Following the controversial exit of former Bitcoin Core developer Mike Hearn, technology veterans and experts including Automattic (wordpress) founder and CEO Matthew Mullenweg and tech savvy bitcoin investor Fred Wilson have stated that they expect to see a new set of core developers and governance replacing Bitcoin Core.
“I personally believe we will see a fork accepted by the mining community at some point this year. And that will come with a new set of core developers and some governance about how decisions are made,” Wilson wrote on January 15, 2016.
The concern from the bitcoin community regarding the block size debate and Mike Hearn’s statement derives from the fear of reaching maximum bandwidth limits, seeing a surge in miners’ fees and achieving the block size limit in the bitcoin network.
However, Onename co-founder Muneed Ali presented a counter argument, claiming that the Onename platform, which enables users to register a blockchain ID that can be embedded into various accounts and applications, did not experience any network conflict or delay in sending blockchain ID transactions over the past week.
“We, at Onename, were sending 50–100 blockchain ID transactions per block last week (~9,000 total) and didn’t hit bandwidth limits or spike fees,” said Ali.
Ali further emphasized that many of the community’s bitcoin enthusiasts, experts, and startups are needlessly requesting for a hard fork which could potentially expose security and reliability issues of the network.
More importantly, average block size, according to the data provided by blockchain.info is currently less than 0.6 megabytes. Thus, a hard fork to dangerously increase the bitcoin blocksize to 4 megabytes or even 8 megabytes is definitely inessential.
“Reckless increase in blocksize can expose security and reliability issues or disconnect nodes with slower connections. Increasing bandwidth without proper testing and data collection from real networks risks security and reliability which is a bad tradeoff to make,” said Ali.
Moreover, a proportional level of computing power is required to secure blocks in the bitcoin blockchain. Previously explained by bitcoin expert Pete Dushenski, a bigger block size requires a substantially higher level of computing power, which the bitcoin network isn’t ready for just yet.
Replacement of Bitcoin Core
Over the past few months, a growing number of individuals in the bitcoin community have also proposed the replacement of Bitcoin Core, seeking for alternative developers in the conventional tech scene to replace veteran developers like Gavin Andressen. However, Ali strongly disagreed to these requests, explaining that operating as a Bitcoin Core developer requires a certain set of skills and expertise which take years of learning.
“Currently there are only a handful of people who can carry on the development of Bitcoin. Introducing new core developers requires highly skilled engineers to first get interested in Bitcoin and then invest significant time to gain experience and catch up to the knowledge pool. You can rearrange the hierarchy of current Bitcoin Core developers a little bit, but you cannot expect a completely new team to take over anytime soon,” he said.
While the mainstream media is still convinced that bitcoin as a technology “has failed,” bitcoin experts and developers state that Bitcoin’s model is far from broken.