Bitcoin has entered into a new phase of its existence. Prominent developers Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen have made changes to the alternative Bitcoin implementation Bitcoin XT, designed to fork Bitcoin’s blockchain in order to allow for bigger blocks.
Bitcoin users and – in particular – miners are, therefore, faced with a choice. Will they support Bitcoin XT and vote for an 8 megabyte block-size limit – doubling every other year? Or will they stick to Bitcoin Core with 1 megabyte blocks, limiting the Bitcoin network to a maximum of seven transactions per second?
Or at least that is the choice as it is often presented. In reality, the possibilities are not binary. At the time of publication of this article, two other Core developers have proposed three more Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) to increase the block-size limit, and an even wider spectrum of ideas has been suggested on the development mailing list, forums, chat rooms and other media. This article presents an – undoubtedly incomplete – overview of these ideas, categorized in six types of solutions.
Solution 1: No Cap