Consensus Elusive for Jeff Garzik’s 2MB Block Size Limit Proposal
Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik's proposed compromise to double the block size limit to 2MB as a temporary solution is still far from reaching consensus
Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik's proposed compromise to double the block size limit to 2MB as a temporary solution is still far from reaching consensus. When asked by Cointelegraph, developers from both sides of the debate were skeptical of the small bump in size.
Long-time critic of raising the block size limit, Peter Todd, remains critical of any raise for now, including a bump to 2MB. Instead, he'd still rather let Bitcoin hit the maximum amount of transactions the network can handle, in order for a fee market to establish. He told Cointelegraph:
“As it is the development team is working flat out to keep Bitcoin functioning with the current block size. If not for the hard work Gregory Maxwell and Pieter Wuille have put into performance optimizations it's likely the P2P network would have already collapsed under the load. With that in mind, do we really want to undo much of those gains and reduce our safety margin? I personally think at this point in time we're much better letting fees go up a bit and giving the market an incentive to come up with real solutions to scaling Bitcoin.”
On the other side of the debate, Bitcoinj and Bitcoin XT developer Mike Hearn is still set on raising the block size to at least 8MB, through Bitcoin XT if it must. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Hearn said:
“Most players already indicated they wanted larger block sizes. I see no reason why 8MB would suddenly hit problems when it was chosen to satisfy Chinese miners, who have very unusual network constraints. Most miners would be fine even with larger blocks.”
“[Like Gavin’s initial proposal,] Jeff's latest proposal is also a proposal to raise the block size by changing the consensus rules. I see no reason why it would be acceptable when Gavin's isn't, unless they follow pure personality politics.”
Bitcoin Core lead developer Wladimir “wumpus” van der Laan responded slightly more positive to the suggestion, however. Van der Laan, who has been critical of raising the block size limit before, told Cointelegraph he has no fundamental problems with BIP 102:
“I think raising the block size limit from 1MB to 2MB can't do much damage. It's a conservative and limited measure.”
He did, however, indicate that Garzik's proposal to raise the limit in November of this year might be too soon:
“Given the tight time frame Jeff has given for this proposal – less than six months to deploy – I doubt it will be feasible.”
Earlier this week, Garzik submitted a proposal to raise the block size limit from 1MB to 2MB by November of this year. The proposal is explicitly intended to buy more time to reach a consensus on more durable or alternative solutions before the maximum amount of transactions on the Bitcoin network is reached.
Much like other adjustments to the Bitcoin blockchain, especially when they require a hard fork, BIP 102 will probably need to reach a (broad) consensus among developers in order to be adopted.
Cointelegraph reached out to Jeff Garzik, but had received no response at time of publication.
- Jeff Garzik, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn