[bitcoin-dev] Three hardfork-related BIPs

Andrew Johnson andrew.johnson83 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 06:13:34 UTC 2017

On Jan 26, 2017 10:15 PM, "Luke Dashjr" <luke at dashjr.org> wrote:

On Friday, January 27, 2017 3:04:50 AM Andrew Johnson wrote:
> Comment on #1.  You're dropping the blocksize limit to 300KB and only
> reaching the limit that we have in place today 7 years later?

The limit only drops all the way to 300k if it activates before 2017 April.
Considering that this requires the consensus of a hardfork, followed by a
release in software, and then actual activation by miners using BIP9, I
it's extremely unlikely to activate by then.

But more importantly: such a drop would probably be good for the network in
the long-term. As explained in the Rationale section, 300k is necessary to
maintain our *current* IBD (first-time node sync) costs even with
technological improvements (which appear to be slowing lately).

Other researchers have come to the conservative conclusion that we could
handle 4MB blocks today.  Imagine bitcoin had been invented in 1987 and had
a block size correspondent to the internet connections and hard drive sizes
of the day.  Your proposal would have probably brought us from 1Kb(then
reduced to 300 bytes) and up to a whopping 20Kb or so today.  Yet even you
think we can handle 15x that today.

You drastically underestimate the speed of technological progression, and
seem to fancy yourself the central planner of bitcoin.  Isn't that one of
the things we're trying to get away from, centrally planned economics?

> We're already at capacity today, surely you're not serious with this
> proposal?

We are only at capacity because the space is available below actual costs,
and/or because efficient alternatives are not yet widely supported. A
reduction of block size will likely squeeze out spam, and perhaps some
unsustainable microtransaction use, but the volume which actually *benefits
from* the blockchain's security should continue along fine. Furthermore,
Lightning is widely implemented as well-tested, at least microtransactions
likely to gain a huge improvement in efficiency, reducing legitimate usage
block sizes well below 300k naturally - that is frankly when I first expect
this proposal to be seriously considered for activation (which is
from the consensus to include support for it in nodes).

Legitimate usage is a transaction that pays the appropriate fee to be
included.  The term legitimate transaction should be stricken from one's
vocabulary when describing a censorship resistant system such as bitcoin.

> When you promised code for a hard forking block size increase in the HK
> agreement I don't believe that a decrease first was made apparent.  While
> not technically in violation of the letter of the agreement, I think this
> is a pretty obviously not in the spirit of it.

I did not mention the HK "roundtable", because this is indeed not in the
spirit of what we set out to do, and do not wish this to be interpreted as
some kind of slap in the face of the honest participants of that discussion.

Too late for that, I suspect.

This proposal is, however, the best I am currently able to honestly
that meets the hard criteria outlined at Hong Kong a year ago. (Continued
on the MMHF/SHF concept may eventually deliver a better solution, but it is
not yet ready.)

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