[Bitcoin-development] Block Size Increase

Matt Corallo bitcoin-list at bluematt.me
Thu May 7 19:03:52 UTC 2015

Replies inline.

On 05/07/15 17:43, Mike Hearn wrote:
>     The only answer to this that anyone with a clue should give is "it
>     will very, very likely be able to support at least 1MB blocks
>     roughly every 10 minutes on average for the next eleven years, and
>     it seems likely that a block size increase of some form will happen
>     at some point in the next eleven years", anything else is dishonest.
> Matt, you know better than that. Gavin neither lacks clue nor is he
> dishonest. 

No, I dont think Gavin is being deliberately dishonest, and I'm rather
confident he phrased everything in a way that is technically true (ie
the quote in his response). However, others have definitely not taken
away the correct interpretation of what he said, and this is a serious
problem. Setting expectations correctly as this is a very contentious
issue and one that does not appear to be reaching consensus quickly in
the technical community is important.
More generally, consider the situation we're in now. Gavin is going off
pitching this idea to the general public (which, I agree, is an
important step in pulling off a hardfork) while people who actually
study the issues are left wondering why they're being ignored (ie why is
there no consensus-building happening on this list?).

> He has been working on the assumption that other developers are
> reasonable, and some kind of compromise solution can be found that
> everyone can live with. Hence trying to find a middle ground, hence
> considering and writing articles in response to every single objection
> raised. Hence asking for suggestions on what to change about the plan,
> to make it more acceptable. What more do you want, exactly?

The appropriate method of doing any fork, that we seem to have been
following for a long time, is to get consensus here and on IRC and on
github and *then* go pitch to the general public (either directly or by
releasing software) that they should upgrade. I admit that hardforks are
a bit different in that the level of software upgrade required means
additional lead time, but I'm not sure that means starting the
public-pitching phase before there is any kind of consensus forming
(actually, I'd point out that to me there seems to be rahter clear
consensus outside of you and Gavin that we should delay increasing block
As far as I can tell, there has been no discussion of block sizes on
this list since 2013, and while I know Gavin has had many private
conversations with people in this community about the block size, very
little if any of it has happened in public.
If, instead, there had been an intro on the list as "I think we should
do the blocksize increase soon, what do people think?", the response
could likely have focused much more around creating a specific list of
things we should do before we (the technical community) think we are
prepared for a blocksize increase.

> And I'll ask again. Do you have a *specific, credible alternative*?
> Because so far I'm not seeing one.

A specific credible alternative to what? Committing to blocksize
increases tomorrow? Yes, doing more research into this and developing
software around supporting larger block sizes so people feel comfortable
doing it in six months. I acknowledge that Gavin has been putting a lot
of effort into this front, but, judging by this thread, I am far from
the only one who thinks much more needs done.

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