debate

Maybe We Can All Get Along After All – Even in Bitcoin

Over the past year, the Bitcoin scaling debate has escalated to new levels. It seems no one can come to an agreement on the best path forward and people have resorted to attacks, slander, and rancorous disputes. Throughout the most recent hostility, a refreshing post on the subreddit r/bitcoin concerning a discussion on the r/btc forum suggests it is still possible we could all get along someday soon.  

Also read: India’s Government May Be Preparing to Legalize and Regulate Bitcoin This Summer

The Block Size Debate in the Beginning

Maybe We Can All Get Along After All – Even in BitcoinMost people don’t realize the block size debate has been taking place since the year it was created. For years now, one small commit to the code in 2010 has caused significant hostility throughout the entire Bitcoin community.

“(nBlockSize + nTxSize >= MAX_BLOCK_SIZE – 10000)” was written into the bitcoin protocol by Satoshi Nakamoto in July of 2010. Some believe it was conceived to stop massive spam attacks throughout the network, while others think there is no need for the hard coded 1mb limitation.  

A few months after the 1mb commit, on October 3, 2010, Jeff Garzik revealed an idea for a patch created by Satoshi to increase the block size limit. Garzik stated at the time, “we should be able to at least match Paypal’s average transaction rate.” The particular discussion that day was the first of many conversations concerning removing the 1mb limitation. Just three months after the block size limit was implemented the heated debate began.

The Dispute Rages On

Maybe We Can All Get Along After All – Even in BitcoinFast forward to today where scaling discussions seem more bitter, venomous, and literally, never ending. The dispute has been raging on for so long people have grown weary, jaded, and downright tired of the fighting. The infighting has gotten so bad that people have resorted to tactics of attacking members of the bitcoin industry and the censorship of people’s opinions.

Then there have been meetings between developers, businesses, and miners many times over the years resulting in broken promises. Egos have taken over, and the scaling conversation has spread into multiple discussions about subjects that have nothing to do with the matter. Furthermore, many bitcoin newcomers are seeing a hostile community and are probably dismayed by the nasty energy.

One Reddit Post Gives a Glimmer of Hope

Nevertheless, a Reddit thread on April 28 with hundreds of upvotes showed a discussion between two bitcoiners choosing to converse amicably even though they disagreed. Many people thought the post was important because it conveyed the message that ALL Bitcoin proponents can still move forward demonstrating better behavior. One comment from the thread explains the current infighting situation in a unique way;   

It’s funny how when you have a passionate belief in a fringe technology that almost no one in the general public shares with you and the people you hate most are the .00001% of the population that agrees with almost everything you believe in.

Maybe We Can All Get Along After All – Even in Bitcoin
A photograph of the r/btc discussion.

Better Ways to Approach the Scaling Discussion Because We All Want Bitcoin to Succeed

The best way Bitcoin proponents can move forward is with healthy discussions using logic and reason as opposed to irrational emotions. We should pay attention to other people’s opinions and respect that many people will have different ideas about scaling Bitcoin. Maybe some of us discussing the issue in an emotional manner need to take a step back, pause and get more grounded. There are many things all of us within the Bitcoin ‘community’ can do to better approach the discussion because we all want the same thing for Bitcoin.

We all want Bitcoin to be the most successful cryptocurrency on the face of the earth, but some have lost sight of the goal with all the drama. We bitcoiners have created a $21.7 billion dollar market and $1300 bitcoins because we all fought long and hard for the digital currency to succeed.

The bottom line is we all want the same thing, and some of us disagree on the best path for bitcoin. However, most Bitcoin proponents would agree, now more than ever, we should be civilized and move forward by using better communication skills and demonstrating debate without emotions.

What do you think about the scaling debate lately? Do you think at some point we can all come to an agreement and move forward? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Reddit, and Pixabay.


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  • vortex

    So let’s activate segwit then.

    • Ricky Bickerton

      Segwit does not fix scaling, they need to remove the block size limits to optimise the block size dependant on transaction volume, that will fix the scaling issue immediately and indefinitely, then miners will have no reason not to support segwit as scaling will already be fixed.

