The recent discussion of the topic of increasing Bitcoin’s block size has demonstrated why many oppose the Bitcoin hard fork.
A participant of the Internet forum asked the developers of Bitcoin Core to express their opinion on magnifying the block’s size. The very same participant called themselves a “staunch opponent of Bitcoin Unlimited (BU), who nevertheless stands for enlarging the block.” Worth recalling, BU was suggested a solution for scaling the Bitcoin network, which is likely to result in a hard fork of Bitcoin’s blockchain.
“Please state your opinion on whether it’s reasonable to change the block’s max size; if no, then why; if yes, then how,” this is what the question of the forum participants sounded like.
Changing the block’s size is a necessity
In response to this, the forum participant with the username luke-jr (one of the developers of Bitcoin Core) admitted it’s necessary to eventually increase the Bitcoin block’s size. According to him, few people keep full-fledged Bitcoin nodes. This is proved by the ratio of such nodes, which is far below the safe level of 85 percent. “If you ask people why they don’t keep a node, the reason is often related to the block’s size,” luke-jr explained.
In addition, he said, miners skip the validation procedure due to the amount of time required to check larger blocks.
According to luke-jr, the Core developers made every possible compromise to enlarge the block’s size. He explained that even SegWit (a suggestion aimed at solving the scaling problem that enjoys the support of many Bitcoin users) envisages increasing the block’s size to 3 MB.
However, luke-jr believes that magnifying the block’s size is not an urgent task at the moment. The block sized 1 MB is quite sufficient for the near future. By the time when this size becomes inadequate, the Lightning protocol (a solution for speeding-up the transaction by conducting them outside the Bitcoin blockchain) is likely to have been implemented, which will enhance the efficiency of the use of blockchain. This can reduce the number of transactions in the 1 MB block to approximately 10,000.
Luke-jr confirms that it will be necessary to eventually enlarge the block’s size, but this will be done in at least several years, if not several decades. By that time, the scaling issues may well be resolved.
According to luke-jr, the decision to support the hard fork should be taken by the community rather than niche groups, whether that be miners, developers, or anyone else.
Further, the developer points out that earlier he suggested increasing the block’s size minimally in seven years only to meet “a strong opposition.”
No to the hard fork
Although the Bitcoin Core development team has spent a lot of time to study and develop the future fork, all these solutions still remain unreliable.
In response to luke-jr’s post, another Reddit forum participant pointed out: people do not keep nodes due to the associated administrative troubles, and the block’s size – whether that be 300 KB or 1 MB – won’t change anything. A more serious factor of the reduction in the number of full nodes is the spread of thin clients, such as Electrum and MyCelium.
Another forum participant emphasizes that the block’s size is not the reason for people’s unwillingness to keep nodes. According to them, the reason is the lack of motivation.
However, the forum participant with the username ocnjxybrut points out: although motivation exists when repetitive transactions are performed, a big question remains as to whether or not enlarging the block’s size to 5 MB will result in a growth in the number of nodes.