September 22, 2017

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Scaling Bitcoin Workshop: Increase Block Size to 2-4MB?



During the Scaling Bitcoin workshop held in Montreal a few weeks back, some suggestions to increase the block size limit from the current 1MB to 2-4MB were raised. Participants seemed to focus on Adam Back‘s 2-4-8 block size increase proposal, although notable developers appeared to support a smaller short-term bump in limits.

Some discussions on the bitcoin-dev mailing list apparently revealed that some core developers are interested in a short-term fix.

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Scaling Bitcoin and Block Size Debate

Prior to this workshop, bitcoin developers and members of the community have been debating on whether or not the block size limit needs to be increased. Those supporting a larger maximum size argued that this increase would allow the network to process more transactions at shorter spans of time.

A split in the bitcoin software versions, Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin XT, was made to settle this debate based on consensus but it appears that the network is still sticking to the core version. Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik has proposed an alternative BIP 102 which would increase the block size limit to 2MB by November 11, 2015.

Bitcoin Core contributor and Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo noted that there does not seem to be any consensus on the idea of a block size that would continue to grow over time. He explained that what’s common in the discussions is that there must be a set, smooth increase for X time and then another hard fork if there is another debate on the limits later on.

There will be another Scaling Bitcoin workshop to be held in Hong Kong in December, this time focusing on a larger community of developers and academics. It will also feature presentations and reviews of technical proposals, along with simulation and benchmark results. More data on how the ideas presented in the first phase of the workshops could be available, allowing the community to make a more informed decision on any changes.



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