      • vortex

        Segwit DOES fix scaling, it ups the throughput to 3+mb and allows for LN to be implemented which will give us 100s of thousands of tx’s per second.

        Increasing blocksize is a ridiculous notion to scaling as we would need multi terabyte blocks to compete with Visa. Bitcoin was not designed to have instant cheap global payments on chain.

        Also increasing blocksize would not allow the chain to be independently verified thus losing it’s decentralization property, this must be protected at all costs.

        • Roger Ver

          You sure have been drinking the Core Kool-aid. Segwit is not a scaling solution.

          • vortex

            Increasing blocksize so large that it can no longer be independently verified by nodes or run by nodes behind tor is not a viable solution. Decentralization must be protected at all costs.

          • Sirius Source

            lol seriously, roger posts this article and responds to your technical argument with “stop drinking the kool-aid”. i mean, how hypocritical/disrespectful/patronizing is that?

            this is a time of apocalypse, roger. ALL WILL BE REVEALED. including what you do behind closed doors.

          • PBV

            This is one of the constraints, I agree. My question for you as a fellow node operator is where you feel the limit is for you in terms of running a node? Storage is cheap. I wouldn’t be stressed by the additional load at all, but I may not be representative.

            BU does try to establish a mechanism for creating this sort of balance through the protocol, but its by no means certain to strike the right balance. How would you propose to balance it instead, other than relying on One Core to Rule them All to dictate changes when it sees fit? That is just a different and potentially more dangerous centralization, isn’t it?

            The real concern, however, is that by limiting capacity on the main chain and pushing transactions to side chains you are drastically increasing the risk of centralization. In most markets, players consolidate through mergers & acquisitions until there are only a few left. Two or three U.S. automakers; 2 or 3 U.S. stock exchanges, etc. In the end, there will only be two or three major side chains if ordinary market principles apply.

          • vortex

            “…other than relying on One Core to Rule them All to dictate changes when it sees fit? That is just a different and potentially more dangerous centralization, isn’t it?”

            Core is a decentralized team and has no ability to dictate changes, core is run & upgraded voluntarily and cannot force users to do anything. There are a number of implementations out there in addition to Core who are doing great work like bcoin while BU is the only one actually trying to replace Core as they simply care about power, not technology.

            ” I wouldn’t be stressed by the additional load at all, but I may not be representative.”

            It’s not about space it’s about bandwidth. The internet is the not same for everyone in the world, there are great graphs of bandwidth distribution on wikipedia.

            “Two or three U.S. automakers; 2 or 3 U.S. stock exchanges, etc. In the end, there will only be two or three major side chains if ordinary market principles apply.”

            First of all we would not be pushing tx’s to side chains we’d be pushing them to payment channels via the lightning network which ARE on-chain payments b/c they require opening and settling on chain for the payments to be valid.

            Regarding side chains what you are saying is pretty much like saying there will only be a few websites on the internet. Side chains are powerful ways to add value to bitcoin while simultaneously generating new value and eventually once the technology matures anyone will be able to create one.

          • PBV

            Core is only a partially decentralized team and certainly not diverse in terms of approaches, as the politics of the matter have shown.

            The more significant problem is that having one dominant client is a monoculture that presents a real risk to the network. I agree with you that bcoin and Parity are more responsible implementations and perhaps more technically sound. The bcoin Extended Blocks implementation is particularly intriguing.

            “It’s not about space it’s about bandwidth.”

            Yes, quite right. I’m fairly unusual being in a university town with fiber-to-the-house. I take it the challenge is upload speeds on asymmetrical lines? Or is it data caps and costing in some areas?

            “Regarding side chains what you are saying is pretty much like saying there will only be a few websites on the internet.”

            No, not really. “Anyone will be able to create one” is not a guarantee of decentralization, because the issue is access and convenience. Anyone can create an online store, but that hasn’t stopped the online shopping market from being dominated by Amazon and Alibaba. That’s before lots of mergers & acquisitions, which are likely to further consolidate the space. And we all know that regulation is eventually coming to cryptocurrencies, which will increase barriers to entry for new players.

