Miners Block Size Vote Explained
There has been much discussion, articles and arguments lately about the block size vote for Bitcoin.
Below, I will give a quick and easy to understand overview of what it all means, and how you can stay up to date with this interesting development.
Let’s go first over what a BIP is. BIP stands for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal which is a design document for introducing features or information to Bitcoin. This is the standard way of communicating ideas since Bitcoin has no formal structure. You can read more about BIP here:
OK now we know what BIP is, so what in the world is BIP 100, BIP 101 & 8MB?
These miners are not voting for an increase in size nor any BIP proposal. They are sticking with the current 1MB Block Size or have no explicit preference.
Jeff Garzik’s proposal: Every 3 months the limit changes (max x2 bigger or smaller) based on miners voting with every block they mine. Never larger than 32MB.
At the moment of writing, in the past 24 hours, there are 53 Block Size Votes for the BIP-100 proposal.
More information about BIP-100 can be found here.
Gavin Andresen’s proposal: Increase to 8 MB on January 11, 2016, and double the limit every two years.
At the moment of writing, in the past 24 hours, there is 1 Block Size Vote for the BIP-101 proposal.
More information about BIP-101 and BitcoinXT can be found here.
Miners that want a bigger block size but don’t seem to have a explicit preference for any BIP’s.
You can see 8MB and all Coinbase Size Votes here.
Blocktrail’s statement on the current Bitcoin Coinbase Size Vote:
Increasing the block size is finding the ’perfect’ balance of decentralization.
If the blocks are too big decentralization suffers because users are forced out of the network due to technical limitations and miners will become more centralized to deal with the bigger blocks.
If the blocks aren’t big enough the fees will rise and Bitcoin will become a settlement network, no longer suited as a true peer-to-peer network.
Our goal at Blocktrail is to provide our users with a reliable and robust future-proof cryptocurrency solution. Blocktrail will aim to add support for Bitcoin forks and alternatives, giving our users the freedom of choice of where they want to transact.
The Blocktrail team does not think that the solution should be a rushed decision. We shouldn’t rush into this decision, there should be more constructive discussion and research about the block size increase before someone starts writing code, let alone release it.
BIP101, starting at 8MB and doubling every 2 years, might be a perfectly fine limit, might be, but that’s not good enough to make a decision right now. We need more time as a community to discuss before action should be taken. We’d feel more comfortable with a different solution such as BIP100, though that still needs more work to fix some holes (such as 21% of the network being enough to keep the block size down).
But who knows, maybe the Core Devs might just come to some compromise of BIP101, starting at 4MB instead, unfortunately it seems that compromise is not on anyone’s mind yet…