[bitcoin-dev] Block size following technological growth

Pieter Wuille pieter.wuille at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 13:54:47 UTC 2015

On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 3:12 PM, Gavin Andresen <gavinandresen at gmail.com>

> On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 7:27 AM, Pieter Wuille via bitcoin-dev <
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>> I would say that things already demonstrately got terrible. The mining
>> landscape is very centralized, with apparently a majority depending on
>> agreements to trust each other's announced blocks without validation.
> And that is a problem... why?

If miners need to form alliances of trusting each other's blocks without
validation to overcome the inefficiencies of slow block propagation, I
think we have a system that is in direct conflict with the word
"permissionless" that you use later.

> As Bitcoin grows, pieces of the ecosystem will specialize. Satoshi's
> original code did everything: hashing, block assembly, wallet, consensus,
> network. That is changing, and that is OK.

Specialization is perfectly fine.
> I believe that if the above would have happened overnight, people would
> have cried wolf. But somehow it happened slow enough, and "things kept
> working".
> I don't think that this is a good criterion. Bitcoin can "work" with
> gigabyte blocks today, if everyone uses the same few blockchain validation
> services, the same few online wallets, and mining is done by a cartel that
> only allows joining after signing a contract so they can sue you if you
> create an invalid block. Do you think people will then agree that "things
> got demonstratebly worse"?
> Don't turn Bitcoin into something uninteresting, please.
Why is what you, personally, find interesting relevant?

I find it interesting to build a system that has potential to bring about

I understand you want to build an extremely decentralized system, where
> everybody participating trusts nothing except the genesis block hash.

That is not true, I'm sorry if that is the impression I gave.

I see centralization and scalability as a trade-off, and for better or for
worse, the block chain only offers one trade-off. I want to see technology
built on top that introduces lower levels of trust than typical fully
centralized systems, while offering increased convenience, speed,
reliability, and scale. I just don't think that all of that can happen on
the lowest layer without hurting everything built on top. We need different
trade-offs, and the blockchain is just one, but a very fundamental one.

I think it is more interesting to build a system that works for hundreds of
> millions of people, with no central point of control and the opportunity
> for ANYBODY to participate at any level. Permission-less innovation is what
> I find interesting.

That sounds amazing, but do you think that Bitcoin, as it exists today, can
scale to hundreds of millions of users, while retaining any glimpse of
permission-lessness and decentralization? I think we need low-trust
off-chain systems and other innovations to make that happen.

> And I think the current "demonstrably terrible" Bitcoin system is still
> INCREDIBLY interesting.

I'm happy for you, then.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/attachments/20150804/1128ad92/attachment.html>

More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list