Following what can be best described as a vocal exit of developer Mike Hearn, the long-simmering debate over whether to scale the bitcoin blockchain to promote wider use has escalated.
Though the exact lines of division remain blurry, the resulting media scrutiny has seemingly awakened the bitcoin mining and business community to what they perceive as a lack of movement by Bitcoin Core, the ecosystem’s largely volunteer development team.
As a result, businesses are voicing their support for Bitcoin Classic, an alternative proposal to a strategic road map proposed by Bitcoin Core that would increase the size of data blocks on the blockchain to 2MB, up from 1MB today. Bitcoin Core has advocated for Segregated Witness, a proposal that would result in more capacity, without necessitating a hard fork, a process by which a mandatory network-wide software upgrade would be needed.
Proponents of Bitcoin Classic contend that the solution simply introduces a choice into the market, and that, should their proposal succeed, they believe Bitcoin Core’s developers will simply migrate to a newly branded code base without much impact.
However, Austin Hill, CEO of $21m startup Blockstream, believes that, despite these claims, the lack of support for