Bitcoin Block Size Conflict Ends With Latest Update

An issue that has been the source for months of debate and rancor throughout the Bitcoin mining and developer community over Bitcoin’s block size appears to have reached a long-awaited resolution. Within the most recent BitcoinXT update, Gavin Andresen has begun the process of revising the block chain individual block size from 1 MB to 8 MB starting next year. This is deemed necessary for the overall growth and usability of Bitcoin, as the current limits of seven transactions per second are becoming insufficient for the growing global community as consumer and business interest increases.

These impending updates were revealed on GitHub, and this is what is in store for the upcoming “hard fork”, taken directly from GitHub, posted by Gavin Andresen:

Implement hard fork to allow bigger blocks. Unit test and code for a bigger block hard fork.

Parameters are:

  • 8MB cap
  • Doubling every two years (so 16MB in 2018)
  • For twenty years
  • Earliest possible chain fork: 11 Jan 2016
  • After miner supermajority (code in the next patch)
  • And grace period once miner supermajority achieved (code in next patch)

The 1 MB block size debate has been a constant issue for months, with Andresen and Mike Hearn discussing the need to upgrade the block size to as much as 20 MB. China’s major exchanges and mining interests came out against any block size changes initially, deriding the extra operating costs and complexities involved with mostly empty blocks. After further review, the increase was deemed warranted to an 8 MB size, much smaller than the 20 MB requests by the Core Developers. An accord was reached, and the revisions will take effect next year.

We attempted to contact Hearn and Andresen for more information and will provide updated information as it becomes available. It seems some details are still to be sorted out in the next coding batch within the coming days. We’ll keep our readers informed of any further developments.

What do you think of these new core updates and the automatic changes every two years? Share above and comment below.