            Segwit would appear to be a technically sound albeit somewhat complex solution that hasn’t really thought through the broader changes it would create in the ecosystem. By contrast, simply dealing with the hard-coded blocksize parameter algorithmically poses fewer fundamental risks to the great bitcoin experiment.

            That’s not to say that Segwit or Lightning shouldn’t be implemented as optional improvements, but they should be implemented only alongside a permanent fix to the fundamental blocksize problem. That seems to have been the position of many miners, despite the fact that they are raking in huge additional fees from the currently constrained blocksize.

          • vortex

            “The more significant problem is that having one dominant client is a monoculture that presents a real risk to the network. ”

            This is not the false, there is no monoculture in Core. There are many clients, it is perfectly valid for the network to elect a main implementation through consensus which is what it has done with Core, but it can also be replaced at any time through consensus as well.

            ” agree with you that bcoin and Parity are more responsible implementations”

            I never said that bcoin or others were “more responsible”. I said that there are many implementations besides Core.

            “The bcoin Extended Blocks implementation is particularly intriguing.”

            No, no it’s not, not even close. It is a backwards way of increasing blocksize which is why BU and Jihan support it.

            “My question, though, was how (and who) would decide and implement a further blocksize/scaling increase?”

            Consensus. Bitcoin is not controlled by any one party, person or entity.

            “”Anyone will be able to create one” is not a guarantee of decentralization, ”

            Yes I never said it was. I simply said it will be an open and free market that will not only have a few participants.

            “egwit would appear to be a technically sound albeit somewhat complex solution that hasn’t really thought through the broader changes it would create in the ecosystem. ”

            This is false. Segwit is less than 3k lines of code, BU has since added over 10k lines of code with their emergent consensus. EC is what is untested, not segwit. Segwit has thought through VERY VERY carefully for years to make sure it is backwards compatible and straight forward to implement. THIS is why it has consensus.

            “…permanent fix to the fundamental blocksize problem. ”

            Blocksize is not a problem. There are those that would make you think this in order to capture more control over the network, but this is simply not the case. Bitcoin is operating and has been operating just fine for 8+ years and will continue to do so in the future.

          • PBV

            We’re getting into a bit of a Gish Gallop here.

            I think what we have to face is that there really isn’t consensus of the bitcoin community on Segwit activation (or BU). If consensus is what you value, then the proper course forward is to engage productively with the other parts of the community and move forward to a new solution.

            I’m afraid we’ll just have to disagree about the security and survivability of monocultures. From my perspective, you would not want 90+% of the internet to be run on Cisco routers, because of the risk of an exploitable flaw in Cisco routers.

            In bitcoin terms, we should not want more than 50% of the network running on Core nodes for reasons similar to why we don’t want 50% of the hash rate associated with one mining pool. Yes, that may be the choice of individual miners to be part of that pool. Yes, the pool may be composed of geographically diverse miners. Yes, the pool may be acting like a good citizen and supporting the network impartially even with 90% of the hash rate. BUT it enables the possibility of attacks, and it risks incentivizing bad behavior or the feeling that the pool IS bitcoin and what it’s doing is right and everyone should just agree.

            No different with Core.

          • vortex

            “I think what we have to face is that there really isn’t consensus of the bitcoin community on Segwit activation (or BU).”

            You can’t say what is and what isn’t at any given point in time since it’s an ongoing process. You can measure it’s progress via sites like coin dot dance, but the fact remains that things change fast in bitcoin. Segwit is very likely to still get activated and I maintain that it will get activated.

            “you would not want 90+% of the internet to be run on Cisco routers, because of the risk of an exploitable flaw in Cisco routers.”

            Yes this is correct. More competition would be nice.

