If the goal of the second Scaling Bitcoin conference was to highlight an “emerging consensus” on the challenges facing the bitcoin network, the day’s panels served mostly to highlight the sometimes extreme differences in opinion that remain between key stakeholders in the technology’s open-source community.
Held in Hong Kong’s Cyberport district, day one of Scaling Bitcoin found speakers debating more freely the variety of proposals for how transaction processing on the bitcoin network should be increased, with presenters often weighing on their preferred path forward.
Given the venue of the event, however, the cultural divide underlining the debate was perhaps most on display, as panels found bitcoin’s largely Western development community and largely China-based mining industry making awkward steps toward opening up a dialogue.
A much-anticipated mining panel, including typically media-shy China-based companies such as Avalon, Bitmain, BTCC, BW and F2Pool, for instance, took place after a series of technical discussions in which the term “China” was often used as placeholder when describing how participants in the transaction processing process might undermine network security.
Whether this nuance was successfully translated was less clear, though members of China’s mining sector made it a