[bitcoin-dev] A reason we can all agree on to increase block size

Hector Chu hectorchu at gmail.com
Mon Aug 3 08:52:24 UTC 2015

On 3 August 2015 at 09:38, Eric Lombrozo <elombrozo at gmail.com> wrote:

> We already have much more efficient, far more scalable systems that allow
> this kind of cooperation you speak of without the inconveniences of
> blockchains and such.

There is a degree of difference between cooperation in day-to-day usage of
the system and cooperation in the rare cases the system has a bug.

These incidents do, fortunately, present some of the better sides of
> humanity…but…the design of the network *broke* - and for reasons that are
> now well understood to be only worsened by larger blocks. These incidents
> are *not supposed to happen* - and if they do, it means we’ve botched
> something up and need to fix it. And by fix it, I mean fix the protocol so
> that given our best understanding of things in the present we can
> significantly reduce the potential for its occurrence in the future.

Distribution by consensus is inherently a fragile system. The network will
continue to break again and again as long as programmers are fallible. But
the types of bugs that occur will change over time as we learn the best
practices for maintaining the system.

The correct incentives here were not due to people potentially losing a lot
> of money. The incentives here were well-intentioned altruism. Some miners
> lost money as a result of these actions…and they didn’t put up a fight. if
> you want to design a system around the assumption that this is how all such
> incidents will be resolved, please don’t spoil this for the rest of us.

Altruism is a facade that hides other motivations. The party cooperating
with the miners losing money were doing so to maintain good relationships
with those miners and to make sure those miners stay within the system and
not attack it.

> - Eric
> On Aug 3, 2015, at 1:31 AM, Hector Chu <hectorchu at gmail.com> wrote:
> What's wrong with a little cooperation to resolve things now and then? Man
> is not an island unto himself, we compete with each other and we cooperate
> with each other occasionally if it's mutually beneficial.
> You said yourself that a lot of money would have been lost if the two hard
> forks cited weren't resolved - that's the correct incentives at work again.
> On 3 August 2015 at 09:20, Eric Lombrozo <elombrozo at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There have already been two notable incidents requiring manual
>> intervention and good-faith cooperation between core devs and mining pool
>> operators that would have either never gotten resolved alone or would have
>> ended up costing a lot of people a lot of money had no action been taken
>> (March 2013 and July 2015). They were both caused by consensus disagreement
>> that directly or indirectly were brought about by bigger blocks. There is
>> *strong* evidence…and a great deal of theory explaining it…that links
>> larger blocks with the propensity for consensus forks that require manual
>> intervention.
>> Please, can we stop saying this is merely about decentralization and
>> trustlessness? The very model upon which the security of the system is
>> based *broke*…as in, we were only able to recover because a few individuals
>> deliberately manipulated the consensus rules to fix it manually. Shouldn’t
>> we more highly prioritize fixing the issues that can lead to these
>> incidents than trying to increase throughput? Increasing block size cannot
>> possibly make these forking tendencies better…but it very well could make
>> them worse.
>> - Eric
>> On Aug 3, 2015, at 1:06 AM, Hector Chu via bitcoin-dev <
>> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>> On 3 August 2015 at 08:53, Adam Back <adam at cypherspace.org> wrote:
>>> Again this should not be a political or business compromise model - we
>>> must focus on scientific evaluation, technical requirements and
>>> security.
>> I will assert that the block size is political because it affects nearly
>> all users to some degree and not all those users are technically inclined
>> or care to keep decentralisation in the current configuration as you do.
>> This debate has forgotten the current and future users of Bitcoin. Most of
>> them think the hit to node count in the short term preferable to making it
>> expensive and competitive to transact.
>> We all need a little faith that the system will reorganise and readjust
>> after the move to big blocks in a way that still has a reasonable degree of
>> decentralisation and trustlessness. The incentives of Bitcoin remain, so
>> everyone's decentralised decision throughout the system, from miners,
>> merchants and users, will continue to act according to those incentives.
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>> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
>> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
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