[bitcoin-dev] Bitcoin is an experiment. Why don't we have an experimental hardfork?

Eric Lombrozo elombrozo at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 18:52:50 UTC 2015


I’m 100% in favor of attempting a hard fork using a far less controversial, far less risky consensus rule change. We should stop wasting our energy arguing over stuff we don’t really know and understand and can’t predict very well - and we should especially avoid using a highly contentious change as our first hard fork deployment.

I’m also in favor of trying a small block increase before attempting any major jumps. I don’t think we should be focusing so much on long-term block size adjustment rules right now - much more critical is to develop a hard fork mechanism and to make sure we can deploy it. So something along these lines is probably a step in the right direction.


> On Aug 18, 2015, at 2:54 AM, jl2012 via bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> 
> As I understand, there is already a consensus among core dev that block size should/could be raised. The remaining questions are how, when, how much, and how fast. These are the questions for the coming Bitcoin Scalability Workshops but immediate consensus in these issues are not guaranteed.
> 
> Could we just stop the debate for a moment, and agree to a scheduled experimental hardfork?
> 
> Objectives (by order of importance):
> 
> 1. The most important objective is to show the world that reaching consensus for a Bitcoin hardfork is possible. If we could have a successful one, we would have more in the future
> 
> 2. With a slight increase in block size, to collect data for future hardforks
> 
> 3. To slightly relieve the pressure of full block, without minimal adverse effects on network performance
> 
> With the objectives 1 and 2 in mind, this is to NOT intended to be a kick-the-can-down-the-road solution. The third objective is more like a side effect of this experiment.
> 
> 
> Proposal (parameters in ** are my recommendations but negotiable):
> 
> 1. Today, we all agree that some kind of block size hardfork will happen on t1=*1 June 2016*
> 
> 2. If no other consensus could be reached before t2=*1 Feb 2016*, we will adopt the backup plan
> 
> 3. The backup plan is: t3=*30 days* after m=*80%* of miner approval, but not before t1=*1 June 2016*, the block size is increased to s=*1.5MB*
> 
> 4. If the backup plan is adopted, we all agree that a better solution should be found before t4=*31 Dec 2017*.
> 
> Rationale:
> 
> t1 = 1 June 2016 is chosen to make sure everyone have enough time to prepare for a hardfork. Although we do not know what actually will happen but we know something must happen around that moment.
> 
> t2 = 1 Feb 2016 is chosen to allow 5 more months of negotiations (and 2 months after the workshops). If it is successful, we don't need to activate the backup plan
> 
> t3 = 30 days is chosen to make sure every full nodes have enough time to upgrade after the actual hardfork date is confirmed
> 
> t4 = 31 Dec 2017 is chosen, with 1.5 year of data and further debate, hopefully we would find a better solution. It is important to acknowledge that the backup plan is not a final solution
> 
> m = 80%: We don't want a very small portion of miners to have the power to veto a hardfork, while it is important to make sure the new fork is secured by enough mining power. 80% is just a compromise.
> 
> s = 1.5MB. As the 1MB cap was set 5 years ago, there is no doubt that all types of technology has since improved by >50%. I don't mind making it a bit smaller but in that case not much valuable data could be gathered and the second objective of this experiment may not be archived.
> 
> --------------------
> 
> If the community as a whole could agree with this experimental hardfork, we could announce the plan on bitcoin.org and start coding of the patch immediately. At the same time, exploration for a better solution continues. If no further consensus could be reached, a new version of Bitcoin Core with the patch will be released on or before 1 Feb 2016 and everyone will be asked to upgrade immediately.
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