[bitcoin-dev] Why Satoshi's temporary anti-spam measure isn't temporary

Eric Lombrozo elombrozo at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 00:55:20 UTC 2015

I agree that the historical reasons are irrelevant from an engineering perspective. But they still set a context for the discussion…and might help shed some insight into the motivations behind some of the participants. It’s also good to know these things to counter arguments that start with “But Satoshi said that…”

What’s critically important to note is that several of the assumptions that were being made at the time this limit was decided have turned out wrong…and that these other issues should probably be of greater concern and more highly prioritized in any discussion considering the merits of deploying potentially incompatible consensus rule changes. It seems if these other issues were fixed perhaps no block size limit would be required at all (as was originally hoped).

- Eric

> On Jul 28, 2015, at 5:46 PM, Mark Friedenbach <mark at friedenbach.org> wrote:
> Does it matter even in the slightest why the block size limit was put in place? It does not. Bitcoin is a decentralized payment network, and the relationship between utility (block size) and decentralization is empirical. Why the 1MB limit was put in place at the time might be a historically interesting question, but it bears little relevance to the present engineering issues.
> On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 5:43 PM, Jean-Paul Kogelman via bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org <mailto:bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>> wrote:
> > Enter a “temporary” anti-spam measure - a one megabyte block size limit. Let’s test this out, then increase it once we see how things work. So far so good…
> >
> The block size limit was put in place as an anti-DoS measure (monster blocks), not "anti-spam". It was never intended to have any economic effect, not on spam and not on any future fee market.
> jp
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