[bitcoin-dev] Fees and the block-finding process

Dave Scotese dscotese at litmocracy.com
Sat Aug 8 22:45:28 UTC 2015

I see value in lowering the block size or leaving it where it is. We expect
to run out of space, and I think it's a good idea to prepare for that,
rather than avoid it.  When we run out of space and the block size is low,
we will see problems.  If we raise the block size, we will NOT see these
problems until bitcoin is bigger and more important and the pressure is

Someone mentioned that when the backlog grows faster than it shrinks, that
is a real problem.  I don't think it is.  It is a problem for those who
don't wait for even one confirmation, but backlogs in the past have already
started training users to wait for at least one confirmation, or go
off-chain.  I am comfortable leaving those zero-conf people in a little bit
of trouble.  Everyone else can double-spend (perhaps that's not as easy as
it should be in bitcoin core) and use a higher fee, thus competing for
block space.  Yes, $5 transactions suck, but $0.15 is not so bad and about
twice the average right now.

Meanwhile, the higher fees everyone starts feeling like paying, along with
the visibility of the problems caused by full-blocks, will provide
excellent justification and motivation for increasing the limit.  My
favorite thing to do is to have a solution ready for a problem I expect to
see, see the problem (so I can measure things about it) and then implement
the solution.

In my experience, the single biggest reason not to run a full node has to
do with starting from scratch: "I used to run a full node, but last time I
had to download the full blockchain, it took ___ days, so I just use (some
wallet) now."  I think that has been improved with headers-first, but many
people don't know it.

I have some ideas how a "full node" could postpone being "full" but still
be nearly completely operational so that the delay between startup and
having a full blockchain is nearly painless.  It involves bonded
representation of important not-so-large pieces of data (blocks that have
my transactions, the complete UTXO as of some height, etc.).  If I know
that I have some btc, I could offer it (say, 100 or 1000 transaction fees'
worth) to anyone who will guarantee good data to me, and then when I have
the whole blockchain, I will know if they were honest.  If done right, the
whole network could know whether or not they were honest and enforce the
bond if they weren't.  Credit the Lightening paper for parts of this idea.


On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 4:06 PM, Adam Back via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Please try to focus on constructive technical comments.
> On 7 August 2015 at 23:12, Thomas Zander via bitcoin-dev
> <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> > What will the backlash be when people here that are pushing for
> "off-chain-
> > transactions" fail to produce a properly working alternative, which
> > essentially means we have to say NO to more users.
> But > 99% of Bitcoin transactions are already off-chain.  There are
> multiple competing companies offering consumer & retail service with
> off-chain settlement.
> I wasnt clear but it seemed in your previous mail that you seemed to
> say you dont mind trusting other people with your money, and so
> presumably you are OK using these services, and so have no problem?
> > At this time and this size of bitcoin community, my personal experience
> (and
> > I've been part of many communities) saying NO to new customers
> Who said no to anything?  The systems of off-chain transfer already
> exist and are by comparison to Bitcoins protocol simple and rapid to
> adapt and scale.
> Indications are that we can even do off-chain at scale with Bitcoin
> similar trust-minimisation with lightning, and duplex payment
> channels; and people are working on that right now.
> I think it would be interesting and useful for someone, with an
> interest in low trust, high scale transactions, to work on and propose
> an interoperability standard and API for such off-chain services to be
> accessed by wallets, and perhaps periodic on-chain inter-service
> netting.
> Adam
> _______________________________________________
> bitcoin-dev mailing list
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev

I like to provide some work at no charge to prove my value. Do you need a
I own Litmocracy <http://www.litmocracy.com> and Meme Racing
<http://www.memeracing.net> (in alpha).
I'm the webmaster for The Voluntaryist <http://www.voluntaryist.com> which
now accepts Bitcoin.
I also code for The Dollar Vigilante <http://dollarvigilante.com/>.
"He ought to find it more profitable to play by the rules" - Satoshi
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