[bitcoin-dev] Capacity increases for the Bitcoin system.

Gavin Andresen gavinandresen at gmail.com
Tue Dec 8 15:12:10 UTC 2015


Thanks for laying out a road-map, Greg.

I'll need to think about it some more, but just a couple of initial
reactions:

Why segwitness as a soft fork? Stuffing the segwitness merkle tree in the
coinbase is messy and will just complicate consensus-critical code (as
opposed to making the right side of the merkle tree in block.version=5
blocks the segwitness data).

It will also make any segwitness fraud proofs significantly larger (merkle
path versus  merkle path to coinbase transactions, plus ENTIRE coinbase
transaction, which might be quite large, plus merkle path up to root).


We also need to fix the O(n^2) sighash problem as an additional BIP for ANY
blocksize increase. That also argues for a hard fork-- it is much easier to
fix it correctly and simplify the consensus code than to continue to apply
band-aid fixes on top of something fundamentally broken.


Segwitness will require a hard or soft-fork rollout, then a significant
fraction of the transaction-producing wallets to upgrade and start
supporting segwitness-style transactions.  I think it will be much quicker
than the P2SH rollout, because the biggest transaction producers have a
strong motivation to lower their fees, and it won't require a new type of
bitcoin address to fund wallets.  But it still feels like it'll be six
months to a year at the earliest before any relief from the current
problems we're seeing from blocks filling up.

Segwitness will make the current bottleneck (block propagation) a little
worse in the short term, because of the extra fraud-proof data.  Benefits
well worth the costs.

------------------

I think a barrier to quickly getting consensus might be a fundamental
difference of opinion on this:
   "Even without them I believe we’ll be in an acceptable position with
respect to capacity in the near term"

The heaviest users of the Bitcoin network (businesses who generate tens of
thousands of transactions per day on behalf of their customers) would
strongly disgree; the current state of affairs is NOT acceptable to them.



-- 
--
Gavin Andresen
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