Bitcoin never had a clear future, but it looks even cloudier in the midst of the unpleasant, yet weirdly magnetic, blocksize debate. The debate, which eats up /r/Bitcoin, has led to the meta question of Bitcoin “governance” – a buzzword that sums up the question: What happens when developers and stakeholders don’t agree? What’s the best process to address this?
Gavin Andresen, who has a unique perspective on the topic as Bitcoin’s former lead developer, joined Epicenter Bitcoin for a conversation on just that.
The podcast took on the meta-meta-question of defining “governance” and zeroing in on which Bitcoin governance issues—exactly—need to be addressed. Andresen offered a broad definition. “When I say governance, I don’t mean government. We’re governed by all sorts of things,” he said. “We’re governed by our government, we’re governed by the laws of physics, we’re governed by social norms. There are all sorts of things that affect our behavior.” He used the word “process” to describe how to reach these decisions.
Andresen and Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn recently announced Bitcoin XT, a variant of Bitcoin core with a larger blocksize. While the questions of when and how much to grow the blocksize is