[bitcoin-dev] Block size following technological growth

Gavin Andresen gavinandresen at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 19:42:10 UTC 2015

On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 1:15 PM, Jorge Timón <jtimon at jtimon.cc> wrote:

> So I reformulate the question:
> 1) If "not now", when will it be a good time to let the "market
> minimum fee for miners to mine a transaction" rise above zero?

Two answers:

1. If you are willing to wait an infinite amount of time, I think the
minimum fee will always be zero or very close to zero, so I think it's a
silly question.

2. The "market minimum fee" should be determined by the market. It should
not be up to us to decide "when is a good time."

> 2) Do you have any criterion (automatic or not) that can result in you
> saying "no, this is too much" for any proposed size?

Sure, if keeping up with transaction volume requires a cluster of computers
or more than "pretty good" broadband bandwidth I think that's too far.
That's where original 20MB limit comes from, otherwise I'd have proposed a
much higher limit.

> Would you agree that blocksize increase proposals should have such a
> criterion/test?

Although I've been very clear with my criterion, no, I don't think all
blocksize increase proposals should have to justify "why this size" or "why
this rate of increase." Part of my frustration with this whole debate is
we're talking about a sanity-check upper-limit; as long as it doesn't open
up some terrible new DoS possibility I don't think it really matters much
what the exact number is.

> Regardless of the history of the consensus rule (which I couldn't care
> less about), I believe the only function that the maximum block size
> rule currently serves is limiting centralization.
> Since you deny that function, do you think the (artificial) consensus
> rule is currently serving any other purpose that I'm missing?

It prevents trivial denial-of-service attacks (e.g. I promise to send you a
1 Terabyte block, then fill up your memory or disk...).

And please read what I wrote: I said that the block limit has LITTLE effect
on MINING centralization.  Not "no effect on any type of centralization."

If the limit was removed entirely, it is certainly possible we'd end up
with very few organizations (and perhaps zero individuals) running full

Gavin Andresen
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