[bitcoin-dev] A summary list of all concerns related to not rising the block size

Jorge Timón jtimon at jtimon.cc
Fri Aug 14 22:35:06 UTC 2015

On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 1:21 PM, Venzen Khaosan <venzen at mail.bihthai.net> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Jorge, you say 3 concerns at the end of your message but I only see 1)
> and 2). Assuming you've got a 3) and will add it, I'll contribute:

No, sorry it's 2 concerns/risks with 2 sub-concerns/risks each:

1) Potential indirect consequence of rising fees.

1.1) Lowest fee transactions (currently free transactions) will become
more unreliable.
1.2) People will migrate to competing systems (PoW altcoins) with lower fees.

2) Software problem independent of a concrete block size that needs to
be solved anyway, often specific to Bitcoin Core (ie other
implementations, say libbitcoin may not necessarily share these

2.1) Bitcoin Core's mempool is unbounded in size and can make the program
crash by using too much memory.

2.2) There's no good way to increase the fee of a transaction that is
taking too long to be mined without the "double spending" transaction
with the higher fee being blocked by most nodes which follow Bitcoin
Core's default policy for conflicting spends replacements (aka "first
seen" replacement policy).

> 4) General, undefined fear that something bad is going to happen when
> nodes choke up on a backlog of transactions.
> - - no specific symptoms are pointed at but presumably there is
> "pre-traumatic stress" at play.
> - - Bitcoin-based businesses are going to lose money, customers and
> potentially fail
> - - people will flee Bitcoin for another cryptocoin and Bitcoin will be
> left in the corner, collecting dust and memories of it will fade as
> SuperCoin with its big blocks becomes all things to all people.

I believe thisbelongs in 2, not really sure if 2.1 or 2.2 since it's
related to both.

> 5) Specific belief that the exchange rate will decline on network
> unreliability
> - - traders and investors will bid the price down, or
> - - traders/investors will stop speculating all together because even if
> their speculation is successful, they're not sure they'll be able to
> get their bitcoin out of exchanges, what with the broken network and all.
> - - The exchange rate reflects Bitcoin's value and not just speculation
> guided by a few large players like in other markets.

I believe "fear of exchange rate declining" can probably be added to
any concern/risk "leaf", so we should probably leave that for the end
or just omit it.

> 6) Belief that Bitcoin's "cargo" is about to be delivered by fate:
> - - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
> - - the cargo is variably presumed to be a range of hoped-for events: an
> adoption surge, a speculative rally similar to (or bigger than) 2013,
> or a global financial crisis that sees Bitcoin become the safe haven
> of choice.
> - - for the cargo to be delivered, a "runway" must be built - the larger
> the runway, the larger the cargo delivery. If the current runway is
> not expanded, then the cargo plane will go to a different island and
> won't come to Bitcoin Island.
> - - it is short-sighted and, in a way, ungrateful of the "generals" not
> to expand the runway - it will be their fault that the cargo doesn't
> get delivered and all the island's people, no the whole ocean's
> islands, will suffer because of silly security concerns.
> - - some people have taken the blueprints of the airbase and are
> building a large airstrip elsewhere on Bitcoin Island, but nobody is
> helping them build that long and wide runway. Everybody wants to
> expand this moderate runway - even the renegades who started Big
> Blocks Great Success airstrip.
> - - The sacred site of No-Middle-Zero-Attack-Point is at the start of
> the current runway. To expand it the site must be destroyed, but some
> former generals and many people say: It doesn't matter, we want Cargo,
> not a small attack surface. Just blast it!

I'm not sure I understood this but seems related to the exchange rate.

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