a codebase. Updates for many games on platforms like Xbox One can be upwards of 50GB, taking hours to download. Millions of files and lines of code go into every aspect of a modern video game.

But the concern about the size of the blockchain is less related directly to its size and more related to the increasingly centralized nature of EOS. Just a handful of block producers store the entire history of the EOS blockchain, making them crucial to the network’s operation. If it were Bitcoin, the network would be virtually unusable with that few nodes running.

Video Claims Full EOS Nodes Began Falling Off With Rocketing Size

The video explains in detail why the lack of “history nodes” presents a problem for EOS. He explains that in November, the EOS blockchain grew to 1 and then 2 terabytes.

When the chain started hitting this size range, a good portion of the [Block Producers] started pulling out. They had to stop offering full history. It was just becoming too technically burdensome and expensive to keep it going.

One user pointed out that the “4TB” estimate might be inaccurate.

The video is referring to “full history” nodes, however. A regular block directory for EOS was around 122 gigabytes at press time.

According to EOS creator Dan Larimer, “full history” nodes are not critical for the network to function.

Fortnite Store Accepts Crypto – By Mistake

Tim Sweeney’s interest in blockchain is passing at best. As we reported recently, the Fortnite store was accepting Monero by mistake. Additionally, Sweeney’s company hasn’t pursued potential plans to develop crypto-integrated products. They had investigated making a deal with a European blockchain company, but haven’t pursued anything.

Still, that the recently minted billionaire is following blockchain information on Twitter is interesting. That he is interested in EOS is even more interesting, as most mainstream developers have looked to Ethereum when exploring the possibilities of smart contracts.

Will the next Epic game have an economy built on the blockchain, or some other interaction with it? Will that crypto network be EOS? Seems we’ll find out, but for now, don’t get your hopes up.

Tim Sweeney Image from Official GDC/Flickr

Last modified (UTC): February 22, 2019 13:51

P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.