Bobby Lee, CEO of the world’s 2nd largest bitcoin exchange BTCChina and board member of the Bitcoin Foundation has recently publicized his strong belief regarding the great block size debate.
Over the past year, leading bitcoin startups, experts and the community have weighed in on the block size debate, to discuss which bitcoin improvement proposal is most viable for the network. Many factors have been considered; the economical advantage, technological capability and the effect on miners and users across the globe.
While leading bitcoin firms including BitPay, Blockchain.info, KnCMiner and Coinbase have expressed their support for BIP 101, Bitcoin core developer Gain Andressen’s proposal to increase the block size by 8 megabytes in a public letter, bitcoin and security experts argued that such big change in the protocol could leave the entire network vulnerable to attacks.
Amid growing concerns regarding the technological capacity of the Bitcoin network, Bobby Lee suggests that BIP 102, core developer Jeff Garzik’s proposal to increase the bitcoin block size limit to 2 megabyte is the most appropriate change to consider, as a test.
“The block size debate, one thing people don’t understand is that beside the disk space requirements which are 60 gigabytes, it also consumes networking bandwidth and CPU processing. Bitcoin blockchain for the first time utilizes all three aspects of computers. There is the CPU, the network and the disk storage,” said Lee.
“You have to be careful. That’s why i urge caution and think maybe the temporary solution is to do 2 megabytes first and see how things go,” he added.
Another important factor to consider is the clientele and users of bitcoin. Early bitcoin adopters and holders have been using the virtual currency due its decentralized and transparent nature. Changing any feature of the network could drive these users away from using Bitcoin, explains Lee.
“Bitcoin is successful because early adopters like it for what it is. And if bitcoin changes, then we risk losing those people. So if we change major features of Bitcoin such as decentralized, such as secure and all that, for example we change the limit of bitcoins, then people get turned off by that. That’s very important that we keep in mind,” he stated.
Shapeshift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees also said in a statement that the Bitcoin community must take small steps to test and observe the effects of the Bitcoin network during an implementation of a hard fork. It could turn out great or disastrous and the only way of ever discovering the result is to test it.
“It can be a small increase just up to two megabytes or up to four. I think enough of the community really wants that to happen so it kind of needs to and it should be used to educate and inform the discussion thereafter. So, if such a hard fork is done, we will get a lot of information. If it is a huge messy fork, tons of drama and controversy and price goes all over the place because everyone is worried about it. We need to know that” said Voorhees.
It is difficult to speculate which bitcoin improvement proposal will be chosen to be implemented as the decision depends on the miners. However, the majority of the Bitcoin community seems to agree that taking small steps in scaling bitcoin could best benefit the users and the network.