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Bitcoin's problem is not a lack of a leader, it's problem is that the leader is Gregory Maxwell at Blockstream and he's a terrible decision maker. Blockstream is the source of the refusal to bump the block size.

Indeed, the block size debate did not stalemate. It resulted in the small blockists winning, due to the much more aggressive tactics they used (e.g. hiring a bunch of developers then asserting they'd all quit forever if the block size were changed).

I've noticed a "know-nothing" strategy recently adopted by blockchain core - basically, the ideas is that community members claim that everyone who isn't part of core development is naive and has no valid position in debating the future of bitcoin. These users speak with pride about leaving social communities because of their ignorance. It reminds me a lot of the Fox news listeners who deride world media as liars.

Here's an example of the proud know-nothingness. The interesting part begins at 17:30. The speaker, Julia Tourianski, makes a fair attack against Mike Hearn for his departure, but then she goes on to point out that developers are faced with low morale because the community doesn't support their work. The conversation then moves to leaving Reddit and other media because "the trolls" (presumably persons who are in favor of a blocksize increase) have taken over.


Bitcoin's technical problems are that it fundamentally does not scale. If each node has to verify all transactions that is not sustainable in the long term. Hal Finney knew this way back: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2500.msg34211#msg342... "Bitcoin itself cannot scale to have every single financial transaction in the world be broadcast to everyone and included in the block chain. There needs to be a secondary level of payment systems which is lighter weight and more efficient."

It is a myth that Bitcoin requires every node to validate all transactions in the long term. That's why the white paper explains the need for spv clients.


Moreover it a red herring to assert that Bitcoin has to scale to support every single financial transaction in the world just like it would be a red herring to attack the architecture of the Internet because it cannot scale today to include every form of communication we perform today.

Red herring/ strawman / Nirvana arguments are the defense for the entire small block position. Bitcoin, like every other information technology, does not need to meet every need today. It simply needs

1. Sufficient free capacity to encourage growth, and

2. Continuous improvement

Can confirm. Bitcoin can scale but is being artificially limited in favor of off chain solutions.

Seem like you don't see the x^n argument. It should be obvious. Satoshi/Hal Finney were well aware of this, see the link. This has nothing to do with SPV. Producing blocks is what's important.

I searched the link. Satoshi did not post in that thread and there is no mention of "x^n"

Maybe you should present the argument, since it wasn't presented where you said I'd find it.

Very well said riprowan.

It is indeed time to get back on track developing SPV!

True, but we are not there yet. Bitcoin can probably scale 20x times without a problem. That would be 20 times lower transaction fees and 20 times more people using it.

It can't scale 20x without running into decentralization problems.


Most large blockers are running businesses that depend on no/low fees, plus the reddit mob that goes with whatever argument sounds most conspiratorial (aka Blockstream sabotaging Bitcoin for sidechains).

Thanks for the article. But I don't see where it says that Bitcoin can't scale 20x without decentralization problems.

I see that "the block size should not exceed 4MB for X=90%; and 38MB for X=50%", but I don't think that 50% reduction of number of nodes would be a serious decentralization problem (we've seen a similar reduction already due to the implementation of SPV clients).

Mining centralization could be a bigger problem, but with headers-first mining the block size wouldn't contribute to it.

Also the authors of the article assume the use of Bitcoin’s current peer-to-peer overlay network, that can be drastically optimized.

I've chosen 20x because Gavin had conducted 20Mb tests more than a year ago, before many optimizations took place.

There is nothing bad in the low fees. Low fees is the marketing strategy to boost the usage of Bitcoin and create the large enough ecosystem. Miners are being subsidised by bitcoin holders for a reason.

Larger the blocks while preserving a reasonable degree of decentralization -> lower the fees per transaction -> more people use Bitcoin -> more valuable the bitcoin ecosystem is -> higher the price of bitcoin -> mining is more profitable -> stable and secure infrastructure for the new global economy.

"If each node has to verify all transactions that is not sustainable in the long term."

It is sustainable, but only for certain amount of transactions. Even if the block size limit stays at 1MB, I'm pretty sure some group of people/organizations will keep using bitcoin for something. Those who are not happy with it will move elsewhere, but there is so much infrastructure/tools/etc for bitcoin already, that many have will hard time switching to something new.

Sorry, I am not sure Bitcoin can be a niche currency. It needs to be big enough to survive.

If most people prefer to use other crypto instead then Bitcoin may fall into a death spiral:

...lower the demand for bitcoins -> lower the price of bitcoin AND lower amount of bitcoin transactions -> less profitable the mining -> less secure the network -> lower the demand for bitcoins....

Mike Hearn works for a bank. Gregory Maxwell works for a group of cypherpunks. I'll take my chances with Bitcoin.

Thanks for bitcoinj though.

Look at the list of investors. Banks invested in Blockstream.

I never said banks don't know how to hedge.

That's not hedging. They are paying to kill Bitcoin.

Do you think Bitcoin Classic has chances to succeed? It looks like their hashing power is growing: http://nodecounter.com/#block_explorer

Do you find it strange that Bitcoin is the same price it was ever since you said it was dead?

So many new users just to attack you Mike. And all the buttcoin trolls suddenly became small blockers. Evidence of Blockstream hiring shills continues to grow.

It went great.

Mike, the entire drama is ridiculous. However, you've turned your back on BTC because XT was rejected to go and work for R3 to put our tech back into the hands of the people we wanted to get away from. If BTC and everything that "could" come with it was so important to you then you should have stayed and fought the fight. Instead you decided to join R3,so let go and move on.

Blockstream is developing bitcoin into a bank settlement network (that the banks won't use). Maybe you should focus your ire there, instead of on the guy who has actually pushed open source and consumer-grade P2P payment systems miles forward.

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