[Bitcoin-development] No Bitcoin For You

Jim Phillips jim at ergophobia.org
Tue May 26 03:23:35 UTC 2015

I don't see how the fact that my 2Mbps connection causes me to not be a
very good relay has any bearing on whether or not the network as a whole
would be negatively impacted by a 20MB block. My inability to rapidly
propagate blocks doesn't really harm the network. It's only if MOST relays
are as slow as mine that it creates an issue. I'm one node in thousands
(potentially tens or hundreds of thousands if/when Bitcoin goes
mainstream). And I'm an individual. There's no reason at all for me to run
a full node from my home, except to have my own trusted and validated copy
of the blockchain on a computer I control directly. I don't need to act as
a relay for that and as long as I can download blocks faster than they are
created I'm fine. Also, I can easily afford a VPS server or several to run
full nodes as relays if I am feeling altruistic. It's actually cheaper for
me to lease a VPS than to keep my own home PC on 24/7, which is why I have
2 of them.

And as a business, the cost of a server and bandwidth to run a full node is
a drop in the bucket. I'm involved in several projects where we have full
nodes running on leased servers with multiple 1Gbps connections. It's an
almost zero cost. Those nodes could handle 20MB blocks today without
thinking about it, and I'm sure our nodes are just a few amongst thousands
just like them. I'm not at all concerned about the network being too

What concerns me is the fact that we are using edge cases like my home PC
as a lame excuse to debate expanding the capacity of the network.

*James G. Phillips IV*

*"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals."
-- David Ogilvy*

 *This message was created with 100% recycled electrons. Please think twice
before printing.*

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 10:02 PM, Thy Shizzle <thyshizzle at outlook.com>

>  Indeed Jim, your internet connection makes a good reason why I don't
> like 20mb blocks (right now). It would take you well over a minute to
> download the block before you could even relay it on, so much slow down in
> propagation! Yes I do see how decreasing the time to create blocks is a bit
> of a band-aid fix, and to use tge term I've seen mentioned here "kicking
> the can down the road" I agree that this is doing this, however as you say
> bandwidth is our biggest enemy right now and so hopefully by the time we
> exceed the capacity gained by the decrease in block time, we can then look
> to bump up block size because hopefully 20mbps connections will be baseline
> by then etc.
>  ------------------------------
> From: Jim Phillips <jim at ergophobia.org>
> Sent: ‎26/‎05/‎2015 12:53 PM
> To: Thy Shizzle <thyshizzle at outlook.com>
> Cc: Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net>; Bitcoin Dev
> <bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net>
> Subject: Re: [Bitcoin-development] No Bitcoin For You
>  Frankly I'm good with either way. I'm definitely in favor of faster
> confirmation times.
>  The important thing is that we need to increase the amount of
> transactions that get into blocks over a given time frame to a point that
> is in line with what current technology can handle. We can handle WAY more
> than we are doing right now. The Bitcoin network is not currently Disk,
> CPU, or RAM bound.. Not even close. The metric we're closest to being
> restricted by would be Network bandwidth. I live in a developing country.
> 2Mbps is a typical broadband speed here (although 5Mbps and 10Mbps
> connections are affordable). That equates to about 17MB per minute, or 170x
> more capacity than what I need to receive a full copy of the blockchain if
> I only talk to one peer. If I relay to say 10 peers, I can still handle 17x
> larger block sizes on a slow 2Mbps connection.
>  Also, even if we reduce the difficulty so that we're doing 1MB blocks
> every minute, that's still only 10MB every 10 minutes. Eventually we're
> going to have to increase that, and we can only reduce the confirmation
> period so much. I think someone once said 30 seconds or so is about the
> shortest period you can practically achieve.
>  --
> *James G. Phillips IV*
> <https://plus.google.com/u/0/113107039501292625391/posts>
> <http://www.linkedin.com/in/ergophobe>
> *"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals."
> -- David Ogilvy *
>   *This message was created with 100% recycled electrons. Please think
> twice before printing.*
> On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 9:30 PM, Thy Shizzle <thyshizzle at outlook.com>
> wrote:
>  Nah don't make blocks 20mb, then you are slowing down block propagation
> and blowing out conf tikes as a result. Just decrease the time it takes to
> make a 1mb block, then you still see the same propagation times today and
> just increase the transaction throughput.
>  ------------------------------
> From: Jim Phillips <jim at ergophobia.org>
> Sent: ‎26/‎05/‎2015 12:27 PM
> To: Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net>
> Cc: Bitcoin Dev <bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net>
> Subject: Re: [Bitcoin-development] No Bitcoin For You
> On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 1:36 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
>   This meme about datacenter-sized nodes has to die. The Bitcoin wiki is
> down right now, but I showed years ago that you could keep up with VISA on
> a single well specced server with today's technology. Only people living in
> a dreamworld think that Bitcoin might actually have to match that level of
> transaction demand with today's hardware. As noted previously, "too many
> users" is simply not a problem Bitcoin has .... and may never have!
>  ... And will certainly NEVER have if we can't solve the capacity problem
>  In a former life, I was a capacity planner for Bank of America's
> mid-range server group. We had one hard and fast rule. When you are
> typically exceeding 75% of capacity on a given metric, it's time to expand
> capacity. Period. You don't do silly things like adjusting the business
> model to disincentivize use. Unless there's some flaw in the system and
> it's leaking resources, if usage has increased to the point where you are
> at or near the limits of capacity, you expand capacity. It's as simple as
> that, and I've found that same rule fits quite well in a number of systems.
>  In Bitcoin, we're not leaking resources. There's no flaw. The system is
> performing as intended. Usage is increasing because it works so well, and
> there is huge potential for future growth as we identify more uses and
> attract more users. There might be a few technical things we can do to
> reduce consumption, but the metric we're concerned with right now is how
> many transactions we can fit in a block. We've broken through the 75%
> marker and are regularly bumping up against the 100% limit.
>  It is time to stop debating this and take action to expand capacity. The
> only questions that should remain are how much capacity do we add, and how
> soon can we do it. Given that most existing computer systems and networks
> can easily handle 20MB blocks every 10 minutes, and given that that will
> increase capacity 20-fold, I can't think of a single reason why we can't go
> to 20MB as soon as humanly possible. And in a few years, when the average
> block size is over 15MB, we bump it up again to as high as we can go then
> without pushing typical computers or networks beyond their capacity. We can
> worry about ways to slow down growth without affecting the usefulness of
> Bitcoin as we get closer to the hard technical limits on our capacity.
>  And you know what else? If miners need higher fees to accommodate the
> costs of bigger blocks, they can configure their nodes to only mine
> transactions with higher fees.. Let the miners decide how to charge enough
> to pay for their costs. We don't need to cripple the network just for them.
>  --
> *James G. Phillips IV*
> <https://plus.google.com/u/0/113107039501292625391/posts>
> *"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals."
> -- David Ogilvy *
>   *This message was created with 100% recycled electrons. Please think
> twice before printing.*
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