[bitcoin-dev] Block size following technological growth

Jorge Timón jtimon at jtimon.cc
Tue Aug 4 11:59:57 UTC 2015

On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 1:04 PM, Hector Chu <hectorchu at gmail.com> wrote:
> Mike's position is that he wants the block size limit to eventually be
> removed. That is of course an extreme view.

I prefer to wait and let him talk by himself.

> Meanwhile, your view that the
> block size should be artificially constrained below the organic growth curve
> (in a way that will penalize a majority of existing and future users) lies
> at the other extreme.

That is not my position. Again, I don't know what the right blocksize
for the short term is (I don't think anybody does).
But I know that the maximum block size limit consensus rule (no more
artificial than any other consensus rule, like, say, the one that
prohibits double-spends) serves to limit mining centralization.
Therefore how the change can affect mining centralization must be the
main concern, instead of (also artificial) projections about usage
growth (no matter how organic their curves look).
Also I don't think "hitting the limit" must be necessarily harmful and
if it is, I don't understand why hitting it at 1MB will be more
harmful than hitting it at 2MB, 8MB or 8GB.

> The majority position lies somewhere in between (i.e.
> a one-time increase to 8MB). This is the position that ultimately matters.

I don't know where you get your "majority" from or what it even means
(majority of users, majority of the coins, of miners?)
But there's something I'm missing something there...why my position
doesn't matter if it's not a majority?
How is what the the majority has been told it's best an objective argument?

> If the block size is increased to 8MB and things get demonstrably a whole
> lot worse, then you will have a solid leg to stand on. In that case we can
> always do another hard fork later to reduce the block size back to something
> smaller, and henceforth the block size will never be touched again.

And if we can "break things" in simulations first before we "break
things" in production, maybe we don't need the later hardfork to "fix
things" (if it's still possible to fix them without completely
restarting the ASIC market).
The fact is that we don't have a single simulation that can tell you
"too centralized/shouldn't affect mining centralization much" for a
given block size.
So if you say 8, I must ask, why not 9?
Why 9 MB is not safe for mining centralization but 8 MB is?

There is NO criterion based on mining centralization to decide between
2 sizes in favor of the small one.
It seems like the rationale it's always "the bigger the better" and
the only limitation is what a few people concerned with mining
centralization (while they still have time to discuss this) are
willing to accept. If that's the case, then there won't be effectively
any limit in the long term and Bitcoin will probably fail in its
decentralization goals.
I think its the proponents of a blocksize change who should propose
such a criterion and now they have the tools to simulate different
block sizes.

I want us to simulate many blocksizes before rushing into a decision
(specially because I disagree that taking a decision there is urgent
in the first place).

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