The block-size limit dispute, at its heart, represents a trade-off between efficiency and security. Bigger blocks allow for more transactions on the Bitcoin network but could reduce mining power utilization and lead to centralization. Engulfed in sometimes heated debates, several developers have submitted proposals to strike a right balance between the two and reach community consensus – but so far to no avail.
A group of Cornell University researchers, meanwhile, took an entirely different approach. Instead of attempting to strike the right balance, post-doctoral associate Ittay Eyal, doctoral student Adem Efe Gencer, computer science professor Emin Gün Sirer and research scientist Robbert Van Renesse, proposed Bitcoin NG, a radical redesign of the Bitcoin architecture meant to solve the block size trade-off entirely.
On key blocks
Currently, Bitcoin miners include two main types of data in blocks: a proof of work which allows the network to determine the longest chain, and a number of transactions to be selected by the miner. As its main differentiator, Bitcoin NG splits these two functions by creating two separate types of blocks: key blocks and microblocks, both of which are still part of the same chain.