[bitcoin-dev] Bitcoin Core and hard forks

Jorge Timón jtimon at jtimon.cc
Thu Jul 23 12:17:14 UTC 2015

On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 8:24 PM, Jeff Garzik via bitcoin-dev
<bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> To the user, talk of a fee market is equivalent to talk about block size -
> various opinions are tossed about, but it doesn't really impact them.  Fees
> have been low for 6 years.
> We see this with the actual data - no fee pressure on average for the
> entirety of bitcoin's history.  We see this with the recent stress tests,
> which exposed dumb wallet behavior WRT fees.   Users -and software- had the
> expectation

That's because demand for space (transactions) was always lower than
the supply (block space) and no market price (fees) arose.
Now the market (not the supply) has changed: demand has increased.
With a fixed supply, it was perfectly reasonable to expect that fees
would rise (from zero).
If the user expectation is that a price would never arise because
supply is going to be increased ad infinitum and they will always be
able to send fast in-chain bitcoin transactions for free, just like
breath air (an abundant resource) for free, then we should change that
expectation as soon as possible.

> Remember, this is not a judgement on whether or not fee market/pressure
> should exist.  It is simply a factual observation that users/market have not
> experienced this new economic policy.

It is not a new economic policy, it is a new market situation. Please,
stop saying that.

> That opens the question - why now?   Why make bitcoin growth more expensive
> at this time in its young life?  Many smart people would prefer that bitcoin
> continue to grow, rather than making the system more expensive to use right
> now.

If "not now", then when?
I've been asking that question repeatedly and the closest to an answer
that I got from the "not now side" was "the hashrate being paid by
fees instead of subsidy it's too far away in the future to worry about
it now".
That answer is not very satisfying to me.

> Choosing "let a fee market develop" -- today -- is picking economic sides,
> picking winners & losers in the market.

Yes, business plans that rely on free in-chain transactions may fail,
business plans that are planning for a future with fees and without
subsidies may get the advantage they deserve. But "kicking the can" is
just picking winners and losers in opposite way.
You seem to imply that rewarding inertia and laziness is the best
option for short-term bitcoin adoption and you may be right.
I simply think these arguments shouldn't be considered at all: the
criteria for the consensus block size should be purely based on
technological capacity (propagation benchmarking, etc) and
centralization concerns (those in the "not now side" have already seen
this 2-year-old video[1], right?).
But it seems to me that the "not now side" has no centralization
concerns at all and their true position is "not ever hit the blocksize
limit", that's the only explanation I can find to their lack of
answers to the "when do you think we should allow users to notice that
there's a limit in the blocksize to guarantee that the system can be
decentralized?". I've even read that the consensus limit "was just a
temporary measure". Then Gavin lowers his 32 GB limit to an 8 GB
Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'm really afraid that when the  "not
now side" wins this battle (like they've won for 6 years, as you say)
they will simply advance the front and start another battle, because
their true hidden faction is the "not ever side".
Please, Jeff, Gavin, Mike, show me that I'm wrong on this point.
Please, answer my question this time.
If "not now", then when?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZp7UGgBR0I

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