[bitcoin-dev] Block size following technological growth

Marcel Jamin marcel at jamin.net
Fri Jul 31 13:07:42 UTC 2015

> Quite possibly bigger blocks == more users == more nodes and more miners.

I agree and would say that this is the only prediction of bitcoin's future
we can be absolutely sure of: more users equals more decentralization as
long as the cost of running a node is not prohibitively high.

It's incredibly cheap today and won't be too high with any of the current
proposals for the time being. If the "laws" of Nielsen & co suddenly don't
apply anymore, we can always react to that with another hardfork reducing
the rate of growth. Hardforks are way easier if the network is in danger
and the necessary change is obvious and non-controversial (e.g. "reduce
blocksize limit growth").

As long as hobbyists can participate in running the network and it's
affordable for everyone to transact on it, bitcoin will grow and its
decentralization with it, however you measure it.

2015-07-31 14:15 GMT+02:00 Mike Hearn via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>:

> Hey Jorge,
> He is not saying that. Whatever the reasons for centralization are, it
>> is obvious that increasing the size won't help.
> It's not obvious. Quite possibly bigger blocks == more users == more nodes
> and more miners.
> To repeat: it's not obvious to me at all that everything wrong with
> Bitcoin can be solved by shrinking blocks. I don't think that's going to
> suddenly make everything magically more decentralised.
> The 8mb cap isn't quite arbitrary. It was picked through negotiation with
> different stakeholders, in particular, Chinese miners. But it should be
> high enough to ensure organic growth is not constrained, which is good
> enough.
> I think it would be nice to have some sort of simulation to calculate
>> a "centralization heuristic" for different possible blocksize values
>> so we can compare these arbitrary numbers somehow.
> Centralization is not a single floating point value that is controlled by
> block size. It's a multi-faceted and complex problem. You cannot "destroy
> Bitcoin through centralization" by adjusting a single constant in the
> source code.
> To say once more: block size won't make much difference to how many
> merchants rely on payment processors because they aren't using them due to
> block processing overheads anyway. So trying to calculate such a formula
> won't work. Ditto for end users on phones, ditto for developers who want
> JSON/REST access to an indexed block chain, or hosted wallet services, or
> miners who want to reduce variance.
> None of these factors have anything to do with traffic levels.
> What people like you are Pieter are doing is making a single number a kind
> of proxy for all fears and concerns about the trend towards outsourcing in
> the Bitcoin community. Everything gets compressed down to one number you
> feel you can control, whether it is relevant or not.
> > So why should anyone go through the massive hassle of setting up
>> exchanges,
>> > without the lure of large future profits?
>> Are you suggesting that bitcoin consensus rules should be designed
>> to maximize the profits of Bitcoin exchanges?
> That isn't what I said at all Jorge. Let me try again.
> Setting up an exchange is a lot of risky and expensive work. The
> motivation is profit, and profits are higher when there are more users to
> sell to. This is business 101.
> If you remove the potential for future profit, you remove the motivation
> to create the services that we now enjoy and take for granted. Because if
> you think Bitcoin can be useful without exchanges then let me tell you, I
> was around when there were none. Bitcoin was useless.
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