[Bitcoin-development] Block Size Increase

Alex Morcos morcos at gmail.com
Thu May 7 15:04:25 UTC 2015

That strikes me as a dangerous path forward.

I don't actually think there is anything wrong with this: "everybody
eventually gets tired of arguing angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin, and
we're left with the status quo"

What gives Bitcoin value aren't its technical merits but the fact that
people believe in it.   The biggest risk here isn't that 20MB blocks will
be bad or that 1MB blocks will be bad, but that by forcing a hard fork that
isn't nearly universally agreed upon, we will be damaging that belief.   If
I strongly believed some hard fork would be better for Bitcoin, say
permanent inflation of 1% a year to fund mining, and I managed to convince
80% of users, miners, businesses and developers to go along with me, I
would still vote against doing it.  Because that's not nearly universal
agreement, and it changes what people chose to believe in without their
consent. Forks should be hard, very hard.  And both sides should recognize
that belief in the value of Bitcoin might be a fragile thing.   I'd argue
that if we didn't force through a 20MB fork now, and we ran into major
network difficulties a year from now and had no other technical solutions,
that maybe we would get nearly universal agreement, and the businesses and
users that were driven away by the unusable system would be a short term
loss in value considerably smaller than the impairment we risk by forcing a

On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 10:52 AM, Gavin Andresen <gavinandresen at gmail.com>

> For reference: the blog post that (re)-started this debate, and which
> links to individual issues, is here:
>   http://gavinandresen.ninja/time-to-roll-out-bigger-blocks
> In it, I asked people to email me objections I might have missed. I would
> still appreciate it if people do that; it is impossible to keep up with
> this mailing list, /r/bitcoin posts and comments, and #bitcoin-wizards and
> also have time to respond thoughtfully to the objections raised.
> I would very much like to find some concrete course of action that we can
> come to consensus on. Some compromise so we can tell entrepreneurs "THIS is
> how much transaction volume the main Bitcoin blockchain will be able to
> support over the next eleven years."
> I've been pretty clear on what I think is a reasonable compromise (a
> one-time increase scheduled for early next year), and I have tried to
> explain why I think it it is the right set of tradeoffs.
> There ARE tradeoffs here, and the hard question is what process do we use
> to decide those tradeoffs?  How do we come to consensus? Is it worth my
> time to spend hours responding thoughtfully to every new objection raised
> here, or will the same thing happen that happened last year and the year
> before-- everybody eventually gets tired of arguing
> angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin, and we're left with the status quo?
> I AM considering contributing some version of the bigger blocksize-limit
> hard-fork patch to the Bitcoin-Xt fork (probably  "target a hobbyist with a
> fast Internet connection, and assume Nelson's law to increase over time),
> and then encouraging merchants and exchanges and web wallets and
> individuals who think it strikes a reasonable balance to run it.
> And then, assuming it became a super-majority of nodes on the network,
> encourage miners to roll out a soft-fork to start producing bigger blocks
> and eventually trigger the hard fork.
> Because ultimately consensus comes down to what software people choose to
> run.
> --
> --
> Gavin Andresen
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