            “In bitcoin terms, we should not want more than 50% of the network running on Core nodes for reasons similar to why we don’t want 50% of the hash rate associated with one mining pool. ”

            No this is false. Developers are not the same as miners. Developers cannot be forced to write code but monopolies like bitmain can do real damage to the network. Code like the Core implementation is voluntarily run whereas a monopoly like bitmain where many times people are forced to use their hardware because there’s no other choice is something else entirely and can do real damage when things like antbleed come to light.

          • PBV

            Well, OK, let’s say that it’s clear there isn’t consensus now for either Segwit or BU, and the tenor of the “conversation” is such that consensus is unlikely to emerge.

            I appreciate the thoughtful conversation, but I think you lose the thread of your own argument in the last paragraph. Miners are just individuals who choose voluntarily to run mining equipment, no different than developers are individuals who choose to contribute code. Miners contribute their hashpower to a pool of their choice. Developers up until very recently could contribute only to Core, and their work can only be included if approved by a tiny group with commit permissions. Now there are a small handful of different clients (Core, bcoin, parity), but Core still has 90% of the node count. That’s like one tightly controlled mining pool having 90% of the hash rate.

            Monopolies can do real damage to the network (or any society). Too large a mining pool is hazardous, though I’d worry more about F2Pool on LiteCoin than anything on bitcoin. Antminers have too large a share of the mining hardware, I agree. There should be more competition, and it does make the network vulnerable to bugs like Antbleed. Core has WAY too large a share of nodes, which makes the entire network vulnerable to zero-day bugs in Core, and contributes to some of the antisocial behaviors when anyone dares to offer alternate viewpoints (and, conversely, generates resistance to even sound technical solutions because people feel they’re being dictated to by the monopoly).

            The implication that you’re missing is that consolidation in mining hardware is an inevitable feature of markets. People buy equipment or use services by finding the best equipment and services they can. They don’t buy worse gear because of abstract commitment to decentralization. The popular products & services generate more income and in turn improve their products faster than competitors.

            Exactly the same pressures will lead to consolidation in side chains under Segwit/Lightning. Without concurrent on-chain scaling, it’s a guaranteed way to privatize bitcoin.

          • vortex

            “Miners are just individuals who choose voluntarily to run mining equipment,”

            Yes however due to a monopoly there is only 1 main company that is able to produce fastest miners which is bitmain. You have to understand the barrier to entry to create a fab and compete with bitmain is leaps and bounds larger than to create a competing software implementation to compete with Core.

            “Now there are a small handful of different clients ”

            False there is over half a dozen different implementations at this point, not just 2 or 3.

            “Core has WAY too large a share of nodes, which makes the entire network vulnerable to zero-day bugs in Core”

            This is false because Core is a decentralized team which means there are hundreds of people around the world 24/7 peer reviewing the code. Because of Core’s decentralized open ad hoc nature the client becomes somewhat anti-fragile. Unlike for example the BU team where there is less than a dozen devs.

            “Exactly the same pressures will lead to consolidation in side chains under Segwit/Lightning. ”

            I guess we’ll see. I foresee many many side chains in the future, especially as more and more older mining equipment will need to find a use other than just alt coins.

          • PBV

            I agree that Bitmain is producing the fastest miners at the moment, and since I’ve done ASIC development I’m pretty aware of the barriers to entry. I agree that there should be more competition in the space. Keep in mind, folks could probably just buy the ASIC chips from the fab house and build their own boards and miners. I wish someone would!

            If this sort of thing worries you, though, then you should be just as concerned about Segwit/Lightning. What started as lots of independent miners ended up gradually consolidating. The same thing will happen to side chains. There will be a lot, initially. It will seem great. Then over time it will gradually consolidate.

            When I was talking about different clients, I was really referring to clients on different codebases with different development teams. Bcoin (javascript) and Parity (Rust) match that criteria. That’s what helps protect the network.

            If you really feel that having a few hundred people working a project guarantees “anti-fragile” code, then I’m afraid we’ll just have to disagree. Microsoft has way more developers on its projects worldwide, and yet the codebase is often a mess. Open and ad-hoc doesn’t always/often make for tight code. In fact, it’s frequently the case that small teams or even single coders (Satoshi) make for more coherent and secure development.

