[bitcoin-dev] Block size following technological growth

Adam Back adam at cypherspace.org
Thu Jul 30 16:48:18 UTC 2015

That's what is nice about proposals, they are constructive and help
move the conversation forward!

On 30 July 2015 at 18:20, Gavin Andresen via bitcoin-dev
<bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> Specific comments:
> So we'd get to 2MB blocks in the year 2021. I think that is much too
> conservative, and the most likely effect of being that conservative is that
> the main blockchain becomes a settlement network, affordable only for
> large-value transactions.

But, if we agree that 17%/year is consistent with network
improvements, by arguing this is too conservative, does that not mean
you are actually going beyond suggesting throughput increases to
benefit from bandwidth improvements, and explicitly arguing to
borrowing from Bitcoin's already very weak decentralisation to create
more throughput?  (Or arguing to subsidise transaction fees if
borrowing so deeply that excess capacity pushes beyond demand).

I think the logical implication of this would be that we should be
first focussing on improving decentralisation, to make security room
to reclaim extra throughput.

(To be clear there are concrete things that can be done and actually
are being done to improve decentralisation via ecosystem education and
mining protocol improvements, but it's safer to wait a few months and
see if those things take effect well).

Secondly in this assumption are you considering that lightning will
likely be online for many years by 2021 and the situation will be
hugely different?

I think an incremental and conservative approach is safer.  People can
probably get a lightning prototype running about as fast as a
hard-fork could be safely rolled out.

I do think it is normal to be conservative with security and with $4b
of other peoples money.  It's no longer an experimental system to
consider fail fast experiments on.

> I don't think your proposal strikes the right balance between centralization
> of payments (a future where only people running payment hubs, big merchants,
> exchanges, and wallet providers settle on the blockchain) and centralization
> of mining.

What criteria should we be using in your opinion to balance?  I think
throughput increases trading off decentralisation would be more
reasonable if decentralisation wasnt in very bad shape.


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