Bitcoin Classic Nodes Dwindle As Block Size Problems Worsen
Bitcoin Classic, a fork of Bitcoin with an increased two-megabyte block size limit, appears to have failed in its mission to increase the block size.
Once the “little fork that could,” Bitcoin Classic has stalled and begun to fall, reducing hope for an increased block size limit anytime soon. In the meantime, Bitcoins problems with overloaded blocks and high transaction fees continue to worsen.
During March of 2016, the number of Bitcoin Classic nodes surged past the number of Bitcoin Core nodes (2,875 for Classic at its peak versus 1,642 for Core), and the percentage of Classic blocks mined peaked at 7%, or 70 of the last 1,000. However, progress against Core stagnated over the next few months as Classic’s node count steadily diminished after April, and the percentage of blocks mined stalled, eventually falling sharply during June. Currently, 563 Classic nodes operate (compared to 2,887 for Core), and only 25 of the last 1,000 blocks mined were of a 2MB limit.
Wall of Coins CEO Robert Genito believes this failure of Bitcoin Classic to raise the block size limit revolves around a divisive approach taken, including name branding which inaccurately suggests that it is a return to Bitcoin’s original form rather than an evolution. According to Genito, “that's the last thing the Bitcoin ecosystem needs.”
“I can understand why people would disagree with me, and that's ok. The problems are real, and I feel good that the ecosystem will solve it better when they work together--instead of dividing themselves.”
Chances for a raised block size limit soon seem slim
Meanwhile, the problems raised by a 1MB block size limit persist. The average block size has grown dangerously close to the limit. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees pointed out via Twitter on Wednesday that block #416439, at that time the most recent block, had an average transaction fee of $0.55. Gavin Andresen commented in the /r/BTC subreddit that the block size limit should be eliminated altogether:
“Yes, let's eliminate the limit. Nothing bad will happen if we do. And if I'm wrong, the bad things would be mild annoyances, not existential risks, much less risky than operating a network near 100% capacity.”
Reddit users in the /r/BTC subreddit are claiming censorship in the main /r/Bitcoin subreddit, saying that every recent post related to the Bitcoin mempool, block size limit, increased fees, or transaction delays has been deleted by moderators.