            The risk, as you point out, is that for debugging you need broader review. BU closing the source in response to bad actors was understandable in the short-term toxic environment where people would rather attack than contribute, but it was a very foolish and unhealthy move from a long-term perspective.

            At the same time, a smallish community of a couple of hundred are likely to get into group-think over time working together on a project. True “peer review” requires genuine outsiders, not people on a diversified team.

          • Sirius Source

            roger, you may be able to fool some n00bz and ppl who think bitcoin is a commercial product, but you won’t fool the people who are the backbone that is the bitcoin community.

          • PBV

            I always get a little bit concerned when an individual or group starts claiming to be “the backbone” of any particular community.

          • Sirius Source

            then agree to SegWit plus 2mb increase.

          • PBV

            I think the point being made is that replacing one hard-coded parameter at 1MB with another hard-coded parameter at 2MB is not a scaling solution. And it’s not. This should not be a hard-coded parameter. Seamless scaling should be imbedded in the protocol, so that moving transactions to side chains is an option rather than a requirement, and so that the network doesn’t have to rely on (potentially private/proprietary) side-chains.

          • Sirius Source

            we may not even need a block size increase. why can’t we just do segwit first and see what happens with lightning? increasing block size right now increases centralization which is the opposite of bitcoin. and no segwit is not private/proprietary, that is what we call “fake news”.

          • PBV

            Actually, we have no data at all about whether increasing block size will increase or decrease “centralization” (by which I assume you mean node count for Core nodes?). It’s never been done, so all we have is speculation. Side-chains enabled by Segwit/Lightning which represent the majority of the possible capacity increase would be private/proprietary.

            Rather than spin for political reasons it’s good to think through the real arguments being made by different people. I get your “why not just do Segwit first and see what happens?” argument. It does make sense. I just think it fails to address the concerns about broader impacts on the bitcoin ecosystem expressed by many members of the community.

            We can either try to address those concerns, which is admittedly annoying extra work, or we can fort up and start lobbing turd-bombs at each other and try to shout people down with Trumpian pejoratives. I’d humbly suggest that is also annoying, it’s also extra work, and it has the disadvantage of getting nowhere.

          • vortex

            By the way how are those expired patent claims coming?

          • Bitcoin Warrior

            What rudeness, has the audacity to slander vortex without even backing up his claim with any other logic than “that’s not a scaling solution!” How about you back up your words with logic and fact and keep your small minded bashing comments to yourself sir.

      • Sirius Source

        SegWit increases the block size and also allows for Lightning. stop lying.

    • Khurram Javed

      Will segwit mean that each wallet will have two addresses? Is there cumbersome to switch between two addresses and having to decide which to use?

      • vortex

        As a user you will have to do nothing differently then you do now. Segwit is 100% backwards compatible and that is not by accident, it took months and months and months of discussion and back and fourth and hard work in order to make that happen.

  • Sirius Source

    #SegWit

  • Sirius Source

    if you truly want to work together as you claim, Roger, then we can do SegWit plus a 2 mb increase for now. but something tells me you’re not for bitcoin, you’re just stalling it and don’t want it to scale and if you do want it to scale, you want to centralize bitcoin. you see bitcoin as a product, not a tool that can revolutionize the world and end poverty/war/disease.

  • Mark Sabbai

    The bitcoin community sounds a lot like,”Marsha, Marsha, Marsha…”.

