Dr Paul Ennis is a research assistant at The Centre for Innovation, Technology Organization at University College Dublin, specializing in bitcoin and blockchain studies.
In this opinion piece, Dr Ennis discusses how bitcoin’s scaling debate has thus far evolved, examining the various competing efforts, their processes and what the differences say about the developer community and its culture.
Bitcoin’s scaling debate is clearly one of its defining moments.
It has pitted the user bases sharply against one another whether through endless Reddit debates, digital media or even at the “top” tier of the development teams. It also raised significant issues around centralization and bitcoin’s somewhat awkward relationship with the mostly China-based mining industry.
In this post, I will attempt to document different parts of the debate as it played out from different perspectives. I do not consider myself beholden to any specific strand and have attempted to be as neutral as is feasible. Corrections are always welcome.
The debate concerned a central technical issue that also had significant implications for how bitcoin is governed. For the Bitcoin Classic team, this meant, in essence, finding a solution that solved the filling of blocks due to