[bitcoin-dev] CFP Bitcoin Scalability Workshop (Sept 12-13), Montreal Canada

Mark Friedenbach mark at friedenbach.org
Tue Aug 11 19:13:14 UTC 2015

I want to put a big thank-you out to Pindar, Warren, and others in the
organizing committee who I know must have put in a lot of hours to make
this happen. I will be attending, and I hope to see many of you there too.
It is my sincere hope that the academic structure of a workshop will help
break down some of the communication walls that have arisen in this debate,
and help us all work towards finding a compromise towards scaling bitcoin,
something we all want to see happen.

On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 1:45 AM, Pindar Wong via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Bitcoin Scalability Workshops
> In recent months the Bitcoin development community has faced difficult
> discussions of how to safely improve the scalability and decentralized
> nature of the Bitcoin network. To aid the technical consensus building
> process we are organizing a pair of workshops to collect technical
> criteria, present proposals and evaluate technical materials and data with
> academic discipline and analysis that fully considers the complex tradeoffs
> between decentralization, utility, security and operational realities. This
> may be considered as similar in intent and process to the NIST-SHA3 design
> process where performance and security were in a tradeoff for a security
> critical application.
> Since Bitcoin is a P2P currency with many stakeholders, it is important to
> collect requirements as broadly as possible, and through the process
> enhance everyone’s understanding of the technical properties of Bitcoin to
> help foster an inclusive, transparent, and informed process.
> Those with technical interest are invited to participate in this pair of
> workshops with the following intent:
> Phase 1: Scene setting, evaluation criteria, and tradeoff analysis.
> Montreal, Canada: September 12th-13th, 2015
> Scalability is not a single parameter; there are many opportunities to
> make the Bitcoin protocol more efficient and better able to service the
> needs of its growing userbase. Each approach to further scaling the Bitcoin
> blockchain involves implicit trade offs of desired properties of the whole
> system. As a community we need to raise awareness of the complex and subtle
> issues involved, facilitate deeper research and testing of existing
> proposals, and motivate future work in this area.
> The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the general tradeoffs and
> requirements of any proposal to scale Bitcoin beyond its present limits.
> Session topics are to include the presentation of experimental data
> relating to known bottlenecks of Bitcoin’s continued growth and analysis of
> implicit tradeoffs involved in general strategies for enabling future
> growth.
> This event will not host sessions on the topic of any specific proposals
> involving changes to the Bitcoin protocol. Such proposals would be the
> topic of a 2nd, follow-on Phase 2 workshop described below; this event is
> intended to “set the stage” for work on and evaluation of specific
> proposals in the time between the workshops.
> Phase 2 will be planned out further as part of Phase 1 with input from the
> participants.
> Phase 2: Presentation and review of technical proposals, with simulation,
> benchmark results.
> Hong Kong, SAR, China: TBD Nov/Dec 2015
> Hopefully to be easier for the Chinese miners to attend, the second
> workshop pertaining to actual block size proposals is to be planned for
> Hong Kong roughly in the late November to December timeframe.
> The purpose of this workshop is to present and review actual proposals for
> scaling Bitcoin against the requirements gathered in Phase 1. Multiple
> competing proposals will be presented, with experimental data, and compared
> against each other. The goal is to raise awareness of scalability issues
> and build a pathway toward consensus for increasing Bitcoin’s transaction
> processing capacity or, barring that, identify key areas of further
> required research and next steps for moving forward.
> Preliminarily, Phase 2 will be a time to share results from experiments
> performed as a result of Phase 1 and an opportunity to discuss new
> developments.
> How do the Workshops work?
>    -
>    Both events will be live-streamed with remote participation
>    facilitated via IRC for parallel online discussion and passing questions to
>    the event.
>    -
>    These workshops aim to facilitate the existing Bitcoin Improvement
>    Proposals (BIP)[1] process. Most work will be done outside of the workshops
>    in the intervening months. The workshops serve to be additive to the design
>    and review process by raising awareness of diverse points of view, studies,
>    simulations, and proposals.
>    -
>    Travel, venue details, and accommodation recommendation are available
>    at scalingbitcoin.org. Registration begins August 12th at an
>    early-bird ticket price of $150 USD until September 3rd. The ticket prices
>    do not come close to covering the venue expense and travel subsidies, hence
>    the need for corporate sponsors.
>    -
>    Please see the FAQ at scalingbitcoin.org which should answer most
>    other questions.
> Travel Subsidies for Independent/Academic Researchers
> There will be an application process for independent or academic
> researchers to apply for travel assistance to help cover the expense of
> airfare and hotel fees up to $1,000 per qualified presenter who intends to
> give a presentation.  The four underwriters of this event have agreed to
> jointly review applications and cover the travel subsidies for qualified
> presenters. See scalingbitcoin.org for details.
> Sponsors of the Montreal Workshop
> The first workshop is hosted and with logistics handled by the Montreal
> consultancy CryptoMechanics <http://cryptomechanics.com>.
> The Underwriters jointly responsible for venue expenses and researcher
> travel subsidies are currently the MIT Digital Currency Initiative,
> Chaincode Labs, Blockstream, and Chain.com.
> Current sponsors include: Cryptsy, BitcoinTalk, Final Hash, Blockstream,
> MIT DCI, Chaincode Labs, IDEO Futures, Kraken, and Chain.com.
> Additional sponsors are needed. Please see scalingbitcoin.org for
> sponsorship details or contact me directly via < pindar dot wong at
> gmail.com >
> Online Workshop Resources
>    -
>    Bitcoin-Workshops-Announce list
>    https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-workshops-announce
>    -
>    Bitcoin-Workshops discussion list
>    https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-workshops
>    -
>    #bitcoin-workshops chat on the Freenode IRC network
>    http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=bitcoin-workshops
> Call for Proposals/Papers/Presentations
> If you have any research relevant to issues surrounding Bitcoin
> scalability, your proposal for a presentation at the Montreal workshop
> would be most welcome.  Please see scalingbitcoin.org for submission
> details.
> Pindar Wong
> Chair, Montreal Workshop Planning Committee
> Chairman, VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd.
> [1] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Bitcoin_Improvement_Proposals
> _______________________________________________
> bitcoin-dev mailing list
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
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