  • Segwit is active. What Unlimited wanted was to split the block value during the block increase and create a second coin with automatic shared value. That was snuffed out but the chinese and chinese influenced still want to do it. They thought if they had the biggest share finding network they could bully, what they found was more individual miners, like I voted to stay core to stay classic and implement better PoW and keep on mining. The miners are your safety not your dev code. Drop mining and the price will fall, it is the backbone of the system and the largest full node nearly ubiquitous network. Unlimited lost the debate when they tried to introduce the larger size, lost the debate when they tried to enforce signaling of both sizes irregardless if the size was required, nodes ignored them, Now they want to have civil conversation over their past childish acts. If you don’t mine or support a full node, or manage a mining pool, you really have a short sight on this conversation. Applications will not work without the blockchain transactions being verified through mining and trading. This is the largest use and should have the largest vote. Programmers should rejoice that it lives on its own and is out of their house succeeding. There will always be coattails trying to break the best through the guise of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. To be active in Bitcoin is not just buying bitcoin and exchanging it for goods or fiat, it is creating value through transaction, speed, volume, security, anonymity, and access. Some of those characteristics are code related most of them are process and hardware. Code, Process, and the Hardware need to be stable together during a change in either one while it is producing valued characteristics to the user of the bitcoin who will trust in it and produce longevity and scarcity. Block size change before it is required for all would have destroyed many values and trusts and would have increased delays in transactions. Coders will just have to refrain from helping those who have nefarious reasons to block size increase before it is time, Short Sellers, pyramid M&Ms, scrupulous hardware and software manufactures looking for changes in a well proven a well working highly valued system, the Bitcoin.

    • PBV

      Except we are seeing delays in transactions and excessive fees. This may be leading to Bitcoin’s declining market share in the cryptocurrency space (though admittedly that should happen anyway gradually as the innovation progresses). There is clear need for increased capacity.

      • No doubt we need solution to delays in transaction verification, I am always two days out of being paid for what I mine. I think it should be better Hardware and better Network Layer Protocols. RPC and dedicated ASICs will work for some time, but even with an increase blocksize these Hardware and Network issues will eventually need to be addressed. Scarcity will continue to drive the price up. An explosion in interest is wonderful and I hope we interest a more diverse engineering dynamic in Hardware and Network Protocol interested in building for the future, programmers have done a great job so far. Even programmers were bootstrapped in computational hardware 5, 10, and 15 years ago. 64bit processors, became readily available in the early 2000’s, MultiLayer Multiplexing Protocols became possible on your desktop shortly thereafter, Then we halted and gave more attention to our cellphones and gaming. If bitcoin had a network presence like cellphones, VOIP, ATM, GFP, DOCSIS, or Gaming consoles, we would not be asking for blocksize increase because of delays and transaction fees. We would find scarcity in Bitcoin much sooner.

        • PBV

          Interesting thoughts, thanks.

  • I see Ethereum possibly overtaking bitcoin, as no solution to the scaling debate is on horizon. What do optimistic estimates even look like – a short-term solution 6 months from now? By then, Ethereum might very well have overtaken Bitcoin in terms of market share. It’s already has 1/3 of Bitcoin’s market share at 7 Bn.

    • beatljuice

      While Etherium overtaking bitcoin is possible someday, it will not be happening soon. How many ETH ATMs are there in the world? Is there a LocalEtherium Web site? How many businesses take ETH? How many people outside the crypto world have even heard of Etherium?

      • I’m not sure those things are all that relevant when we’re talking about a digital currency held as a speculative commodity. In terms of future value – 7 transaction per second with no solution to this issue on the horizon is an albatross that wont go away.

        • beatljuice

          You do know that Etherium’s blockchain is already as big as Bitcoin’s and they don’t even have the mining/staking figured out yet. Very easy to look at how great things are going for the ship in the harbor (ETH with almost zero real world usage), while the boat that is actually out in the ocean is having troubles (Bitcoin).

          • Thanks to both @disqus_hgpKHJk1lM:disqus and @vortex30:disqus for the thoughtful replies and clarification – helping me to refine my position. Happy to be part of the community.

    • vortex

      Ethereum has scaling challenges of it’s own it must overcome. Remember the market cap is a fraction of bitcoin and they are only a couple years old. There is still much much more work to do be done before it could ever take over bitcoin, but you have to understand that it has a completely diff use case then bitcoin. ETH has no cap which makes it a horrible currency. It was never actually designed to be a currency.

      • Khurram Javed

        It WILL have a cap with the next upgrade.

        • vortex

          Sure it will bro, how about you prove that with a link.

