Small Block VS Big Block Chain: What is being argued?
The debate between the two small block or big block is still simmering. 8btc has collected the opinions and thoughts that are often seen in 8btc forum and Reddit.
- Introducing a fee market without consensus is fine vs. All economic changes need consensus
- Blocks are too big already and the cost of running a node too high vs. Variable cost is more important and fees are already way too high
- Everyone should be able to run a full node vs. Only cheapskates demand the ability to use cheap hardware to run a full node
- Only cheapskates demand lower transaction fees vs. As many people should be able to use Bitcoin, that’s why fees need to be lower.
- Soft forks are better because they do not need consensus vs. Hard forks are better because they need consensus
- No contentious consensus changes vs Free market approach for consensus changes
- Minority rule caused by veto’s from developers and miners vs Majority rule
- Splits are dangerous vs Splits offer an actual market vote
- Contentious hardforks will cause a split vs Can be controlled/designed
- Miners have no control over consensus changes vs. Miners are economic representatives and can vote
- Softforks only need consensus amongst developers vs. Softforks have huge economic impact and need consensus
- Bitcoin cannot scale and needs off-chain solutions like Lightning vs. Bitcoin can at least scale on-chain as hardware and software improves
- Increasing the limit via hardfork means the 21 million limit isn’t safe vs. Not hardforking stagnates both development and economic growth.
From 8btc forum
- Soft-fork codes are too complicated with many bugs VS Hard-fork codes are simple and clear.
- Soft-fork codes are complicated for follow-up developers. Developers are centralized. VS Hard-forks are more developer friendly.
- Bitcoin is future’s clearance network with the need to handle many transactions on chain. VS Bitcoin is future’s peer to peer digital currency system, which need more people to transact on the chain to make it a widespread currency.
- Bitcoin is like gold. Transaction fees for gold are high, thus high for bitcoin. VS Bitcoin is still used only by a minority of people. Only the increasing number of bitcoin users can bring the feature of gold.
- Core member are so excellent that we need to believe in them. VS Core members are damaging bitcoin and making the community fall apart. What we need in decentralization.
- Bitcoin need to embrace anonymity in the future. VS Bitcoin need to make its main chain an open ledger.
- Big blocksize will lead to 0 transaction fees so miners will earn nothing and hashing power will be decreased. VS a free market will lead to a reasonable transaction fees. Users and miners will both enjoy the benefits.
- Hard-fork violates the immutability rule. VS Hard-fork is just update of protocol. It’s neutral. Soft-fork also changes blockchain. In this regard, soft-fork is the same as hard fork.
Another friend of 8btc has made some comments on the above opinions.
To make the concepts clear
First we need to make the concept involved clearer. The small size side wants to avoid a hasty hard-fork. They can accept a bigger blocksize under mature circumstances. So they actually support a sort-fork, safe and indirect scaling. Therefore, the debate should be between soft scaling and hard scaling.
The soft-fork scaling side never thought that soft-fork could be done without consensus. Instead, they has given a 95% consensus as a activation threshold. On the contrary, hard-fork scaling said is actually not serious about consensus. They support XT and Classic which need 75% of consensus. They even sopports Bitcoin Unlimited which theoretically could be activated by 50%. Then where is the consensus for hard-fork scaling party?
The debate of Transaction fees
“Introducing a fee market without consensus is fine vs. All economic changes need consensus”
“Bitcoin is like gold. Transaction fees for gold are high, thus high for bitcoin. VS Bitcoin is still used only by a minority of people. Only the increasing number of bitcoin users can bring the feature of gold.”
Friends for /r/btc has misinterpreted information here. The transaction fees on the main chain of Sof-fork scaling side are just determined by economic activities. The one that pays the highest will have the right to confirm first. When all are willing to pay higher fees, transaction fees as whole will be higher. When translation fees are increased, the main chain will achieve equilibrium since unnecessary transactions will not take place on it.
As for the hard-core scaling party, they actually neglect the supply and demand law. The lower the transaction fees by hard-fork scaling. The size of the block will increase as transaction fees increase. As no matter transaction fees are high or low confirmation will always be done, users trend to choose a lower transaction fees.
The debate of Miners’ right
“Minority rule caused by veto’s from developers and miners vs Majority rule”
If we want to uphold consensus, then a minority of miners just should be given the right to veto the plan that make changes. For example, under rules of BIP9, only 5% of the hash power can veto the new plan. In this case, the biggest the consensus is to uphold the current status. Any change will require far-reaching consensus. So only a colleting power of some miners cannot implement a plan that will bring changes easily. This is in the interest of the stability. As miners’ interests don’t represent the whole community, they just can’t change bitcoin that easily.
Some of hard-fork scaling party actually just supports majority, and the majority here is 75% or even 50%. This means as long as there is more than a quarter of miners who oppose the plan, hard-fork will be enforced. This will give too big power to the miners. Bitcoin should be based on consensus instead of on majority. Consensus should be agreement of more than 90% or 95% hash power, or there will be the risk of fork.
Notes: this article is the collection of ideas and thoughts from reddit and 8btc forum. It does not necessarily represent the stance of 8btc.