Gavin Andresen speaks about the Bitcoin XT fork

During the past week there has been controversy in the Bitcoin community concerning the software changes coming to increase the number of transactions that the Bitcoin protocol can process. TechCrunch this past Saturday posted Bitcoin is a technological success but is in governance crisis.

Gavin Andresen and Bitcoin XT

Today, I spoke with Gavin Andresen, Digital Currency Director MIT Media Lab and Chief Scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation, via email about the changes both Gavin and Mike Hern, have introduced to increase the size in the block in which transactions are processed every ten minutes. Currently Bitcoin Core is one megabyte and Bitcoin XT will provide eight megabytes. Here are Gavin’s responses to our discussion about the Bitcoin XT.

Q: The proposed alternate software system for blockchain has brought controversy across the bitcoin community. Would you like to explain the technical need for this enhancement to bitcoin protocol?

A: Several years ago, an arbitrary limit was placed on the number of transactions per second that the Bitcoin protocol can handle. We’re getting close to that limit, and it is time to raise it to handle the larger transaction volume and usage that we see today.

Q: Do you see the challenge about the Bitcoin XT change in blockchain from one megabyte to eight megabytes in January 2016 as education and acceptance or another issue? Some miners are using it so more transactions per hour can be achieved.

A: There are a few different issues people bring up when discussing the change, ranging from extremely technical (and, in my opinion, extremely unlikely) arguments for why it might lead to a more centralized network, to economic concerns about the incentives for people to run

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