[bitcoin-dev] Block size following technological growth

Mike Hearn hearn at vinumeris.com
Thu Aug 6 16:11:40 UTC 2015

Whilst 1mb to 8mb might seem irrelevant from a pure computer science
perspective payment demand is not really infinite, at least not if by
"payment" we mean something resembling how current Bitcoin users use the

If we define "payment" to mean the kind of thing that Bitcoin users and
enthusiasts have been doing up until now, then suddenly 1mb to 8mb makes a
ton of sense and doesn't really seem that small: we'd have to increase
usage by nearly an order of magnitude before it becomes an issue again!

If we think of Bitcoin as a business that serves customers, growing our
user base by an order of magnitude would be a great and celebration worthy
achievement! Not at all a small constant factor :)

And keeping the current user base happy and buying things is extremely
interesting, both to me and Gavin. Without users Bitcoin is nothing at all.
Not a settlement network, not anything.

It's actually going to be quite hard to grow that much. As the white paper
says, "the system works well enough for most transactions". And despite a
lot of effort by many people, killer apps that use Bitcoin's unique
features are still hit and miss. Perhaps Streamium, Lighthouse, ChangeTip,
some distributed exchange or something else will stimulate huge new demand
for transactions in future ..... but if so we're not there yet.
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