        • beatljuice

          That’s Etherium Classic, not Etherium.

      • Neeruu

        Ha vortex your anti-Ethereum rhetoric has really toned down lately. Glad to see it.

  • Segue

    I am still waiting for someone who is knowledgeable in coding to explain why Willy Woo’s suggestion to enable dynamic blocksizing has not been fully explored. Why not apply this innovative element of Monero to Bitcoin?

    • PBV

      I agree. Hard-coding a parameter like block size is just poor coding practice. There should be a blocksize scaling of some sort built in.

      The constraints as I understand them are (1) the declining block reward means that to maintain mining power to secure the network there needs to be sufficient transaction fee incentives, and (2) the cost to node operators (who also secure the network) for storage and processing power to handle larger blocks.

      BU is an attempt to offer one version of a built-in mechanism that allows for progressive block size increments within the protocol. It tries to balance the two constraints by creating a sort of market-negotiation mechanism. This is untested in terms of the game-theory aspects of how it would work in the real world, so it carries some risks though on its face it seems reasonable. The hard-fork required to implement it also carries risks, and shouldn’t be done in a contentious environment.

      SegWit is a different sort of solution. Rather than permit (much) increase on the main chain it pushes transactions off onto (perhaps proprietary) side chains. Capacity is improved by divide-and-conquer in some ways, which decentralizes transactions more but perhaps moves them more under the control of private exchanges. The concern is that this is a deeper and more fundamental change to the nature of bitcoin at a point when it’s still in an early adopter phase. From the behavior of the mining community it also doesn’t seem to meet the first constraint in that it may curtail mining profits in favor of side chains, thus reducing miner interest and network security.

      The Monero solution would be another, and in some ways resembles Extended Blocks which is the newly emerging “third way” in the Bitcoin community.

      This is just my best guess, anyways, as a fairly new person in the space. 😉 I’m sure others will chime in.

  • PBV

    Thanks for the link, @Segue. Nice analysis. I agree with the conclusion; blocksize should be dynamic, and those data make a pretty reasonable case for something like an algorithmic adjustment of blocksize every two weeks at the same time as the difficulty adjustment. This could be designed to keep blocks 80% filled in the same way difficulty is designed to keep block release at about 10 minutes.

    I think that sort of fork combined with Segwit would be a reasonable way to move forward. It would be a hard-fork, unless implemented by something like the Extended Blocks approach.

  • Jack Daniel

    The scaling issue is not an issue if you read the paper. The decentralization of wealth (government, money hoarding, etc) enables technological progress and social cohesion to take care of the issue. If anyone read the paper, Satoshi Nakamoto already considered the scaling issue. The scaling issue is not an issue. I consider anyone wanting to change the code, other than enabling lower value amounts than the Satoshi Coin, to be pushing propaganda.

    • PBV

      Interesting, @JackDaniel. I agree that the proposed Segwit change and the “digital gold” philosophy behind it fundamentally alters the nature of bitcoin.

      At the same time, I’m not convinced by your argument that leaving things with no adjustment makes sense. Can you explain how “transactions will be processed in a fair amount of time”, when we are already seeing higher fees and backlogs?

      Problems with usability in the digital world lead people to switch to alternatives fairly quickly. Once there’s been a shift to a different coin there’s no reason to keep bitcoin for sentimental or “storage of value” reasons. We’ll all just be using Dash or whatever.

      • Jack Daniel

        Take a look at the Blockchain.info chart in relation to Segwit adoption. It’s basically asymptoting out. The blockchain essentially engages in self-defense from getting messed with. Also notice how the number of transactions has increased over time per block along with the value of each Bitcoin. The system adapts.

        It’s a brilliant system. But I do forsee people bartering more in the future and how quick transfer can be accomplished (perhaps Gold or more people using local versions of eBay). I do recall over time how eBay started to get more specific as to people’s locale, but as it did, Craigslist also got into that aspects, too. So, the distribution of wealth issue becomes more realistic with Bitcoin even if there are issues such as trade frequency over time.