Thirty-six days have already passed since the new hard fork of Bitcoin, under the name Bitcoin Classic, came into being. The core developers believe that a hard fork is a last resort, something that you shouldn’t do unless you have to.
According to its website and this GitHub page, Bitcoin Classic is so far endorsed by a group of developers, namely Jonathan Toomim, Ahmed Bodiwala, Gavin Andresen, Jeff Garzik, Peter Rizun, mining pools AntPool (24 percent of hash power) and BW Pool (6 percent of hash power), companies such as Coinbase, OKCoin, Bitstamp and many more.
The developers claim that miners and users will choose it because it intends to establish democratic decision-making on code changes, using miner and user input. To establish preference topics, Bitcoin Classic has collaborated with Consider.it. If a majority of both users and miners (the latter will need to provide proof they are indeed a miner) supports a change, it should be implemented. This reads in the form below on their website:
“We are writing the software that miners and users say they want. We will make sure that it covers their needs, helps them deploy it, and gracefully upgrade the bitcoin network’s capacity together.”
CoinTelegraph had the opportunity to interview the big players around the table. Our correspondent, Marinos Kokkinos, approached Mr. Gavin Andresen, Mr. Harsh Patel, Mr. Allen Bunch, Mr. Gary Rowe and Twitter users, Mr. Jihan Wu and Mr. Nicolas Dorier.
Why miners and nodes will choose Bitcoin classic?
Gavin Andresen shared three reasons why he expects miners and nodes will choose Bitcoin classic:
- “Keep the system secure. Responding to security threats always was priority over anything else, because if the core technology of Bitcoin was insecure nobody would use it.
- Keep the system reliable. Reliability and security go hand-in-hand: if the system is unreliable then it doesn't matter if it is secure, nobody will use it.
- Add functionality to the low-level technology that makes Bitcoin better in some way-- more private or more usable or faster or that enables people to do something that they couldn't do before. But security and reliability always came first.”
Harsh Patel said:
“I am of the opinion that public blockchains, semi-private / consortia chain and private / enterprise chains can co-exist as they have different objectives.”
Jihan Wu said on his Twitter account:
“Antpool will start to test Classic soon. There is 7day long holidays ahead, so it's likely after the holidays. One node only first.”
How does this affect Bitcoin’s price and the fees of mining?
Mr. Bunch, a software developer at Bank of America, said:
“My personal view is that it is still early in the adoption of this technology. Still more changes to come.”
Gary Rowe said:
“It is likely that increased block size will permit more transactions per second which will increase the utility of the Bitcoin network which will in turn increase demand against a fixed supply. This will drive up the bitcoin price and more transactions mean more fees for miners.”
How will this affect the multibit wallet?
Gary Rowe, speaking about this issue, said:
“We will be mostly unaffected. To cope with situations where a fee market is developing we have provided the facility for users to increase their fee in advance of the initial broadcast (not through RBF). We may consider performing a fee lookup to warn users if they are in danger of generating a transaction that has too low a fee to be mined.”
2 MB block size vs. 1MB block size
Gary Rowe continued:
“The 2MB block size is a maximum limit, as is the 1MB, and blocks do not have to contain the maximum number. However as the maximum limit in each case is reached (as is the case with 1MB at present) then there is increased competition to get transactions squeezed in. Miners will pick those with the largest fees first so a fee market develops. With 2MB blocks there will need to be more transactions present before a free market starts to take effect.”
Gavin Andresen declared the following:
“I stepped down as lead maintainer for Bitcoin Core because I want to spend less of my time thinking about the details of running a software project and more time thinking about what challenges will face Bitcoin in the next year or two. I still believe the priorities for Bitcoin should be security, reliability, and then everything else and I am helping with the Bitcoin Classic project for two reasons:
First, because I believe Bitcoin Core is failing to keep Bitcoin reliable. As we run into the one megabyte block size limit transaction confirmation becomes increasingly unreliable. Since the whole purpose of Bitcoin is to reliably, securely process transactions I believe that is a major mis-step.
And second, because I believe that innovation and excellence is driven by competition and choice. I plan on contributing to multiple implementations of the Bitcoin protocol because I would like to see more diversity of implementations. A diverse network is, in the long run, more reliable and secure-- a bug or problem in one particular implementation will not destroy the entire network.
I think the current debate about the block size limit reflects a difference in priorities-- from what they have written, I believe the most active Bitcoin Core contributors value increased decentralization above reliability. I think that is a mistake. I think decentralization is a means to achieving security against censorship and denial-of-service threats (whether traditional denial of service attacks or governments trying to shut down the network by passing laws and seizing servers), and I strongly believe that increasing the block size limit will have large reliability benefits with an almost zero impact on security.”
Nicolas Dorier said on his Twitter account:
”Regardless if you are for 2MB or not, running classic is a very bad idea. Classic is not 2MB only, it is about splitting the chain.”
“My position on SW and HF, TL;DR : SW is the fastest way to expand, supporting 2MB and Classic is different things.”
What will the outcome be if Bitcoin Classic is adopted well in the Bitcoin community? The final word is really up to Bitcoin users, as the choice on what happens next is up to them. For the record: there are already 536 nodes that are using it.