Bitcoin core developers Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn have forked the Bitcoin code in an attempt to support more transactions per hour.
Titled Bitcoin XT, the new client has split itself from all the previous Bitcoin Core versions, for it has increased the digital currency’s current block size limit, and has further introduced new patches to resolve issues related to double spending, DDOS attacks, and network robustness.
Despite its well-intentioned innovation, the forked version hasn’t been received well by the Bitcoin community. There are debates going on various social media forums — especially Reddit — that — in one or another — oppose the idea of forking the Bitcoin code. Both Andresen and Hearn are facing a lot of heat from the people to force a solution that was originally rejected by a consensus. In true sense, they are more worried about the centralization of Bitcoin development which, as one of the critics quote, is “against the ethics of Satoshi Nakamoto”.
The community is finding it hard to trust Andresen, for the foundation he represents is known to have eaten a lot of development funds for nothing. The others, meanwhile, are trolling Hearn for supporting the fork to feed his own private project.
In a recent blogpost, Mike Hearn rubbished such theories, saying that Bitcoin XT had reached a deadlock state due to a flawed governance model, that allows trollers — especially the ones with a non-technical background — to reject almost everything that is proposed to improve blockchain.
“They see a golden, one-time opportunity to forcibly divert Bitcoin from its intended path and onto a wildly different technical trajectory,” Hearn stated. “They don’t know exactly what the alternative design will be, and certainly haven’t built it — but that doesn’t matter.”
He continued: “They think that by blocking the blockchain’s growth they can “incentivise” (i.e. force) the Bitcoin community to switch to something different, something more in line with their personal technical tastes.”
Hearn further says that the situation to increase the block size limit will arrive anyways.
“As Bitcoin spreads via word of mouth, we will reach the limit of the current system some time next year, or by 2017 at the absolute latest,” he writes. “So it is now time to raise the limit, or remove it entirely.”
The 75% Theory
To ensure that Bitcoin XT client actually gets to the point of functionality, it would require miners, exchanges, businesses and people to join its network. Specifically, the forked version would need the consensus of at least 75% miners to mine on the new network. Once this consensus is reached, the new network will become incompatible with Bitcoin Core. It simply means that the transactions we do on the present blockchain wouldn’t be confirmed by the Bitcoin XT client.
The Censorship Trouble, Meanwhile
The promotion and the debate over Bitcoin XT was, meanwhile, stalled by the Reddit’s Bitcoin forum moderators. Many threads, that were published to discuss the forked client, were pulled down without notice. Among these posts, some were directly targeting the moderators for promoting censorship, and murdering free speech.
In their response, the moderators explained how they noticed Bitcoin XT to be nothing but an alternative of Bitcoin Core, and therefore no longer to be treated as Bitcoin, but an altcoin. The current policy restricts /r/Bitcoin members from any other cryptocurrency, and hence the deletion. An excerpt:
“/r/Bitcoin exists to serve Bitcoin. XT will, if/when its hardfork is activated, diverge from Bitcoin and create a separate network/currency. Therefore, it and services that support it should not be allowed on /r/Bitcoin. In the extremely unlikely event that the vast majority of the Bitcoin economy switches to XT and there is a strong perception that XT is the true Bitcoin, then the situation will flip and we should allow only submissions related to XT.”